Chamber Has New Executive Director

Dr. Paul McGee welcomes the new Executive Director Elizabeth Shane.

Dr. Paul McGee welcomes the new Executive Director Elizabeth

A fresh face to the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce; new Executive Director Elizabeth Shane brings experience, dedication, and a new perpective.

Dynamic, supportive, hardworking; these are just a few words that describes small business owners here in Winthrop.

They could also be used to describe the new Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, Elizabeth (Betsy) Shane.

Shane was formally introduced as the new Executive Director to her chamber at their breakfast meeting Tuesday morning.

“We can look forward to Betsy’s dynamic personality and energy as she leads us into a new era,” Chamber President Dr. Paul McGee said during his introduction of Shane to the chamber.

Originally from the small town of Skaneateles in upstate New York, Shane found her way to Massachusetts after college. She lived in Cambridge before finding Winthrop 17 years ago. A marketing and communication strategist, she owns the marketing firm, Beacon Marketing, in Winthrop. Shane also does work for ADRVantage as a certified executive coach and trainer for appointed and elected city officials in the Washington DC area. She holds her Master’s degree in Management as well as a teaching degree in Education.

Shane first came across the Chamber of Commerce not long after moving to Winthrop; looking for a place to make professional connections and meet new people.

“It was a great opportunity,” she said, “It was a great opportunity to meet people. It was a great opportunity from a business standpoint and to get involved.”

And she did get involved. Shane began volunteering on various committees. She ultimately began chairing the “Taste of Winthrop,” an annual event that showcases the vast amount of dining choices around town.

Shane will be chairing the upcoming “Taste of Winthrop,” before she steps into her new role of Executive Director on Monday September 23rd.

With the arrival of a new Executive Director comes the departure of a beloved one. Eric Gaynor has been the Executive Director for the past 11 years and has decided that it’s time to step down to take on new challenges in his life. While he’s sad to end his time leading this dynamic and supportive group, he’s excited to see how Betsy can bring her experience to the Chamber in a leadership role.

“I think she’ll bring a new perspective, which is good,” Gaynor commented. “I’m excited that there will be a fresh set of eyes for everything. Everybody’s excited and wants to get behind her.”

Although Shane believes that the Chamber of Commerce runs smoothly and efficiently, she is taking her marketing and communication background to help make some minor changes that will improve this already steady ship.

One change Shane is making is revamping the Chamber’s website, along with help from Gaynor and McGee. Members and residents will be seeing a new website for the Chamber of Commerce by the end of the year. It will feature a more accessible business directory as well as being more smart phone compatible.

Shane will also be working with Dr. McGee and the rest of the Chamber on increasing tourism to Winthrop. The goal for Shane, McGee, and the entire Chamber of Commerce is to get people from cities and towns near Winthrop realize that the shopping and dining experiences in town are closer than they think.

“Winthrop is really unique in the sense that we’re really close to the city, but it feels far away,” Shane said. “We just want people to recognize that we’re not that far away.”

Amongst a sea of change and innovation Shane will make sure she does not forget what the forefathers of the Chamber of Commerce wanted to see during its formative days 63 years ago; a strong and supportive network of small businesses. “It’s exciting how you hold and honor the forefathers of this organization…” “…and how you keep the focus and the mission for the members,” Shane said.

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