WILMINGTON — Ethan Schoonmaker has accepted the interim executive director position at the Southern Vermont Deerfield Valley Chamber of Commerce.
“I’m excited to be the new executive director and I’m excited to get to work with the board and volunteers serving the local businesses and communities.”
A graduate of Wilmington High School, Schoonmaker earned his Business Administration and Marketing degree from the University of Vermont before relocating to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. After seven years of skiing, mountaineering, and endurance cycling throughout the Tetons and Rockies, he returned home this September with his girlfriend and fellow Valley native, Christina Chapman. They are excited to be close to family again and to be embarking together on the next phase of their lives.
“While the Valley continues to endure the challenges and hardships brought on by the temporary pandemic, the sense of community and connectedness has never been stronger. This will be a critical aspect of the Valley’s post-pandemic resurgence, and I’m committed to working towards the brightest possible future for our Deerfield Valley.”
The 50-year history of this organization features many familiar businesses and business leaders, beloved events big and small, and numerous triumphs over local, regional, state and national challenges. But, like many in the business community, the pandemic has created significant financial and operational challenges for the Southern Vermont Deerfield Valley Chamber of Commerce.
The global impact of the pandemic on travel and the economy created a situation requiring the furlough of all chamber associates, the cancellation of all summer and fall events and the temporary closure of the chamber Welcome Center itself. As has been the case over and over in the Deerfield Valley, through the help of volunteers, board members, and chamber members, the Chamber Visitor Center was able to reopen over the summer and continues to be open on weekends. Visitors must wear a mask and keep 6 feet apart.
The chamber’s board of directors is now working to put a plan in action to fully reopen the chamber to support members, starting with the hiring of Schoonmaker as executive director and securing the next generation of chamber leadership and sustainability by filling the vacant board seats. Members interested in serving on the chamber board may nominate themselves by submitting their name to email@example.com.
The chamber recently sent out membership correspondence to all past members and is encouraging business members and community members to rejoin the chamber to support the restart of critically needed chamber services.
Prior and potential members and new businesses, sole proprietors, and Deerfield Valley residents interested in supporting the Deerfield Valley business community and the chamber are invited to stop by the Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Center at 21 West Main St. in Wilmington or send an email to info@ visitvermont.com for information.