Clifford to retire from Corridor Nine Area Chamber
Westborough – Barbara Clifford, president of the Corridor Nine Area Chamber of Commerce, announced today that she will be stepping down from that position effective April 30. Karen Chapman, the chamber’s current vice president, will become president as of May 1.
Clifford became president in July 2002. In her first six months on the job, she led Corridor Nine to become an incorporated, fully independent chamber after 24 years of affiliation with the Worcester Regional Chamber. She built the chamber’s infrastructure with limited resources while attaining profitability in the first year and developed the Corridor Nine brand to its members and the region by creating a cable TV Show that broadcast for five years, airing in 10 central Mass. towns and cities. During her tenure, she successfully fought for maintaining single tax rates for the Chamber’s core towns, helped lead the fight for the repeal of the 6.25 percent IT Tech Tax proposed by Gov. Deval Patrick earlier this year, and the reform of the Fair Share Contribution (“FSC”) program within the Division of Unemployment Assistance, which severely penalized numerous business owners. She also helped the chamber to form a partnership with the Doubletree Hotel in Westborough run a food drive that has provided over 36,000 food item donations to the local food pantries over the last four years during the holiday season.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time leading Corridor Nine Chamber! I have worked with an incredibly dedicated board of directors and vice president who helped me grow Corridor Nine into the chamber that it is today,” Clifford said in a press release announcing her resignation. “It has been my great honor to spend these last 11+ years here and has provided me with friends I will forever value. I am looking forward to the future with tremendous excitement!”
Steve Anderson, Vice President of Unibank and Chairman of the Board of Directors noted, “I have worked with Barbara for the past 11 years and found her to be a great leader. Barbara’s relationship with members, community leaders and elected officials has created a branding of the chamber as a regional collaborator, a valuable advocate for members and a critical component in the area’s economic development.”
Chapman has over 30-plus years of experience in the chamber industry. Her career started at the Worcester Chamber in 1980 in which she held multiple positions including associate executive director for the Auburn Chamber and the Westborough/Northborough Chamber (now known as Corridor Nine). In 2002, Chapman accepted the full time position of vice president for Corridor Nine.
According to Anderson, the board of directors felt “there was no need to form a Search Committee.”
“Karen is an outstanding choice for Corridor Nine’s next president. She has excellent leadership skills and is respected, as well as deeply connected and committed to this Chamber. She brings to this presidency a keen understanding of Corridor Nine’s past, as well as proven experience in bringing innovative and visionary ideas for the future,” Anderson said.
Chapman’s career accomplishments have included launching a young professionals group to cultivate the next generation of leadership for Corridor Nine, establishing a community road race raising over $107,000 in sponsorships for Corridor Nine, producing a successful business to business trade show in the MetroWest region with over 120 exhibitors and 1,200 visitors annually for the last 5 years, and organizing the Chamber’s annual golf tournament that has generated over $284,000 in scholarships to graduating high school seniors. She has also helped to develop a partnership program between local schools and the business community that has provided over $104,000 in grants for teachers, hundreds of volunteers for school sponsored programs, and thousands of dollars in donations of equipment and supplies.
Chapman grew up in Worcester and resides in North Oxford, MA. She earned a Certificate of Organizational Management from the US Chamber of Commerce in 2007.
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