Nancy Gray, president and executive director of the Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce for the past five years, has resigned to take a new job with the Meriden-based Community Economic Development Fund.
Stacie A. Lambert, chairman of the Norwich chamber's board, sent a note to the group's membership Thursday indicating that Gray had stepped down. She added in a phone interview that the chamber is already putting out feelers for a new leader, whom the board hopes to name in the next few weeks."Nancy was instrumental in the growth of the chamber and we appreciate her loyalty and dedication," Lambert's announcement said. "She plans on staying involved with the chamber."
Ginger Morse, who had previously announced her intention to leave the chamber, will stay on as membership and communications coordinator. Lambert said Morse had a change of heart about leaving the chamber after hearing about Gray's departure, not wanting the organization's two-person office to be left with a difficult transition period.
Morse will keep the office open over the summer from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, Lambert said.
Gray, a popular figure who attended functions throughout the northern part of New London County since the Norwich group emerged from the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut five years ago, could not be reached for comment.
The Community Economic Development Fund, which Lambert said Gray will serve in an executive capacity, provides financing and business counseling to small businesses and community organizations.
"We're sad to see her go, but we understand it's a good career move," Lambert said. "The community loves her."
Lambert said the Norwich chamber provides member-to-member email services, as well as opportunities for education, insurance and training while also sponsoring events such as ribbon cuttings and sending out informational newsletters. It currently has about 400 members and is growing fast, she added.
"We're seeing this as an opportunity for more growth," Lambert said.