SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

June 5, 2013

New Chamber director focuses on member services

(Continued)

How does that complement your new role at the chamber, as you go from working with nonprofits to working with businesses?

The first thing I would say is, it’s very similar. We have a mission here at the chamber to promote businesses but ultimately, to make sure the town of Marblehead is great for everyone who lives, who works and who visits here. And we do have members who are nonprofits, so I think it’s a very good fit.

(To Latham) What did you like about Deb?

Latham: The skill set that I was looking for are things you can’t learn; you are born with them. ... items like diplomacy, negotiation and ability to communicate with a variety of different folks on different levels, from town officials to members, to volunteers, to the children of volunteers. Those ... were the big things I was looking for. And that was apparent during the interview process ... I was surprised that one person actually had everything I was looking for. Trust me, I was psyched.

There’s a thriving business community in Marblehead, but what are the challenges moving forward?

Payson: I think one of the challenges I see just in my first week here is making sure that all of our members, who come from very unique and different industries, feel well attended to. I think we are going to ramp up a little bit our efforts to make many more personal connections, have them engage with each other in different ways and make sure everyone feels responded to, which is a large task, given that we have 300 members. And we are hoping to grow that.

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Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.

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