Merrimack Chamber selects new presidentBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
March 20. 2017 9:43PM
MERRIMACK — The Merrimack Chamber of Commerce has selected a new leader for its organization.
Melissa Ballard Sullivan has been named the new president of the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce, replacing Dawn Shepherd who will be traveling to Thailand to teach English.
“This is such a natural fit for me,” said Sullivan, the former director of development and public relations at Marguerite’s Place Inc. in Nashua.
Monday was her first day on the job, and Sullivan said she was excited about the opportunity and looking forward to getting started.
“This is a great group of people here at the Merrimack Chamber. They have some wonderful initiatives planned,” said Sullivan, who has a background in marketing, public relations and strategic communications.
Among those initiatives is the creation of a new educational nonprofit that would increase scholarship funding for Merrimack High School graduates.
The chamber is also exploring the possibility of forming a government affairs committee, according to Sullivan.
“We would love to see the chamber increase its members and increase its networking opportunities,” said Sullivan.
She added that is her goal to collaborate with the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce and the Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce on different ideas.
Under her new role, Sullivan will be responsible for the chamber’s daily operations, the execution of its strategic plan and enhancing the organization’s brand in the community. Sullivan said she is also charged with promoting membership growth. The chamber has about 200 members.
“We are very excited to have Melissa on board. She has great nonprofit experience, and she is very well known,” said Karen Keating, chairman of the chamber’s board of directors. “She has an incredible amount of energy.”
According to a statement from the organization, Sullivan is committed to building on the chamber’s rich legacy and working with members to guide its continued success.
The chamber, which was founded in 1928, supports and enhances member businesses in a variety of ways that allow them to connect with Merrimack-area residents and other businesses through business development programs, publicity and networking.
While saying farewell, Shepherd said she is confident that she is leaving the chamber in good hands.
“It has been a pleasure to serve in this role ... We are a strong organization, and that is largely due to the generous and giving nature of our members,” Shepherd said in an online statement.