PORTLAND, Maine — Portland Regional Chamber has announced that Christopher J. Hall has been hired as its new chief executive officer. Hall will begin his duties immediately.
James Cohen, a partner with the law firm Verrill Dana, LLP and chairman of the Portland Regional Chamber, said: “On behalf of our entire Board of Directors, and the whole Portland Regional Chamber community, we are delighted to welcome Chris as our new CEO. His 23 years of Chamber experience and his dynamic and collaborative leadership style are exactly what we wanted in our next leader. We all look forward to a new chapter in the Chamber’s on-going work for greater prosperity in each of the communities that make up our region.”
The Portland Regional Chamber conducted an extensive nationwide CEO search that attracted almost 85 candidates. Following an initial screening process, several rounds of interviews, which included broad participation from the Community Chambers, PROPEL, staff, and community leaders, the Board ultimately selected Chris to lead the Portland Regional Chamber forward.
Hall has served as the Portland Regional Chamber’s senior vice president for the last six years and as acting CEO for the past two months. Prior to his work in Portland, Hall was senior VP and general counsel at the Maine State Chamber of Commerce for 17 years.
Hall already is working with his Regional Board, the five Community Chamber Boards, and PROPEL to re-shape the Chamber’s focus. He said: “I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the opportunity to work with our 1,250 members, our community volunteers, and our external partners to expand the Chamber’s ability to make our region a stronger, more prosperous place. From new partnerships like Portland ConnectED to reinvigorated Community Chamber initiatives, I’m looking forward to new energy, new connections, and new successes in the years ahead.”
Hall will lead a strategic planning effort within the Chamber that’s expected to be unveiled at the organization’s annual meeting in September. Hall said “We’re building on a strong foundation, but you can expect some significant changes in the months ahead. Everything we’re working on is intended to broaden our ability to make our eight communities stronger – in every sense of the word.”
The Portland Regional Chamber serves Cape Elizabeth, Cumberland, Falmouth, Gorham, Portland, Scarborough, South Portland and Westbrook. The Chamber also supports PROPEL, its young professional group, and works closely with public and private sector leaders across the region.