August 17, 2022
Dear GCACC Members,
We wish to inform you that Ken Riehl, who has served the Cape Ann community as CEO of the Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce since 2013, has announced that he is retiring from the Chamber at the end of this year. Ken looks forward to remaining active in the community, and he has committed to working with the search committee and support the new Chamber leadership throughout the transition.
Over the past nine years, Ken established a strong record as the Chamber’s CEO, strengthening and growing the organization to what is now the fifth largest Chamber in the Commonwealth with more than 1,000 members. Other accomplishments include the creation of the Cape Ann License Plate fundraising program and managing the Cape Ann Community Foundation, which has granted $90,000 to local area non-profits and schools; relocating the Chamber and its Visitor Center to Harbor Loop; leading efforts to inform and support the entire Cape Ann community through the COVID-19 pandemic; and completing the merger with the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce to create the Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce in 2021.
The Chamber team has worked closely with the membership and government and community leaders to strengthen greater Cape Ann’s position as a vibrant place to work, live and visit – promoting Chamber members, providing leadership and advocacy to grow the regional economy, celebrating the region’s culture, and enhancing the quality of life for all.
The Chamber has established a search committee, whose members include me and other members of the Chamber’s Executive Committee – Loran Caputo (Cape Ann Motor Inn), Karen Ristuben (ECCF/Creative County Initiative), Susan Gould Coviello (North Shore Health Project), Mike Luster (Cape Ann Savings Bank), Priscilla Malboeuf (Beauport Law) and Tony Sapienza (Blue Shutters Beachside Inn) – as well as Past Board Presidents Sal Frontiero (Frontiero Law), Bob Gillis (retired, Cape Ann Savings Bank), and Catherine Schlichte (Schlichte and Johnstone). The search committee is co-chaired by Sal and Mike.
Ken had this to say about his experience as CEO: “Having spent 30 years in the corporate world, in 2013, I began seeking ways to give back to and support the local community. Leading the Chamber allowed me to fulfill this goal in ways I never imagined — and it provided a foundation for community involvement that I look forward to continuing for many years to come. It has been an honor and my sincere pleasure to work with my dedicated and talented Chamber team to serve greater Cape Ann’s residents, businesses, and visitors alongside our Chamber leaders, government officials, and organizations across the region. I look forward to working to ensure that our Chamber continues to be a strong and active contributor to all that makes this region so remarkable.”
Loran Caputo, 2023 Board President, commented that “we are excited to build on the Chamber’s strong foundation for continued growth and prosperity for the organization, our members and the region”.
On behalf of our members and the entire greater Cape Ann community, we thank Ken for his extraordinary contributions as our CEO these past nine years. While we are sorry to see Ken step down from his role, we are happy for him and his wife, Holly, as they begin a new chapter together. Ken leaves the Chamber in an incredibly strong position – in terms of our membership, finances, operations, and engagement with the Cape Ann regional community. The search committee is confident that we will identify a leader who will build on this foundation and continue to lead the organization in creating a bright future for greater Cape Ann.
Ken will remain the point person for the Chamber and will lead the organization’s work through the transition. Please contact me with any questions regarding the transition or the search process.
Very truly yours,