In an encore episode, Steve Jones-D'Agostino, chief pilot of Best Rate of Climb, interviews Tim Murray, the new president and CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce. They talk about recharging the Chamber as an economic-development catalyst,
The Worcester Regional Chamber traces its roots back a century and a half, when a group of prominent businessmen established the Worcester Business Exchange in 1873. It was the first business organization in Massachusetts. Two years later, the state officially recognized the organization, which was renamed the Worcester Board of Trade. In 1913, the organization merged with the Merchant’s Association to become the Worcester Chamber of Commerce - adding “Regional” to its name more than a decade ago.
Today, the Chamber has 2,300 members, which includes the head counts of all its affiliates, plus annual revenue of more than $1.2 million. Proclaiming itself to be “the largest Chamber in New England,” Worcester Regional states a dedication to “enhancing the region’s economic prosperity and the vitality of its business community.
According to the Chamber, its mission is “to support existing businesses and promote economic development in the Worcester region by being a bold, strong, articulate and effective advocate.” Yet these are challenging times for the more than 5,000 other Chambers nationwide, as they are for most other businesses and organization across America. A year ago this month, for example, the Wachusett Chamber of Commerce got wiped out in an avalanche of money woes.
On June 2, Tim Murray replaced Dick Kennedy, who had been president and CEO for the past nine years. Murray is being paid $200,000 a year – much more than the $125,000 annual paycheck he had been getting as lieutenant governor.
Read Now: Steve Jones-D'Agostino's article for GoLocalWorcester, in which he profiles Tim Murray as the new head of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce.