Last Friday, February 17, our board of directors concluded a 3-month search for a new President and CEO of the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. Rebecca Swanson Conrad will begin as our new President and CEO on March 27, 2017. The search process was extensive, generating over 50 applicants from across the country. Our 11-person selection committee led the search process, which included three rounds of interviews, with the final being in front of the entire board, extensive testing of the applicants, and thorough reference checks. We were thrilled with the tremendous interest in the position from a group of highly qualified applicants.
Rebecca Swanson Conrad is currently the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine where she has worked since 2006. She was co-owner with her husband of Austin’s Fine Wines and Foods for 20 years, and for 3 years owned and operated Rÿsen Home Garden & Antiques, a retail gallery promoting local art and products that supported international women’s economic development. Both shops were located in downtown Auburn. Prior to Rÿsen, Conrad’s career spanned 21 years in higher education administration at Bates College, including 1999-2003 when she served as executive director of LA Excels, the college’s non-profit community development partnership in Lewiston-Auburn focused on leadership, arts, educational aspirations and economic revitalization. She served on the Maine Arts Commission for seven years, with four as vice-chair. Volunteer board roles include chair of the Lewiston Auburn Economic Growth Council, past chair of L/A Arts and Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice, vice chair of the Maine Association of Nonprofits and as a board member of Advocates for Children, the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce and the advisory boards of USM/LA College and Central Maine Community College. Conrad received her BA in English from Bates College and studied in the New England Studies MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine. She lives in Auburn with her husband Austin Conrad, Jr. and her cat, Charles Mingus.
The entire board of directors, and particularly our 11-member selection committee deserve a tremendous amount of credit for the time and effort they put into a very extensive search process. They were ably assisted by former board chair, Art Boulay of Strategic Talent Management.