We have some exciting news to share with our members that will benefit all of you and the communities we now serve and one of our neighboring communities.
In early February, the leadership of the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce approached us about a possible merger between our two entities, which would result in the strengthening of both organizations. As a result of that conversation, we formed a Special Project Team which met several times with Ipswich Board Leadership to discuss this terrific opportunity.
The discussions between the Special Projects Team, Cape Ann Chamber Board and Ipswich Chamber Board have been very positive, and we are pleased to report that both Boards have voted to proceed with merger discussions, entering the due diligence phase this month.
Our goal throughout this process has been to understand the impact such a merger would have on our members and the Cape Ann communities. We are proud of the programs and services we provide our members, and our overarching support for all our region’s businesses, residents and visitors. A fundamental principle in evaluation of this merger is to maintain and enhance our services to our current membership. To ensure this, we will be hiring a full-time Community Relations Director to work with all Cape Ann communities and lead the Ipswich integration.
Like Cape Ann, Ipswich has a robust business community and a history as a destination for visitors. In addition, its location makes it a natural extension of the Cape Ann Chamber’s service area. We have considered how this merger will advance opportunities to serve our members better. Members will benefit from a merger in three important ways: 1) the expansion of your business connections and potential customers, leveraging a large neighboring community; 2) increasing the strength and influence of our Chamber and enabling us to represent the priorities of a larger constituency more effectively; and 3) allowing us to add a new staff position that will support members in all communities. Ipswich is on the Rt. 1 / I95 corridor, strategically located as a gateway to Cape Ann, and as such is a natural extension of our boundaries.
We are encouraged by the interest shown by the leaders of the Ipswich Chamber – who see this as a positive opportunity for their members — and of the opportunities we see for our current membership and Cape Ann.
Your support of this merger is important, and we invite you to share your feedback with us. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:
– Susan Gould-Coviello (Board President): firstname.lastname@example.org
– Ken Riehl (CEO): email@example.com
This is an exciting and important step forward for the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, enabling us to extend and improve the work we do for and on behalf of our members – promoting the region, strengthening businesses, and supporting our communities.