Head of Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce to step down

Posted March 25, 2012, at 11:55 a.m.
Last modified March 25, 2012, at 4:57 p.m.

CAMDEN, Maine — The head of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce will be stepping down at the end of the summer after three years on the job to take a new position.

Dan Bookham, 38, of Rockland, said Sunday that he will be starting a new job in September at Allen Insurance & Financial.

He began serving as executive director of the Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce in January 2009. When that group and the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber formed one consolidated chamber last summer, Bookham was executive director of the new, larger group.

“His leadership through the merger process has successfully positioned us for the future,” Frank Isganitis, the president of the Chamber, wrote in an email recently sent to the members of the organization.

Bookham said he is glad to have had the chance to help towns in the midcoast region learn they have more similarities than differences.

“I had a hunch when I came on that a lot of the talk about division in the region was overstated,” he said. “I backed that hunch. The communities all want the same things. They all care for their kids the same way. I’m proud of maybe challenging lazy thinking — people confusing basketball for the economy.”

He said that he has enjoyed being a part of the Chamber’s various activities, including the wide array of festivals that dot the midcoast calendar.

“Why not have a job where we get to talk about serious things, like employment and growth of the economy, but at the same time we get to have fireworks and windjammer parades and lobster festivals?” he asked. “It’s awesome.”

Bookham said he would begin his work at the insurance and financial agency by “going to school for a while.”

“I’ve got to learn — a whole new industry,” he said.