MERIDEN — After 20 years leading the Midstate Chamber of Commerce, President Sean Moore is resigning and moving to Nashville, Tennessee.
The chamber’s executive committee accepted Moore’s resignation and appointed a preliminary transition committee to work with the board and chamber stakeholders to ensure a smooth leadership change, according to a statement announcing Moore’s resignation. His last day leading the chamber is July 19.
His wife, Kelley Moore, a field coach-trainer at American Addiction Centers Inc., has accepted a management position at their headquarters in Brentwood, Tennessee, necessitating the move.
Kelley Moore was a successful salon owner on the city’s east side for decades before entering the field of addiction treatment services at Rushford Behavioral Center and later American Addiction Centers.
Sean Moore, 63, was involved in downtown redevelopment and has served on the regional Transportation Strategy Board of Directors and the Workforce Alliance. Moore was in the financial services industry prior to his employment at the chamber.
“It has been my privilege to have served the members of the Midstate Chamber,” Moore said. “In the past 20 years, I have met many creative entrepreneurs and talented business professionals who have taught me so much. We’ve built long-term relationships that will last a lifetime.”
Moore also expressed confidence his departure would not impact the chamber’s standing in the central Connecticut business community.
”This chamber is solid and the organization has proven that we can handle change. The combination of a strong board, dedicated volunteers and seasoned staff will guarantee continued success at the Midstate Chamber,” Moore said.
When Moore joined the chamber 20 years ago, it was known as the Meriden Chamber of Commerce. Years later, it changed to the Greater Meriden Chamber of Commerce and eventually its current name to expand its reach in central Connecticut.
“Sean is leaving the Midstate Chamber of Commerce in the best position possible,” said Nathaniel Bottone, chamber board chairman who will head the transition committee. “We are saddened about his resignation and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors. Rest assured that we have a solid transition team in effect. We are grateful to Sean for his tireless effort and leadership over the past 20 years that has put the chamber on such sound footing.”
Mayor Kevin Scarpati said Moore’s departure is a loss for the city and surrounding towns and hopes his replacement has an understanding of cities like Meriden and the challenges they face.
“Sean has made a large impact on our community,” Scarpati said. “I’m happy for him and Kelley but it’s definitely a loss for the Meriden community.”
Scarpati likened Moore’s position to that of the city’s new economic development director Joseph Feest, who was hired last month. He hopes the new president shares the same energy and visibility as Moore. If his successor isn’t a local person, Scarpati would like to see someone with a business background and an understanding of the city.
“Sean was visible and worked well with others for more than two decades,” Scarpati said. “They are going to be big shoes to fill, that’s for sure.”
Moore was also instrumental in opening the Making Meriden Business Center downtown with the Meriden Economic Development Corp., or MEDCO.
“Sean’s record of accomplishment in his 20-year tenure as president of the chamber is astounding,” said MEDCO President Thomas Welsh. “He was a crucial part of the many accomplishments of the chamber and of economic development initiatives in our region — including the commencement of the Hartford rail line and so much more.”
Moore saw his involvement on workforce and transportation boards as part of his service to the business community.
“I think that’s the work of business advocates,” Moore said. “So whether it’s marketing studies, the Plan of Conservation and Development or studying the Route 5 corridor, our members are busy with their businesses and they don’t have time to set up a legislative breakfast.”
Moving to Nashville is serendipitous for the couple who sing and perform together. Moore said many of the networking and organizational skills used in running a chamber are transferable in the music industry and he looks forward to finding a niche.
Moore also wants to write more songs.
“I will be looking for him at future (Country Music Awards) because I know he intends to attend,” said Eileen Bongiovanni, the chamber’s membership chairwoman. “Our chamber will be just fine because of what he has taught each and every one of us: to support each other, believe in your community, believe in our businesses and don’t be afraid to go where no man has ever gone before.”