Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce announces leadership transition
BETHEL, ME – At the Annual Business Meeting & Dinner of the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce held October 19, 31-year veteran Executive Director Robin Zinchuk passed on the title to her co-worker of five years, Jessie Perkins. Zinchuk will continue to be a staff member of the organization with the title of Outreach and Development Director.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed leading this organization for more than three decades,” Zinchuk shared. “When I arrived in Bethel in 1984 with my husband Doug to open the Chapman Inn Bed & Breakfast, the chamber was led by a dedicated group of volunteers, with a telephone answering machine and a post office box. The area’s economy was beginning to shift to a more service- and visitor-based economy with the accelerating growth of Sunday River Resort, and the businesses were seeking a more active, professional organization to help promote the area. I was poised to help and accepted the part-time job, while raising my young family and running a business. We have seen a tremendous amount of change in the past 30 years, and the organization has grown as we have sought to meet the needs of our growing and ever-changing group of entrepreneurs. With the support of hundreds of individuals who have given of their time as board members and volunteers, as well as the tremendous generosity of business sponsors, the organization has never been stronger.”
Zinchuk recounted some of her proudest achievements: helping to put Bethel, Maine on the map with the 1999 world-record snowman and 2008 world’s tallest snowwoman; being one of the founding organizers of the Mountain Explorer winter shuttle; and helping to create the very successful Bethel Area Nonprofit Collaborative. “I have been preparing for the past few years for my eventual stepping down as executive director, but I truly have the desire to continue to serve the organization and the area in a new, more part-time capacity. Jessie is a very talented individual who has been quick to learn all the many facets of the chamber’s operation. I trust that, with the Board of Directors’ and members’ support, Jessie will be an excellent leader for many years to come.”
Perkins brings to the position five years’ experience as the chamber’s Marketing & Events Manager to the position. She is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute of Organization Management and lives in Bethel with her husband, Gabe Perkins. “Since coming to Bethel as a child to visit my grandparents, aunts, and uncles, I have always believed Bethel is the best small town there is,” said Perkins. “I am honored to take on this position and couldn’t have asked for a better model and mentor than Robin.”
The chamber just launched its online 2018 Membership Survey with the goal of collecting the most up-to-date feedback as the board prepares for its annual planning retreat in November.
At the annual meeting, a group of 19 individuals were elected to the 2018 Board of Directors. Six-year board veteran Maggie Kroenke of the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum was recognized for her service as she stepped down.
New board members elected are: Richard Allen, Franklin Savings Bank; Allison Jackson, Northeast Bank; B.J. Otten, Maine Energy Systems; and Tori Hicinbothem, The Bethel Inn Resort. They join veteran board members Kim Sparks, Town of Greenwood; Deborah Doyle, The Meeting House/alldoyles CLEANING; Laurie Gilbert, Royal River Graphics/Bethel Living Magazine; Beth Weisberger, Gneiss Spice/The Gem Theater; Amy Amann, 22 Broad Street/Barking Dawg Spirits & Market; Kevin Bean, B & B Auto and Truck Supply of Bethel; Jeremy Fredette, Western Maine Roofing and Siding; Bob Harkins, Mt. Abram Ski Area; Matthew Hiebert, Maine Ski Lodging Company; John Poole, Holidae House Bed & Breakfast; Jessica Nichols, Brian’s; Mia Purcell, Community Concepts Finance Corp.; Ron Savage, Sunday River Brewing Company/Savage Contracting/Mahoosuc Realty; Scott Smith, Norway Savings Bank; Eric Souther, ELC Outdoors; and Christopher Wright, Inn at the Rostay.