AUGUSTA — Ross Cunningham, who has been president and chief executive officer of the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce for two years, is stepping down; his last day is Friday.

The announcement came Tuesday evening in an email to chamber members from the chamber’s board of directors.

In the email, Eric Jermyn, chairman of the board, said the board appreciated Cunningham’s leadership over the past two years.

“Ross brought about several new programs and enhanced existing program,” Jermyn said. “He leaves the chamber in a strong position.”

The note said Cunningham is stepping down to pursue other opportunities. Cunningham did not immediately return a call for comment.

Cunningham was hired in December 2014 and started work in January 2015, following the retirement of longtime chamber President Peter Thompson.

Cunningham, with his staff, implemented several changes during his tenure, including changing the annual awards banquet to the black-tie optional “Kenney Awards”; introducing the ColorDash, which drew 500 “colorful” runners running through downtown Augusta; and overseeing the creation of the Small Business Resource Team, a program designed to assist small businesses in managing for success. Cunningham also moved the chamber office to its new location at 269 Western Ave., which has increased its visibility.

“It has been a joy getting to know the businesses and people of the Kennebec Valley over the last two years,” Cunningham said in the email. “This is a phenomenal organization with an incredible staff that has accomplished great things during my time here. I look forward to seeing the continued success of the chamber and the community as a whole.”


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