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  • Chamber holds great annual meeting in an ‘Amazing’ setting

    We kick off summer with Annual Membership meeting on the Rep set of ‘Joseph’ 

    PORTSMOUTH--The Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth held its annual meeting in the theatrical setting of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at Seacoast Repertory Theatre on June 20—but the program was down to business. 

    President and Chief Collaborator Ben VanCamp spoke of the Chamber’s accomplishments of the past fiscal year and goals for year ahead.  

    The Chamber has stressed, and will expand upon partnerships with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program partners including the Business Alliance for People of Color (BAPOC), Seacoast Outright, Access Navigators and Twenty-One Senses. In addition, addressing affordable housing challenges remains in the forefront of the Chamber’s work. Our workforce needs to be able to live in this city. 

    CCGP will continue its support of Career and technical education (CTE); and looks forward to Candidate Forums for 1st Congressional District and the governor’s race as well as refreshing its 501c3 Foundation. 

    In addition, the Chamber thanked outgoing board members and welcomed new members to the board. 

    For their many years of service, the Chamber thanked Lisa Gainty of BankProv, Wendy Clement of Kennedy Gallery and Custom Framing and Russ Grazier of Portsmouth Music and Arts (PMAC). VanCamp said, “Each of these individuals have made amazing contributions to the Chamber and will be missed deeply.”  

    New Board leadership
    In addition, VanCamp gave a big thank you to Lindsey Donohue, of Keane, Macdonald & Donohue, P.C. for her leadership as Board Chair, and who now moves into the past chair role. “I look forward to working with Amy Amirault (Colwen Hotels) as she steps in to this role,” he said of the new board chair. New board leadership also includes Vice Chair Shane Brewer, of Franklin Savings Bank; Treasurer Tom Andruskevich, of Great Bay Community College.  

    After the meeting, members were invited to stay for a celebratory toast and visit Robert at the bar, who had amazing  themed drinks for sale, including the “and Blue...”  

    A big thank you goes to to Kristen Dalton and the Seacoast Repertory Theatre staff, who hosted the June 20 Annual Membership Meeting. And best wishes for the best of “Joseph’s” run (through July 13!) 

    New Board Members
    Although the Chamber will say goodbye to three, directors, the organization will be buoyed by four new board members elected at the meeting: Mamadou Dembele of Bangor Savings Bank; Kara Anne Rodenhizer, Ph.D., of Home For All and Granite United Way; Susan Labrie, of The Labrie Group and Linnea Grim of Strawbery Banke Museum. 

    About Mamadou Dembele 
    Mamadou Dembele is the vice president and regional market manager for New Hampshire at Bangor Savings Bank. In his current role, Dembele is responsible for the growth and development of The Bank’s eight New Hampshire Branches as well as overseeing The Bank’s Corporate Giving for the New Hampshire region. Outside of work, Dembélé is an active community member, often volunteering at local non-profits and mentoring young professionals in the finance sector. 

    About Kara Anne Rodenhizer 
    Kara Anne E. Rodenhizer, Ph.D. (she/her) is the director of Housing Initiatives at Granite United Way and executive director of the Home for All Coalition, a diverse, multi-sector partnership of more than 50 individuals and organizations working collaboratively to address homelessness and housing insecurity in the Greater Seacoast Region of New Hampshire and Maine. Rodenhizer lives in Portsmouth with her partner and three children and currently serves as vice chair of the Portsmouth Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, vice president of the New England Women’s Affordable Housing Network, and is a member of Housing Action New Hampshire’s Governing Council. 

    About Susan Labrie 
    Skilled in fundraising, marketing strategy and sponsorship management, Susan Labrie has used all of those skills and more in her family’s restaurant organization, The Labrie Group. Labrie holds a bachelor's in civil engineering from the University of New Hampshire and an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University. Most recently, Labrie was an integral member of the leadership team of Portsmouth NH 400, an inclusive celebration of the diverse and dramatic evolution of New Hampshire’s only seaport, a celebration that layered in programs and events leading up to 2023 and beyond. She lives with her husband Michael in Rye. 

    About Linnea Grim 
    Linnea Grim is the president and CEO, Thomas W. Haas Endowed Chair, of Strawbery Banke Museum. She joined the Strawbery Banke team in March 2023 after having spent 16 years at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello serving as director of education and visitor programs prior to joining Monticello’s executive team in 2021. She has a bachelor of arts degree, magna cum laude, from the College of William and Mary, and a master’s degree in history museum studies from The Cooperstown Graduate Program. 

    About the Chamber Collaborative 

    The Chamber Collaborative’s mission is to lead the greater Portsmouth business community as a convener of people, businesses, and organizations, through innovative and responsive communication, education, advocacy, and collaborative opportunities. Visit https://portsmouthcollaborative.org/ for information.