Greater Haverhill Chamber Transitioning Leadership
Haverhill, MA – The Greater Haverhill Chamber will soon be kicking off a search for its next leader. Dougan Sherwood has served as President/CEO since 2018 and will be transitioning to the organization’s Board of Directors in January.
“I came to Haverhill because I see the potential in its diversity. It’s a complicated place but it has so much going for it.” said Dougan Sherwood. “This Chamber sees itself as a driver for important growth and change throughout Haverhill. It’s been a wonderful experience working with so many talented people working together to make this organization a leader in Haverhill. I’m excited to move onto the Board to continue this work and to offer my support to our next president.”
Dougan was recruited from the Cambridge Innovation Center three years ago to bring new energy, fresh perspectives, and a stronger competitive edge to our business community. He has brought all those things and much more.
Board Chair Matthew Juros, “The organization that exists today is vastly different than when Dougan arrived. His mandate was to strip the organization to its core and re-build it as a nimble, inclusive community and economic development operator. Today the Greater Haverhill Chamber leans into businesses both emerging and established and the entrepreneurs who lead them. It’s been a heady ride, with Dougan. I am deeply grateful to him and I’m excited to add a new leader to the team so we can continue our work in this burly, vibrant Gateway City.”
Dougan will remain on the board and will continue his guidance of the several on-going programing that have come to define the Greater Haverhill Chamber. His deep commitment to the principles of equity and inclusion have helped to shape the new chamber. They remain corner stones as we forge ahead in pursuit of new opportunities and in support for our loyal and valuable business community.
In his time as President of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, Dougan has led a strategic planning process that has rebranded the chamber as an organization serving its members and the larger, increasingly diverse, Haverhill community through a commitment to inclusive economic development.
He has helped firm up the financial footing of the Chamber, and relocated the Chamber to the iHub at Harbor Place. He has forged vital new strategic partnerships with businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies and other allies in Haverhill and across the Commonwealth.
He has taken essential and immediate steps to diversify leadership on the Chamber’s board and to collaborate with organizations like the Lawrence Partnership and the Lowell Plan to encourage diversifying and preparing the leadership talent pipeline for these vibrant Gateway Cities. His efforts earned him the title of “Gateway Cities Champion” and the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth (MassINC) 2020 Award for Small Business Diversity and Inclusivity.
It is the nature of innovative, agile, new business start-ups, and start-up leaders, to be constantly moving and creating. After launching one of the most important revitalizations of the Chamber in our history, and preparing us to better serve our community and thrive into the future, Dougan is joining a Cambridge start-up focused on scaling Covid-19 testing across the country.
Thankfully, he will be spending the next few months assisting us with this important leadership transition, and plans to transition to the Board of Directors to continue lending his time and talents to our work.
Dougan will also remain involved in Haverhill and the Merrimack Valley in a number of ways and in particular supporting initiatives related to the Merrimack River. His service to the City as part of the Harbor Commission will continue as will his position on the Board of Directors for the Merrimack River Watershed Council.
The Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce has proven itself as an innovative, forward-thinking community partnership—a leader in our region. We will soon be announcing our search for a new President, inviting bold, innovative leaders to apply or to nominate others ready to join us in the exciting and rewarding pursuit of inclusive economic development.
In the words of our new Strategic Vision: “We need to act with a sense of urgency. Consider ourselves in a race. We can be a model for the resurgence of old mill cities that occurs when smart people work hard together.”