With the temperatures falling and days shortening, it is indeed beginning to feel a lot like the Holidays…
We are in full holiday mode as we gear up to bring Santa to our region, encourage locals and visitors to shop local, and celebrate the holidays and year in each of our five communities.
We have had a historic 2022, continuing to focus on our businesses and the entire greater Cape Ann community still facing significant challenges due to the pandemic. We celebrated our Centennial as 100 years young beginning with our Annual Celebration Roaring 20’s theme, then our flotilla in the July 4th parades, mural on the front of the Chamber and resounding success of the first ever Blackburn Brewfest led by Caitlin and our Next Gen’ers. We celebrated our businesses and the region with more than 100 in-person networking, ribbon cutting and large community events. We supported our members and all businesses with substantial training, promotion and the Cape Ann Works program including the J1 Visa initiative bringing upwards of 50 international students here to support our businesses in critical need of summertime workers. And we celebrated and said thank you to our Stallworth and senior statesman, Peter Webber, for his incredible 17 years of dedication and service to our region.
Our Visitor Center and Chamber Offices were busier than ever as we assisted more than 25,000 visitors, helping them to fully experience our amazing region. We also promoted our members and the region with our premier publications, 260,000 pieces in print, and through four (4!) websites and more than twice as many social media platforms. Our more than a dozen committees were very active on all matters of economic development, tourism, in support of our schools, businesswomen, health & wellness, young professionals, trades…and many more. And our Cape Ann Community Foundation granted a record $19,000 to local area non-profits and schools through the proceeds of the Cape Ann License Plate, total to date is $90,000.
Our Members, the Board, and the Chamber Team are to be credited for this fantastic year, and we thank you. You have allowed us to strengthen our ability to execute our mission: to serve as the leading advocate for business on Greater Cape Ann by promoting our members, growing the regional economy, celebrating our culture, and enhancing our quality of life.
This will be the last update from both of us as Caitlin, who, after being at the helm of the Chamber Board of Directors since January 2022, will soon be turning over the reins to incoming 2023 President Loran Caputo. From Caitlin: “It has been a pleasure and a lot of fun to have served as the GCACC’s leader during this historic anniversary celebration and most impactful year. My theme for the year – together we have it all – could not have been more appropriate. I look forward to serving on the board as its Chair next year, joining the Board of our Cape Ann Community Foundation and continuing to lead our Next Gen’ers, which by the way, we are always looking for additional young(er) professionals to join us. Thanks again for helping to make this an amazing year!
And does anyone not know that Ken is retiring in a couple weeks? December 16 is his last day – come join us to wish him well as part of our Gloucester Holiday Party on the 15th at the Gloucester House. From Ken: “Leading the Chamber has been the highlight of my professional career, this has never been a job for me, but my life’s mission and I have so enjoyed getting to know and working with so many of you. Caitlin has been remarkable leading the Chamber this year, especially given her incredibly busy life as manager of Cape Ann Lanes and mom of two young ones. This is not goodbye, but a reset on life as we take some time to re-charge and then re-engage in continuing to provide for the betterment of this amazing region.”
We wish you a joyous and safe Holiday season and look forward to working with you in the New Year.
Caitlin and Ken