The news was all good at Saturday’s Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce's 98th Annual Celebration at the Elks Lodge in East Gloucester.
The venue was packed and so was the gala’s agenda, with a new president (Tony Sapienza) for 2020 introduced to the crowd of more than 200 business leaders from Cape Ann and beyond, and a heartfelt “thank you” to outgoing president Bruce Feldman, who said his personal goal for last year was to help increase membership and support the effort to find a new headquarters for the Chamber.
And the new year did indeed bring new growth for the Chamber. In 2019, the organization grew to more than 1,000 members, making it the fastest growing chamber in the Commonwealth and the fifth largest in the state under the leadership of CEO Ken Riehl and his staff. At the same time, Riehl announced the Chamber had finalized an agreement that would move the headquarters of the organization from 33 Commercial Street in Gloucester, its home for more than 33 years, to a larger and more
central free-standing space at the intersection of Harbor Loop and Rogers Street, steps from the Gloucester’s historic waterfront and the businesses along Main Street.
Riehl called the move a milestone for the organization, one that reflects its “growth and prosperity and its prominence in the community.”
“These new offices are a reflection of the vibrant future of the Chamber and the entire Cape Ann region,” said Ken Riehl, Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce CEO. “We are proud of the increasingly important role the
Chamber plays in improving the strength of the Cape Ann community, and this move will allow us to take this work to a new level.”
The new headquarters will be 50 percent larger than the Chamber’s existing location, offering a space that will better accommodate the organization’s seven person staff and its growing membership. The Chamber is expected to move into the new offices in April 2020 and will include an expanded visitor center, an exciting and engaging space that will showcase all of Cape Ann.
“Our goal with this move is to better serve Cape Ann with offices that are not only more accessible but also highlight all four of our communities,” said Chamber President Tony Sapienza. “These offices will be a resource for visitors and residents alike, and a hub for Cape Ann’s business, government and community leaders.”