Chamber of Commerce appoints new board members

by Alice Zhang | 2/6/18 2:05am

The Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce announced three new members to its Board of Directors for 2018. The new members are Richard Lemay, vice president and branch manager of Mascoma Savings Bank; Michael Scheller, business team leader for mechanized plasma systems at Hypertherm, a local plasma, laser and water jet manufacturer; and Jennifer Poljacik, chief executive officer of the River Valley Club, a local fitness center.

Scheller said he recently moved from Chicago to the Upper Valley. He said he was interested in the joining the Chamber of Commerce both for the community service aspect and to get to know the area’s businesses better. Scheller hopes he will be able to “start setting up some roots in the area,” he said. More specifically, he said he hopes to “help promote the businesses and energize some of the events that have happened in the past.”

Scheller learned about the position when a former board member and coworker at Hypertherm was preparing to leave the Upper Valley and asked if he was interested in the position. From there, he received an interview and has since attended his first board meeting.

“It’s all very new and exciting ... everyone on the Board’s super fun and exciting,” he said.

The Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce aims to improve the economic well-being of the area, according to its website. To do so, members work with the government in the Upper Valley to address local issues and interact with businesses in Hanover, Lyme and Norwich to promote sustainability and recognition, wrote executive director of the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce Tracy Hutchins in an email statement. Currently, the chamber is involved in coordinating and operating the Hanover Farmer’s Market, advocating for legislation to help local business owners and educating businesses owners on marketing, human resources and business operations. The chamber also promotes tourism and writes press releases to help local businesses, Hutchins wrote.

Hutchins wrote in her email that current members of the Chamber of Commerce approve incoming board members. She added that the board aims to constantly introduce new people to the chamber. Thus, members are each allowed a three-year term and a two-term limit. In their first year, Lemay, Poljacik and Scheller will be expected to “serve as the governance of the organization” by managing the budget, making sure that the various tasks undertaken are responsibly done and advocating for the Chamber of Commerce, Hutchins said in an interview.

Michael Cyr, director of marketing at the Skinny Pancake in Hanover, expressed his gratitude to the Chamber of Commerce for welcoming the Skinny Pancake to the area when it opened in the spring of 2016. Skinny Pancake has participated in Hanover Restaurant Week, an event organized by the Chamber of Commerce, for the past two years, he said.

“They’ve been really good advocates on our behalf ... it’s been a positive relationship,” he said.

Lemay was not available for comment by press time. Poljacik did not respond to requests for comment.