Make a Difference in Cape Ann
Getting involved with committees and councils you care about connects you to the information and people that will enhance the value of your membership. The Cape Ann Chamber offers current members a range of opportunities to share their expertise and enthusiasm with the community. Build your business relationships as we work together to help our community prosper.



Staff Liaison, Ken  Riehl, Chief Executive Officer
The Board of Directors is comprised of no more than 29 members of the organization and is the governing body of the organization that works to set policy, approve the annual budget, etc. This group is by invitation and each member serves a three year term.

Ambassadors Committee

Staff Liaison, Barb Sienkiewicz

Meets the Second Tuesday of every month: 4:00 – 5:00 PM, Chamber

Mission: The mission of the Ambassadors Committee is to cultivate members, especially new and inactive ones, and to provide responses to the Chamber staff regarding needs and issues of concerned members. In addition, to increase the retention rate of existing members by being responsive to members’ needs and reinforcing the benefits of Chamber membership. Each Ambassador will be expected to contact their appointed number of current members each month.  Ambassadors will act as greeters at Breakfast Meetings, New Member Receptions, Evening Business After Hours, and other meetings as needed.  Each Ambassador is expected to participate in all Chamber Membership Drives.


  • Gain valuable contacts you would not otherwise make
  • Increase your company’s visibility
  • Recognition in Chamber newsletter, web site, events
  • Annual award to Ambassador of the Year
  • Learn more about the local business community and be a part of it


Ambassadors must:

  • be employed by a member firm (could be past) of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce
  • have strong interpersonal skills, motivation, flexibility and sensitivity to members’ needs
  • have a willingness to learn about benefits, programs, services and upcoming events within the Chamber of Commerce


  • Make a commitment of at least one year to the Ambassador Committee
  • Contact members monthly
  • Attend monthly meetings and discuss progress/accomplishments
  • Stay well-informed on the Chamber and be able to relay information to others

Serve as mentors and greeters at Chamber events.

Business Education Collaborative

Staff Liaison, Ken Riehl, Chief Executive Officer
Pat Thorpe, Chair
Meets one Friday of every month: 7:30 – 8:30 AM, BankGloucester

Mission: The mission of the Business Education Collaborative is to regularly and most meaningfully engage the Cape Ann Business community with our local schools towards the overall goal of enriching our students’ education, aiding with career path decisions, and helping to inform of employment opportunities on Cape Ann and the broader north of Boston region. Initiatives include annual Career and College Fair, Career Days, support to intern placements, DECA support, classroom business training.

Businesswomen’s Division

Staff Liaison, Kerry McKenna, Director of Events

Paula Curley, Jen Orlando Co-chairs
Planning committee meets approximately once a month.

Mission: Organized in 1986, the group is committed to the growth of Cape business and the professional development of the Chamber’s women members. They provide a forum for the region’s business women to network and raise funds for scholarships that aid women with continuing education. Events are held about every other month and include quarterly mixers, “Summer Sail” in July and Fall Luncheon in October with a featured speaker. The group established the Carolyn M. O’Connor Scholarship in 2005.  This is a $1,250 scholarship awarded each year to woman who is going back to school after an absence, or is considering a career change, in an effort to better her life situation.  To date, the Division has given away over $17,000 in scholarships.

Cape Ann Innovators Collaborative

Staff Liaison, Ken Riehl, Chief Executive Officer
Planning committee meets approximately once a month to plan quarterly events

Mission: Cape Ann Innovators Collaborative provides a social networking forum for innovators in a variety of fields, intended to inform and inspire, with the ultimate purpose of sustainable economic development and job growth on Cape Ann.

Background: CAIC is a collaborative of innovators, entrepreneurs, makers, artists, designers, developers and producers dedicated to supporting people from all walks of life in their endeavors to create lasting, innovative change, with the ultimate objective of growing the economy and creating new jobs. Meet-up events produced by CAIC will cover a broad range of innovative topics including science & technology, the blue / maritime economy, finance, 21st century manufacturing, the arts, and more, with an overarching concern for sustainability, both ecological and economic.  Our intent is to host a number of networking events each year, each focused on a specific topic and featuring panelists that are experts in that field. All events will be free and open to the public. As we grow, we will broaden the scope of our offerings.

This is an exciting time for Cape Ann.  We invite you to join our group, attend our events, and help us grow your business as you contribute to this ever more amazing place to work, to live, and to play.

CAIC will work in partnership with the North Shore Technology Council as well as with municipalities, government agencies, community organizations, local firms and academic institutions.

Contractors Division

Planning committee meets approximately once a month

Mission: To provide a forum for the region’s contractors to network, learn and contribute special projects to Cape Ann. Events are planned quarterly, primarily as social networking, and some will also contain an educational component. Staff Liaison, Kerry McKenna, Director of Events

Finance Committee

Staff Liaison, Ken Riehl, Chief Executive Officer
The Finance Committee is responsible for working to study the financial condition of the Chamber.  This Committee shall, at the December Board of Directors meeting, submit the proposed budget for the next fiscal year to the Directors for consideration, recommending such sums as it deems necessary.  As and when approved by the Board of Directors, the proposed budget shall be the budget of the corporation.  The Finance Committee shall check the operations of the various departments on a quarterly basis to satisfy itself that they are operation within the limitations of the budget and shall, from time to time, make such readjustments in the budget as it deems necessary and advisable.  The Committee shall also have the responsibility for the institution’s internal controls and auditing procedures that the Committee deems appropriate.  The committee is comprised of current board members and past presidents and by invitation only.


