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December 30, 2013

A familiar face at chamber's helm

SALEM — For someone who helped preserve Salem from the urban-renewal wrecking ball in the 1970s, attorney Bill Tinti has a fitting view from his office on the fourth floor of Shetland Park.

The offices of Tinti, Quinn, Grover and Frey, where he is president, command a view of the city’s past, present and future: historic Derby Wharf, the tall ship Friendship, the Custom House and, of course, the soon-to-be decommissioned Salem power plant.

Tinti himself is, in a sense, going back to the future as he takes over as chairman of the North Shore Chamber of Commerce for the second time in 20 years. A former chairman of the Salem Redevelopment Authority and former Salem city solicitor, he will oversee the state’s third-largest chamber, serving the business interests of more than 1,000 companies.

Tinti recently took over the reins of the chamber from Rob Lutts, president and chief investment officer of Cabot Money Management in Salem.

Tinti’s goal as chairman will be to help make the chamber “an effective voice for the growth industries within the region,” he said. His focus will be on helping businesses navigate changes in the health care landscape with the coming of the Affordable Healthcare Act and changes at the top of state government next year. He took some time to chat with The Salem News recently.

Are there any similarities in today’s business climate and the one 20 years ago?

“Twenty years ago was ... the last major effort to reform health care. You may remember that, right? Hillary Clinton. Bill Clinton, of course, was the president, and you may remember that there was an effort they put a huge amount of time and energy into: ‘What are we going to do about the health care system in the United States?’ And, of course, that effort ultimately collapsed. So, 20 years ago, we saw a major effort to deal with health care. Obviously, we now have Obamacare, which is 20 years later a replication of that effort.

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