Editor’s note: This letter is by Bill Moore, who served as the president and CEO of the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce until this month.
As many of you may know, my wife, Maureen, and I will soon be leaving the Green Mountain State and returning to “The Land of Steady Habits.” I have accepted the position of President and CEO of the Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce in Connecticut.
It hardly seems like three and one-half years since I began writing these columns. I have enjoyed every minute of doing so. I am thankful to the Times-Argus and The World and other outlets for allowing me to grace their pages with observations about the Central Vermont Chamber and the important work that we do, opine about legislative initiatives occurring at the State House and try to make sense of statistical rankings affecting the state.
During my tenure at The Chamber, I have had the opportunity to meet with many fine people, some of the finest that I have encountered throughout my career. Our Chamber has changed significantly since I took the reins from George Malek. George was a very difficult act to follow. His 37-year tenure is legendary. Always the gentleman, George never once said to me, “Bill, that’s not the way we do it here.” He never told me that “You should be doing it this way.” He opened many doors for me, introduced me to many folks and saw to it that he always remained in the shadows. It truly was my Chamber to manage.
The Chamber has always remained true to its Mission Statement which is to, “Guide, inspire and promote the best interests of the businesses and professionals of the area, and to enhance the economic, cultural, educational and recreational opportunities of its citizens and visitors.” We live up to that mission every day.
Our several committees harness the energy of dedicated volunteers as we take on the challenges of creating a pro-business, pro-growth, pro-jobs economy for the state.
Whether we are engaged in educational programs for businesses in our Chamber $marts and ¢ents program or networking at our monthly Business After Hours or promoting our vibrant tourism industry, our volunteers are leading the way. Chamber members can be found testifying at legislative hearings, maintaining the integrity of our world headquarters at Beaulieu Place and creating innovative programs like our new ATHENA Award® that recognizes mentors who help women to reach the pinnacle of their careers.
The Chamber has recognized community leaders who have dedicated their lives in service to Central Vermont. Leaders like Senator Bill Doyle, WDEV’s Ken Squier and Norwich University President Richard Schneider have been honored at our St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast. The Chamber has expressed its opposition to new taxes, particularly Local Option Taxes and support for new commerce as in the proposed new garage and hotel for Montpelier, both of which should be built.
The Chamber has helped to create an entrepreneurial spirit in the region by managing the Central Vermont Road Pitch (returning in 2020). Looking to mentor future leaders, The Chamber created and staffs a new affiliate organization, the Central Vermont Young Professionals. We have brought interesting speakers to meet with the business community including Eric Rosengren, the President & CEO of the Boston Federal Reserve Bank, and Canadian Counsel General David Alward.
I would be remiss if I did not tip my hat to The Chamber staff and say, “Thank you for making me look good.” Tonya Barnett, Carole Hass, Doug Rossi, Al Jacobs and Lucinda Newman have all contributed significantly to the success of this dynamic organization.
The Central Vermont Chamber has accomplished a lot during my term here and will continue to be the voice of the business community for Central Vermont long into the future.
The Interim President, Ed Larson, has a strong background in organization management, is a highly respected lobbyist and is our Secretary/Treasurer. His steady hand will continue our operational excellence until a permanent leader is identified. Chamber Chair, Joe Choquette, has empowered the Executive Committee to serve as the Search Committee to find my replacement. He will be ably assisted by Immediate Past Chair Lindel James, Past Chair Leslie Sanborn, Chamber Vice Chairs Kim Bolduc, Denise Russo, Jon Skates, and our Technology Task Force Chair, Kristin Hayes.
It has been an honor for me to contribute to the success of this vibrant Chamber. The Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce is well positioned for the future and I encourage you to become engaged with The Chamber as the next chapter is written.