MANCHESTER — Michael Skelton is returning to the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce as president and CEO, taking over the agency overseeing business interests for the state’s largest city just 10 years after graduating college.
Skelton, 32, spent five years with the chamber from 2005 to 2010 and established himself as a prominent figure in Granite State public relations as a spokesman for Public Service of New Hampshire, the state’s largest power utility.
“I was truly honored and beyond excited for the opportunity,” Skelton said Tuesday after the GMCC Board of Directors confirmed the appointment. “The chamber is such an important operation for the community and can have such an impact on the quality of life and our business environment.”
Skelton said he will start the new job June 9. He spent five years with GMCC early in his young career and advanced to vice president of economic development and advocacy.
“It’s been a passion of mine since I put down roots in the Manchester region,” he said.
Respected by his peers and praised by supervisors, Skelton’s professional reputation has branched throughout the Granite State since he received his bachelor’s degree in political science from St. Anselm College in 2004. Skelton’s first job was liaison to the Executive Council for former Gov. Craig Benson.
Skelton was selected to the 2014 class of “40 Under Forty” young leaders by the New Hampshire Union Leader and serves as co-chairman of the board of directors of Stay Work Play, an initiative to attract and retain young professionals in the Granite State.
Having someone so young at the helm of GMCC was welcome news to Stay Work Play executive director Kate Luczko.
“He’s just really impressive. I think this is a great role for him, especially given his experience there in the past,” Luczko said. “He’s become a real go-to person because he always responds in ways that are useful and effective.”
Luczko said Skelton also always follows through and implements thoughts into plans, showing great influence through his career and work on various boards outside of work.
“We need the voice to say we can do this here,” she said. “We can create this here if it doesn’t already exist.”
Skelton was born in Manchester and grew up in Billerica, Mass., before returning to New Hampshire for college. He and his wife, Emily, just celebrated the birth of their first child, Colin, three weeks ago.
Ronald H. Covey Jr., president and chief executive officer of St. Mary’s Bank and chairman of the chamber’s board of directors, announced Skelton’s appointment in a news release Tuesday.
“Mike brings fresh perspective that will help us shape the future of the state’s largest chamber,” Covey said in the release. “We’ve got an incredibly talented and dedicated staff and an extremely committed board of directors that will guide and support Mike.”