Longtime East Boston Chamber of Commerce Officer Marisa Di Pietro was elected as the Chamber’s new president during elections held last week.
Di Pietro, East Boston Social Centers Development Director, will take over the presidency from Scott Heigelmann who has served since February 2014.
“I am very humbled and honored to have been elected president of the East Boston Chamber of Commerce,” said Di Pietro. “Although not a business owner myself, I have benefited from the knowledge of those before me. We have had a wonderful array of Chamber presidents and board members and will be starting the New Year with five new board members who will bring their wealth of experience to our Chamber.”
Although Heigelmann is stepping down, DiPietro said she looks forward to collaborating on future projects with him.
“Scott has taken the East Boston Chamber to new heights and has improved the visibility of our beloved East Boston community in ways we can all be proud of,” she said. “We have successfully re-branded the East Boston Chamber and the neighborhood of East Boston, due in large part to Scott’s vision and expertise.”
Di Pietro said Eastie has always been a place where ambitious people have come to create, to work, to start a business, to make a life and to build their dreams from the ground up and her term as president will seeks to promote, and inspire economic growth in the community.
“Our membership base increases daily as young entrepreneurs, newcomer start ups and larger commercial entities seek out the Chamber to help grow their business,” said Di Pietro. “In 2016 the Chamber looks forward to creating opportunities for businesses to work together, share resources and network.”
Di Pietro said the Chamber will continue its outreach to the diverse populations that exist within Eastie’s business community.
“We will work to prove ourselves as an all-encompassing, member-representative organization,” she said. “We are committed to developing new programs and initiatives, providing valuable workshops, and plan to hold networking events with speakers on topics that are of interest to our businesses.”
Also elected during last week’s elections included Thom DePaulo of Meridian Insurance as 1st Vice President; Albert ‘Buddy’ Mangini of G2 Security as 2nd Vice President; Jim Kearney of the Boston Public Schools as 3rd Vice President; Kim Altschul of East Boston Savings Bank as Treasurer; and Joanna Cataldo of East Boston Neighborhood Health Center as Secretary.
Elected to the Chambers Board of Director was Paul Scott of GoingClear Interactive; Alex Rhalimi of Viridian Energy; Paula Dercolo of Don Orione Nursing Home; Margaret Farmer of North Suffolk Mental Health; and Lila Kanj of First Priority Credit Union.
Directors that are returning to the Chamber board are Freddie Noviello of Meridian Market; Marita Palavinici of Vilma’s Boutique & Sorrento’s Function Hall; Vinny Qualtieri of NOAH; and Veronica Robles of VROCC.
“I’d like to extend a warm welcome to each new officers and board members into thier new seats of this distinguished organization,” said outgoing president Scott Heigelmann. “I want to congratulate each their appointments and on securing the votes to become elected. East Boston is so fortunate to have such remarkable and dedicated leaders representing its people and businesses. I’m confident that their influence will encourage our traditions of involvement in worthwhile causes and in generating prosperity for our community and our City at-large.”
Heigelmann said the Chamber will flourish under the leadership of Di Pietro, Thom DePaulo, Kim Altschul and Buddy Mangini – and Jim Kearney.
“I have learned so much from each of them, and I’m lucky to be able to consider them among my mentors,” he said. “Working with them has been one of the great joys of my adult life. The board will also benefit greatly from, and rely heavily upon, the enormously valuable advice and unique perspective offered by Sal Amico, Vinny Qualitieri, Marita Palavicini, Joanna Cataldo, Veronica Robles and Freddie Noviello. The experiences I have had with this entire Board have been meaningful, positive and unique – and I hope each will be able to extract the same from the opportunity.”
Heigelmann said he is proud of the work he has been able to do as president and all that the board was able to achieve during the past two years, including the development and overwhelmingly successful launch of the Prosperity Awards program and Gala; the revitalization of the Chamber’s brand to capture its rich history while adapting to the changing identity of Eastie’s business landscape; and the countless new relationships the board built.
“I’d like to sincerely thank the organizations, businesses and elected officials who have so generously supported the Chamber and its efforts during my term,” he said. “To our past presidents who laid the foundation upon which we all stand – thank you for your providence and contributions to the future of East Boston. I’d like to express my deepest gratitude to Neffo Cappuccio, Diane Modica and Thom DePaulo for allowing me to be a student of their remarkable poise and acumen, and for their counsel and wisdom when I needed it.”
Of Di Peitro, Heigelmann said she has impressed him ‘beyond belief’ with her clear vision, relentless drive and ability to get the job done, even in the most challenging conditions.
“It is her time now, and I look forward to seeing all of the exciting things she will bring to fruition during her term,” said Heigelmann. “We are lucky to have her at the helm of our Chamber. Her agility and passion will no doubt benefit the cultural and economic futures of our community.”