The Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce's new CEO says the organization needs to change its ways if it wants to thrive in the future.
"There was a day, way back when, when businesses would join the chamber because it was their civic responsibility," says Quincy Hentzel. "Those days were gone."
Hentzel stepped in as interim CEO of the business organization in February, and she's now been hired as the chamber's permanent chief executive. She says if chambers of commerce are going to stay relevant, they need to provide services that business owners need.
Hentzel says a big example of this is workforce recruitment - a huge issue in Maine. "We could survey pretty much every single member we have, from a very small sandwich shop up to a publicly-traded global company that's a member of the chamber, and they all have workforce development talent attraction issues."
Hentzel says the chamber's also trying to reach out to immigrant business owners - who aren't well-represented in the organization - and provide more services for women. She also says the chamber's hoping to be part of establishing priorities for the city's growth.