It’s often hard to measure how important it is for a community to have an unabashed cheerleader, a person who champions municipal causes and goals and who looks on the bright side not because of some perverse sense of optimism but because of genuine affection. Art Secondo, a former chamber president in Southington, put it very well recently, saying the role demanded quite simply that “you have to have a love for the town.”
For the past 20 years, Meriden has had someone who has a love for the city at the helm of its chamber of commerce. When Sean Moore arrived in the position it was called the Meriden Chamber of Commerce. Then it became the Greater Meriden Chamber of Commerce, then what it is today, the Midstate Chamber of Commerce.
No matter, the role has been the same, and for two decades Moore epitomized what a chamber leader should be.
“Sean is leaving the Midstate Chamber of Commerce in the best position possible,” observed Nathanial Bottone, the chamber board chairman.
“Sean’s record of accomplishment in his 20-year tenure as president of the chamber is astounding,” said Thomas Welsh, president of the Meriden Economic Development Corp.
“Our chamber will be just fine because of what he has taught each and every one of us,” said Eileen Bongiovanni, the chamber’s membership chairwoman. That is, “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.”
People don’t receive such accolades by accident. Moore earned them by tireless devotion. In that effort he was joined by another unabashed cheerleader for the Silver City, his wife Kelley Moore. It’s hard to imagine Meriden without them.
Kelley Moore, a field coach-trainer at American Addiction Centers Inc., has accepted a position at their headquarters in Tennessee. As a recent Record-Journal story noted, the move is “serendipitous for the couple who sing and perform together.”
That reflects a sense of joy that will be hard to replace. Meriden was lucky to have Sean Moore at the helm of its chamber of commerce. Part of his legacy, as Bongiovanni noted, is that the chamber will “be just fine.” But that doesn’t mean he won’t be missed.