Editor's note: This column was originally written for the Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce newspaper.
My name is Greg Reibman. I’m the new president of your Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce.
I know what you’re thinking: “Another new president? What the heck’s going on at that place anyway?”
It’s true. Your chamber has experienced more than its share of turnover. That’s never the optimal way to run any business.
But as every experienced businessperson knows, sometimes circumstances beyond our control require us to adapt, adjust and – hopefully -- emerge stronger.
Fortunately, while presidents have changed, the Newton-Needham Chamber has enjoyed stability on top from a veteran Board of Directors as well as a core of other remarkable volunteers who are passionate about these two terrific communities.
Your chamber also has the good fortune to have so many active, dues-paying members and sponsors who consistently support our many programs and outreach efforts.
Let’s also acknowledge the significant contributions from prior presidents who’ve brought new ideas and new skills to our operation.
Now – as we all emerge from the most challenging economic climate most of us can remember -- I’m deeply honored to have the privilege to lead your chamber.
Who am I? I’m a long-time Newton resident who ran a business in Needham for more than a decade. I was the publisher of the Newton TAB and Needham Times, as well as 15 other community newspapers and affiliated websites. I’ve worked at the Boston Herald and WGBH. I’ve been a sole proprietor. I’ve also been active as a Newton-Needham Chamber member for a dozen years and spent one term on the chamber’s Board of Directors.
In other words, I’m a local guy who is already familiar with Newton, Needham, this organization, our elected leaders and the business community here.
When my friend and now predecessor Bob Halpin had an opportunity to become Framingham’s Town Manager, I jumped at a chance to be your new president.
I told the search committee that I share the chamber’s commitment to economic and cultural vitality but that I’m passionate about Newton and Needham.
And Newton and Needham really are fantastic communities -- among the best in the commonwealth. Sure, both have a reputation for not being as business-friendly as one might hope. But both communities have taken meaningful steps recently to reverse that. As your new president I’m committed to working with you and our municipal and state leaders on making this an even better place to do business, while never sacrificing the livability of both communities.
That means we have a lot of work to do together. And I do mean together. Your chamber is dedicated to helping you prosper through advocacy and by providing opportunities to network, learn and be inspired. But your chamber has exactly two full-time employees -- executive assistant Karen Ficcardi and me. We depend on our volunteers to help organize and host events, plan and sponsor programs, recruit new members, serve on committees and to advocate for a robust business environment.
If you haven’t been to one of our events recently, please join us soon. If you’re not already following us on Linked-In, Facebook or Twitter, please join in today. And if you’ve never been to our office at 281 Needham St. (on the Newton-Needham line), please drop by and say hello.
Chamber President Greg Reibman can be reached at 617-244-1688 or firstname.lastname@example.org.