This week, Kirk Nelson has taken the helm as the new president and CEO of Bellevue-based AAA Washington, the preeminent provider of roadside assistance in Washington and northern Idaho. After 14 years, former president and CEO, Charlie Liekweg, has retired.

Nelson comes to AAA Washington from Qwest Communications, where he was the Washington president since 1999. He has held a wide range of management positions since starting his telecommunications career with Pacific Northwest Bell in 1979. Before assuming his current post, Nelson was vice president of Operations for U S WEST’s Business and Government Solutions division. He has previously held positions in marketing, finance, investor relations, public policy and wholesale markets.

“The AAA Washington board was dedicated to finding another strong CEO to continue the success and growth that benefits our members,” said Steve Matsko, chairman, AAA Washington board of trustees. “Kirk Nelson has that successful executive strength and experience. Perhaps most importantly, he has the leadership qualities to guide this great organization forward.”

Nelson also has extensive experience as a civic leader, including being the immediate past chairman of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, and the former chairman of the Association of Washington Business (AWB), the Community Development Roundtable, and the Seattle-King County Sports and Events Council. In addition to the Greater Seattle Chamber, he currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Seattle Sports Commission and the Advisory Board of the Albers School of Business and Economics at Seattle University.

“I am delighted to join such a dedicated team of employees, and to continue AAA Washington’s legacy of providing unparalleled service to its more than one million local members,” said Nelson. “AAA Washington is an outstanding membership organization and an innovative leader in customer service. It’s an honor to be chosen to be the next CEO, and I look forward to building on its successes.”

Nelson earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from Pacific Lutheran University and received his MBA from Seattle University. He and his wife, Patty, reside in Sammamish, WA, and have two grown sons.

AAA Washington has been serving members and the traveling public since 1904.  The organization provides a variety of exclusive benefits, including roadside assistance, discounts, maps and personalized trip planning, to its 1,020,000 members. In addition, its full-service travel and insurance agencies provide products and services for members and the public. Additional information is available through the company’s offices in Washington and northern Idaho, at, or by calling 1-800-562-2582.


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