Government Affairs Council

Staff Liaison, Peter Webber, Senior Vice President
Bill Scott, Chair
Meets the Third Second Thursday of every month: 7:30 – 9:00 AM, Chamber

Mission: The Government Affairs Council’s mission is to ensure that local, state and federal government policies are conducive to a strong and healthy business climate for Cape Ann, and that community decisions consistently support quality economic growth. The Council is a dynamic volunteer committee consisting of members drawn from diverse business backgrounds.  As such, the Council serves as a collective voice for the Cape Ann Business community with regard to governmental policies and affairs affecting our member businesses.

The Council advocates for and represents the views of the Cape Ann business community to local, state and federal agencies and elected officials, as well as any other necessary parties. This is accomplished by engaging with such officials in meaningful policy discussions on members’ behalf, and by fostering good overall communications and positive relations.

The Council also sponsors public forums for candidate debates and for discussion of public policy-related issues affecting the Cape Ann business community. In keeping with Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce policy and practice, the Council will not take or recommend positions on individual projects, but instead will review and make recommendations on legislative and public policy matters, such as zoning, regulations, public transportation and infrastructure projects and concerns affecting our membership base as a whole.


Next Gen. Cape Ann – Young Professionals

Caitlin Pszenny, Lead
Meet approximately monthly to plan get-togethers – quarterly

Mission: The mission of Next Generation Cape Ann is to foster business relationships among the region’s young professionals.  Next Gen’ers work to galvanize a core group to provide mutual support, guidance, and encouragement as they navigate the business world.  Next Gen’ers aim to give voice to young professionals in the larger business community throughout Cape Ann.  All this with the ultimate goal of greater success and economic development for our businesses and the community.  Next Gen’ers are the future of Cape Ann, and it is their responsibility and our privilege to lead into the coming decades.

Initiatives include:

  • Networking and social events
  • Educational seminars
  • Small working groups focused on the intricacies of our businesses
  • Establishing a network of young professionals for dialogue outside of scheduled events
  • Direct communication with our young representatives on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
  • Mutual promotion of our businesses


Scholarships Committee

Peter Webber, Chair
Members: Freddie Doeringer, Sue Lufkin, Carol Morse, Gretchen Parker, Richard Ross

Responsible for the management of 5 college scholarships.


Tourism Council

Staff Liaison, Peter Webber, Senior Vice President
Tony Sapienza, Chair
Meets the Third Friday of every month: 8:30 – 9:30 AM, Chamber

Mission: The mission of the Council is to help shape and guide the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce’s role in promoting Cape Ann as a premier visitor destination, and to foster collaboration with the region’s other tourism organizations. Specific focus areas are: 1) Tourism Collaboration; 2) Visitor Data Analytics; 3) Marketing Cape Ann year-round. Activities that are reviewed throughout the course of a year include the following:

  • Cape Ann Guide Magazine – 75,000 printed copies and on the Chamber’s visitor websites as a digital flip book; distributed throughout Cape Ann and more broadly
  • Cape Ann and Community Visitor Maps – Distributed on Cape Ann as well as a number of other regional locations
  • Manage two Tourism websites: and, including detailed listings of member tourism businesses and Cape Ann events
  • Manage the 128 Display Rack
  • Operate two Visitor Centers and two addition information centers
  • Manage a number of paid seasonal employees as well as volunteers to help serve visitors to Cape Ann at Gloucester and Rockport visitor centers
  • Hold an annual Spring ‘Kick Off’ Collaboration for Tourism related businesses and Fall season wrap-up Collaborative
  • Respond to and assist 20,000 visitors annually in person, over the phone and online
  • Promote tourism related businesses here on Cape Ann, providing referrals to visitors
  • Partner with other organizations on opportunities to promote Cape Ann as a region to travelers
  • Chamber CEO and Sr. VP serve on City of Gloucester Tourism Commission and Discover Gloucester


Special Events Committees

Staff Liaison, Kerry McKenna, Director of Events

  • Education Fundraiser – Golf Tourney @ Bass Rocks (May)
  • 3 Gloucester Block Parties (July & Aug)
  • Auction (July): Michele French, Kim Spaner Co-chairs **
  • Festival by the Sea (August): Pat Slade, Mike Storella
  • Essex Clamfest (October): Sue Lufkin, Michele French
  • Holiday events (Easter, Christmas): supported by Board



Small Business Week Committee

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Staff Liaison, Ken Riehl, Chief Executive Officer
The Small Business Week Committee is comprised of past winners of the Chamber’s Small Business recognition from all four communities. Past winners come together to nominate and select the winners for the annual small business week hosted by the Chamber. Each year a winner is selected for each community the Chamber serves.