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Fort Fairfield Chamber of Commerce Redefining Itself After Town Withdraws Staff Support


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, November 22, 2017


   As of June 30, 2017 the Fort Fairfield Chamber of Commerce has been without an Executive Director.

   Around 2003, Fort Fairfield town staff began the duties of the Chamber's Executive Director, but the two entities did not fully merge. 

    At its December 21, 2016 meeting, the Fort Fairfield Town Council voted to end staff support to the Chamber of Commerce effective June 30, 2017 and stated they were willing to meet with the Chamber Board of Directors to discuss ways the Town could support the Chamber during the next two years.   

   While the Chamber of Commerce's Executive Director had traditionally been the director of the Maine Potato Blossom Festival, this decision will not adversely affect the Festival since it is now an event produced by the Town of Fort Fairfield administration, and not the Chamber of Commerce.  The town of Fort Fairfield is currently advertising for a contracted position for Festival Director for the 2018 Festival.

   The Chamber is currently in the process of merging with the Fort Fairfield Quality of Place Council.  “The FFCC Board of Directors has approved a merger of resources and operations with the Fort Fairfield Quality of Place Council,” said Quality of Place Council chair, Phil Christenson.  “That process is still ongoing and more information will be provided in a press release scheduled to be issued Friday, November 24.”

   The FF Chamber of Commerce's major production is the annual Agri-Business Trade Fair, which is held at The Forum in Presque Isle.  They also have sponsored the annual Christmas in the Village celebration in early December for at least the past ten years.

   According to Christenson, the Christmas in the Village event the Chamber sponsored in years past will not take place in Fort Fairfield this year. But, there are plans for the new organization to continue producing the Trade Fair.  Tim Goff, one of the directors of the Quality of Place Council, has begun organizing the Trade Fair scheduled for March 24 - 25 in 2018.”

  Invitations to vendors and other information on the Trade Fair will be mailed out this week.

   The Fort Fairfield Chamber of Commerce currently has no plans to hire an executive director.