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Dee Prior Nesti

Quinnipiac chamber’s new executive director optimistic about merger

WALLINGFORD — As Dee Prior Nesti finishes her first month in her new job as executive director of the Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce, she is optimistic about the organization’s merger.

“I believe the way of the future for chambers is through affiliations and working together,” Nesti said.

Nesti was named executive director after Robin Wilson, the former president and chief executive officer, retired at the end of October. Before her promotion, Nesti was the organization’s account executive. She was also involved with event planning and produced press releases, she said.

In late September, the Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce, which has about 500 members in Wallingford and North Haven, announced it would become an affiliate of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce. The merger took effect last month.

Nesti, originally from Cheshire, has been with the chamber for seven years. Before that, she worked for Bear Stearns, co-owned a clothing company, and was an events coordinator at a country club.

With a family at home, she decided she wanted a change. Her husband was a longtime member of the Quinnipiac chamber, and he told her there was an opening.

“When I worked at the country club, the hours were a lot of nights and weekends,” she said. “I just wanted regular hours.

“I loved being in the community and I love the town of Wallingford,” she added.

She believes the merger is beneficial to the Quinnipiac chamber’s members.

“We had some challenges, but with the affiliation with the New Haven chamber we’re stronger than ever,” she said. “We’re still our own entity. We still have our own location and we still have our own events.”

Doreen DeSarro, business recruiter for the town’s Economic Development Commission, said she’s worked with Nesti.

“She’s really good with people,” DeSarro said. “Since she’s also done a lot in organizing a lot of the events, she learned the job from the ground up.”

As an affiliate of the New Haven chamber, Nesti said, the Quinnipiac chamber can develop more programs and attract more members.

“All I can say is that I’ve just been overwhelmed with support I received in the last month or so — it’s so humbling,” she said. (203) 317-2235 Twitter: @EricVoRJ

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