With the expansion of advocacy, policy research and development, and grassroots engagement at the Kentucky Chamber, the organization announced the promotion of Kate Shanks to Senior Vice President of Public Affairs.
Shanks joined the Chamber in 2015 and was promoted to Vice President of Public Affairs in 2019. Since leading the department, the organization has seen expansion in many areas and impressive results at the Capitol. Earlier this year, the Chamber announced two new positions in the department focusing on policy research and development and grassroots engagement. In 2020, the Chamber PAC saw big election wins with enhanced, strategic political activity. During the 2021 legislative session, the public affairs team successfully advocated for policies that will ensure critical COVID-19 liability protections for employers, protect signature industries, and save businesses $1.4 billion a year.
“Under Kate’s leadership, the Chamber has truly excelled in the area of public affairs, expanding our reach to include original policy reports and an emphasis on grassroots advocacy. Kate is well known as the voice of Kentucky businesses at the Capitol and has spearheaded many pieces of legislation, including ensuring Kentucky businesses did not get hit with a massive unemployment insurance tax increase. As the Chamber continues working to advance Kentucky, Kate is the perfect person to be on the front lines at the Capitol fighting for all Kentucky businesses,” Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Ashli Watts said.
Before joining the Chamber, Shanks spent nearly 12 years working for state agencies holding multiple positions in communications, policy analysis and design, and legislative affairs. She is a lifelong resident of Kentucky and earned both a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Conservation and Management and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kentucky. Shanks is originally from Louisville and is the daughter of a small business owner.
The Kentucky Chamber, the largest business organization in the state, advocates for thousands of companies of all sizes across the Commonwealth. The Chamber is routinely ranked as the top organization in the state for its investment in advocacy and monitors hundreds of bills each year for its members. To learn more about the Chamber and its mission, visit kychamber.com.