SMITHFIELD – The Triangle East Chamber has announced the hiring of Maureen McGuinness as the Chamber’s new President and CEO. The Chamber’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve McGuinness for the position after a search committee conducted an extensive nationwide search.
The Chamber retained Anissa Starnes with Swingbridge Partners, LLC, to provide oversight for the executive search. McGuinness will begin work officially on April 1, 2022.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the Triangle East Chamber in what will soon be the post-pandemic era of our economy, “ McGuinness said. “It has been a longtime dream of mine to relocate to the Carolinas and as a chamber professional and champion of business, I felt this was the position in the perfect location for me. I look forward to working with the staff, members, and leadership; I look forward to calling Johnston County home.”
McGuinness currently serves as the President of the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce located in Bethlehem, New York. The Bethlehem Chamber serves businesses in the Bethlehem hamlets of Delmar, Elsmere, Glenmont, Slingerlands, North and South Bethlehem, Selkirk, and the surrounding area. Prior to joining the Bethlehem Chamber, she served as the Economic Advancement and Member Relations Manager for the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber in Troy, New York. In total, she has more than 25 years of nonprofit management experience.
During her tenure at the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce, she increased both membership and non-dues revenue, strengthened relationships with legislative leaders at the town, county, and state levels, and created new programming to meet members’ needs. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she created a hardship fund and solicited investors. To date, the Bethlehem Chamber has made more than sixty grants to small businesses. Also, under Maureen’s leadership, the Chamber established a 501c3 foundation to support their workforce development efforts and led their board through a strategic planning process.
McGuinness holds a Communication Arts degree from Marist College. She will be relocating to Johnston County.
Mark McDonnell, Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, said: “The interest level and response to our search from across the country was high. We had over 30 total applicants and many qualified candidates. Maureen McGuinness stood out and is the best fit for our community and the ideal choice for our Chamber. She brings with her a successful track record of chamber management, and has implemented programming in workforce development, strategic planning, creative non-dues programming, and membership retention. With her exceptional background and commitment to advocating for businesses of all sizes, she is positioned to represent every business that our Chamber serves; she will be an asset to our Chamber.”
McDonnell added, “The search committee, along with Anissa Starnes with Swingbridge Partners, were committed to the strenuous process of vetting all of our candidates and we are excited to welcome Maureen to this position and believe that her leadership and strong business acumen will be a great fit for the Chamber and believe she will keep the organization on a path of success for the future.”