2013-10-04 / Community

Chamber director submits resignation

By Alex Acquisto
Staff Writer

KENNEBUNK — Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Suzanne McKechnie resigned last week after serving less than a year.

When asked if the news came as a shock, Chamber of Commerce Chairman Sarah Lindblom said, “Goodness, yes. This was not something we were jumping up and down happy about.”

A press release written by the chamber on Thursday, Sept. 26 it states that McKechnie’s resignation was effective immediately.

McKechnie, who was hired in December 2012, could not be reached for comment; however, in February she told the Post that she enjoyed the position as executive director because it allowed her to continue helping people.

Said McKechnie at the time, “I think I’ve always wanted to work with people, to help people. It seems like helping people prosper ... that kind of goes with businesses and business owners reaching their potential.

“(The position) combines a lot of the things that I feel I have a really good background in with respect to marketing and communications and relationship building and tourism and economic development.”

McKechnie previously worked for Martin’s Point Health Care in Portland, as well as the economic development specialist for the Sanford Regional Economic Growth Council.

Lindblom said of McKechnie’s resignation, “I think the position just wasn’t quite the right fit for her, and she felt her skill set would be better utilized elsewhere. That’s what I deduced,” she said.

The Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel Chamber of Commerce has experienced somewhat of a turnstile of executive directors during recent years — an aspect Lindblom addressed.

“We have had so many executive directors, you know, I think people wonder if we know what we’re doing,” Lindblom said. “But, as you probably know, it’s not easy to find executive directors for nonprofits. But with every one, we continue to move forward.”

The chamber’s executive board will meet next week to select an interim executive director to fill McKechnie’s vacancy, said Lindblom.

“We already have three very good candidates,” Lindblom said.

She declined to name the individuals being considered.

“She (McKechnie) was able to implement a lot of positive changes with the chamber, and she left us with a lot, so this is a good time to move on,” Lindblom said. “She will be missed.”

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