The Board and I are very excited to announce that Gloucester resident and Boston area business executive Stephen Buckley will succeed Ken Riehl as the organization’s chief executive officer.
Steve was selected following a four-month search that attracted more than 50 candidates from across the U.S. The search committee presented its recommendation to the Chamber’s Board of Directors last month, and his appointment was approved by a unanimous vote.
Steve impressed the Chamber’s leadership with his passion for Cape Ann, his extensive business management experience, and his track record of community involvement. We reviewed a number of extraordinary candidates for his position, and he emerged as the clear choice to advance the Chamber’s mission to support our businesses and the entire Cape Ann community.
Steve has more than 20 years of business leadership experience, most recently as Executive Director of Winchester Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, a 121-bed facility with 200 employees. In this role, he oversaw strategic marketing, financial management, community and business partnerships, and relationships with federal, state, and local elected officials. He previously held management positions at health care facilities in Saugus, Stoneham, Haverhill, and Gloucester. He also brings a personal understanding of small business, having owned and operated a Melrose-based physical therapy practice.
A Cape Ann resident since 1999, Steve has been active with the Gloucester Friends of Seacoast and Gloucester Education Foundation. He also served as a vice president with the Winchester Chamber of Commerce and president-elect of the Winchester Rotary.
“I thank the Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce for this opportunity to put my experience to work in an organization that supports an important part of our community,” said Steve. “I am proud to call Cape Ann home for me and my family, and I am excited to be able to give back to the community as the Chamber’s CEO. I look forward to extending the Chamber’s extraordinary work focused on making greater Cape Ann an amazing place to live, work, and visit.”
Steve’s first official day will be December 5, replacing Ken Riehl, who is retiring in December after nine years as the organization’s CEO. Over the next month, Steve will work alongside Ken and the Chamber staff, Executive Committee and Board while transitioning into the CEO position.
“As we looked ahead to this transition, I was committed to making certain that the Chamber continued to be a strong and active force across the Cape Ann community,” said Ken. “In Stephen, we have found a passionate, skilled, and visionary leader who will build on the foundation we’ve established and ensure an increasingly brighter future for greater Cape Ann.”
The Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce is the fifth largest Chamber in the commonwealth, with more than 1,000 members. In recent years, the Chamber has marked a number of milestones, including the creation of the Cape Ann License Plate and the Cape Ann Community Foundation, which has granted almost $100,000 back to Cape Ann non-profits and schools; the Chamber’s relocation to new offices on Gloucester’s Harbor Loop; informing and supporting the community through the pandemic; and a merger with the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce,
Ken and I were part of a search committee that included the Chamber’s Executive Committee, as well as past board presidents and longtime Chamber CEO Michael Costello. The search committee was co-chaired by Past Chamber Board President Sal Frontiero and Chamber Treasurer Mike Luster.
Steve’s appointment follows the addition of Bernie Romanowski as Chief Operating Officer, a new position on the Chamber staff. Bernie, who joined the Chamber last month, will report to Steve and be responsible for day-to-day operations. Bernie brings a track record in operations leadership, most recently as Chief Program Officer for Pathways for Children.
2022 Board President
Manager, Cape Ann Lanes and Laneside Pub & Brewery