Noelle’s work in Massachusetts began in 2011 as an employer specialist at the New Bedford Chamber of Commerce (now the SouthCoast Chamber). She’s since become the executive director at the Orleans Chamber of Commerce. “My team of one full time office manager, four part-time, seasonal information specialists, and Chamber volunteers are priceless in assisting me in making our chamber small but mighty,” says Noelle.
What do you do professionally?
Since February 2013 I have enjoyed working as the Executive Director at the Orleans Chamber of Commerce on Lower Cape Cod. Collaboration and engagement are key in my position to administer the goals set forth by our board of directors, a very talented bunch who are definitely some of the movers and shakers in our town. My team of one full time office manager, four part-time, seasonal information specialists, and Chamber volunteers are priceless in assisting me in making our chamber small but mighty. In Orleans we produce over 40 events a year including a concert series, surf film festival, a holiday-themed 5K, a job fair, a home and garden expo, and of course ribbon cuttings and networking events. We assist tens of thousands of visitors in person, over the phone and online with planning their vacations to the area. We also work with our Chamber partners around the state and on Beacon Hill to inform our members about legislative actions that will affect their business. Along with all of this, we produce an award-winning lifestyle publication about our town and have placed second in the Coastal Living Magazine America’s Happiest Seaside Towns competition, a crowning achievement.
How are you involved in the community and what motivates you to engage?
As Executive Director I’m able to fuel my curiosity needs by staying engaged and collaborating with many of our local organizations who are all seeking to make the best Cape Cod it can be. We work with partners at the town, regional and state level frequently. Along with that, I’m the Treasurer for the Massachusetts Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and on the Hometown Chamber’s Council, a community peer group at the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. Both roles allow me to learn from others with more industry experience and usually at larger Chambers.
Besides my work, I’m on the public policy committee for the Cape Cod Young Professionals, a dynamic organization leading the way to keep young professionals like me on Cape Cod. Our main concerns are housing and childcare. My motivation to work with CCYP revolves around my personal experiences trying to stay located on Cape Cod. I too feel the pressure of trying to stay afloat with everything that goes in to ‘adulting’ and the general high cost of living on Cape. Overall, I’m motivated to have these roles due to my past experience living in Nassau, Bahamas. I’m a 14th generation Bahamian and have watched the country change dramatically during my lifetime and not for the better. We are very fortunate in Massachusetts to have the level of public service that we do. My volunteer work and employment are both fueled by my background.
What did you find most valuable about the LSC experience and how did it contribute to your community leadership?
During my tenure at the New Bedford Area, (now SouthCoast) Chamber of Commerce I really enjoyed participating in Leadership SouthCoast. In February of 2011 I received my green card and went on the hunt for employment. In April I started as the Employer Specialist in New Bedford and had really no knowledge about the area. LSC provided me with an insider’s perspective on the region that I would never have experienced in any other program. Even though I now work WAY OUT on Cape Cod, I’m able to have a full regional perspective on issues, and this is all due to having been a part of LSC.
Along with the area knowledge, I met a ton of interesting young professionals who were just like me! It was an absolute joy spending time with so many like-minded people who were all trying to make the South Coast a better place.
Describe your leadership in one word.