Hailey Howard Submitted photo

The Skowhegan Regional Chamber of Commerce has hired Hailey Howard as its new executive director. The position has remained vacant since late January 2022.

Howard is a Skowhegan native and 2013 graduate of Skowhegan Area High School. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maine at Farmington in 2017, and later, her Master of Arts degree from the University of Northern Colorado. She spent the past three years focusing on vocational rehabilitation in the public sector, according to a news release from Luke York, chamber board of directors chair and operations manager at 201 Service.

After moving home in 2018, Howard was employed by the State of Maine in the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, providing guidance to pre- and post-secondary youth and adults with disabilities on workforce development, training and placement.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have had Hailey apply, and since accept, the executive director position with the chamber,” said York. “Her expertise in workforce development within the public sector will provide our area businesses better access to employment growth opportunities. The chamber, along with our community, has experienced vast growth through the energy of young professionals and entrepreneurs returning to the area. Hailey is certainly another example of how fortunate we are to be living and working in the town of Skowhegan.”

“I am so excited to become the new executive director and begin working with our amazing board members,” Hailey said during her first day in the office. “I’m eager to add value to our growing community and work alongside our local businesses. I look forward to meeting our current chamber members and assisting in the process of gaining new ones. Please stop by the chamber to say hello!”

The Skowhegan Regional Chamber of Commerce is fully open for business once again. Since January 2022, the chamber has relied on Julia Turner, its membership and events coordinator and newly appointed board of directors member, to handle the day-to-day business.

“We have to thank our members and the local community for the support they have offered us (the chamber) through this transition,” Sam Hight, board member and local business owner, said. “Since January 2022, the chamber has added nine board members and approximately 40 new business members, and are now in the best position to provide the support, the services and the networking that strong chambers offer to their local communities. We could not have found a better candidate to strengthen the chamber’s mission and to work alongside other local agencies like Main Street Skowhegan and SEDC, to work toward the common good. Skowhegan is currently undergoing the greatest development in decades, and now is the time to capitalize through collaboration and produce and propagate our message: Skowhegan is the best place to live, work and play!”

Through partnership with its local business community, municipalities and other individuals throughout the state, the chamber is working on ways to make the Skowhegan area the best place to live, work and play. With a goal of long-term sustainability and business growth, it focuses on regional projects and objectives that help bring new businesses and additional people to the region.

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