Chamber of Commerce executive director retiring

Rob Carter

MIDDLEBURY — The Addison County Chamber of Commerce board has accepted the resignation of Executive Director Rob Carter, effective Sept. 25.

Board chair Adam Rainville said the directors have “mixed emotions” about Carter’s departure.

“We will be sorry to lose Rob’s leadership and enthusiasm, but at the same time wish him the best in the next stage of his life,” Rainville said in a press release on Thursday.

Carter and his wife plan to move to Virginia in October to be closer to family.

After leaving Soundview Executive Book Summaries to start his own marketing consulting company in March of 2017, Carter began providing member and sales support to the Addison County Chamber, taking on the role of interim president that November and becoming president in January of 2018.

“Rob was tasked by the board to provide support to current Chamber members, to grow the membership ranks, and to build partnerships with other community organizations in order to better serve the needs of Addison County businesses and non-profit organizations. Under his leadership the Chamber has added 112 new members to date and fully developed a benefit-based membership model launched in 2017,” Rainville said. “Additionally, Rob has spent hundreds of hours meeting with members to assure that they are receiving the full value of their membership.”

The Addison County Chamber now has 393 members.

Carter worked on strengthening partnerships with area organizations, working closely with Fred Kenney of the Addison County Economic Development Corp. (ACEDC) on the Addison County Development Council, and helping with the Addison County Workforce Alliance and the Addison County Recovery Team. Carter is also on the board of the Better Middlebury Partnership (BMP), the Neighbor’s Together Committee, and the Vermont Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

He is a member of the Vergennes Planning and Environmental Linkages Study (PELS) 2021 committee, which is evaluating transportation alternatives to reduce the impacts of large trucks on Route 22A in downtown Vergennes while also enhancing the quality of life and economic vitality for residents in and around the Little City. The committee begins meeting in June.

Under his leadership, the chamber worked with the Vergennes, Middlebury and Bristol downtown partnerships on the 10-Day, $35,000 Giveaway campaign, and partnered with United Way of Addison County to build the Emerging Leaders of Addison County group.

Over the past three years the Chamber has grown Vergennes Day and the Bristol Harvest Festival to better serve those communities. Carter made the Chamber’s business seminars a monthly series, and added nonprofit content to the mix. Most recently, he led the Chamber through the challenges of the pandemic, balancing support for members through difficult times with keeping the Chamber financially stable.

“Taking on the leadership role at the Chamber has been very rewarding,” Carter said. “Coming from the business world, running a nonprofit organization has challenged my skills and broadened my experience. While leading through the pandemic has not been easy, we have worked hard to keep every member on board through grants and other creative methods. I think we and the community as a whole have grown stronger and more interdependent over the past 14 months.”

The board of directors has opened a search for a new executive director to take on the role in September. Community members interested in the position can read the job description online at and send their cover letters and resumes to Adam Rainville at [email protected].

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