Last Friday the East Boston Chamber of Commerce held its elections and members elected Jim Kearney as the group’s new president. Elected as the Chamber’s First Vice President was Marita Palavicini of Vilma’s Boutique while Veronica Robles of the Veronica Robles Cultural Center was elected as the Chamber’s Second Vice President and Shirley Fabo of Massport was elected Third Vice President.
Kim Altschul of East Boston Savings Bank was elected to another term as the Chamber’s Treasurer while Joanna Cataldo of the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center was elected as the Chamber Secretary.
Aside from electing Chamber Officers, members also elected several people to the Chamber’s Board.
Elected to the board were Margaret Farmer, Amanda Donis of East Boston Beauty Academy, Paul Scott of Going Clear Interactive, Kathy Orlando of Sulprizio Real Estate, Aldo Callejas of La Hacienda Restaurant and Vincent Qualtieri of NOAH.
Following the election, Kearney laid his vision for the Chamber going forward.
“We are going to try and reinvent the Chamber,” said Kearney. “We want to get back into the business community and create a vibrant atmosphere were the residents of East Boston can wholly support our businesses–both in the restaurant and service industry.”
One of Kearney’s first goals is to begin featuring a business each month in an article published in the East Boston Times or in a quarterly Chamber Newsletter or both.
“I’d like to take a business each month and chronicle their accomplishments,” said Kearney. “This will showcase what each business has done or plans on doing and draws attention to these businesses in a positive way.”
Kearney would also like to bridge the gap between the business community and developers. With Eastie in the midst of a economic and development boom Kearney said the time is now to connect businesses with big development.
“I want to meet with developers on a regular basis,” said Kearney. “I think it can be positive for the business community that when they open up their new residential development the Chamber is partnering with them to offer a welcome package to new residents that showcases all of businesses from restaurants to local corner stores to other services.”
Kearney said, that this will not only help new retail that may be tied to a given development but some of the more established businesses that have called Eastie home for decades.
In the end, Kearney said the Chamber should elevate its status as a resource for the business community.
“The biggest thing I’ve heard over the years is, “What are the benefits of being a members of the Chamber of Commerce?”, said Kearney. “We want to change that and we want to be so good and so organized that businesses spread the word to other businesses that may not be members on our ability to help them grow and succeed. First thing I plan to do is have an action plan every month and not just sit around and talk about the plan but actually implement the plan in our business community.”
Cutline, Newly elected East Boston Chamber of Commerce President Jim Kearney.