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Executive Director, Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce: Age 33

Jordan Hart

Jordan Hart

Jordan Hart was attending Holyoke Community College and waiting tables at the Yankee Pedlar in Holyoke in early 2013, not really knowing she wanted to do with her life.

She saw an ad for a part-time administrative assistant at the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce, thought about applying, but didn’t, because she thought the job would interfere with her college schedule. But a chance conversation with the chamber’s director, Kathy Anderson, when she came to the Pedlar for lunch prompted her to change her mind.

And that decision changed the course of her career.

Indeed, a decade and a few different positions with the chamber later, Hart is now in Anderson’s former role. And she’s not just leading the chamber, but leading it through an aggressive and much-needed change of course.

Under her direction, the chamber has become more responsive and also more inclusive, a place for business owners of all backgrounds, languages, and experiences.

“I worked for a chamber for a long time, and over the years, I’d seen how businesses had continued to change, but chambers had not changed with business,” she explained. “We weren’t seeing a lot of young entrepreneurs, we were not getting a lot of new members, and we were seeing members drop out because they felt they were not getting value for their membership. And we also weren’t doing much to engage the Latino business community in Holyoke. So I became really motivated to make sure we were a hub for business support and a bridge between Holyoke and its business community.”

Among her many initiatives, Hart has made the chamber an active part of many events and activities, including Holyoke Pride, the Paper City Food Festival, and the Great Holyoke Brick Race. She has also undertaken a rebranding, giving the chamber a new, more modern logo.

Meanwhile, she has made the agency more responsive to the needs of solo-preneurs and startups, which are a huge part of the Holyoke economy, with one-on-one technical assistance available to members free of charge.

Over the years, Jordan herself has become a fixture in Holyoke, lending time and talent to such initiatives as the food festival, the MIFA Victory Theater Entrepreneurial Strike Team, the city’s 150th-anniversary celebration, and the Holyoke Transformative Development Initiative with MassDevelopment.

When not doing any of that, she may be found playing softball, rollerskating, or bartending at Brennan’s, the legendary bar in downtown Holyoke.

In short, Holyoke has become more than a focus; it’s become a passion.


—George O’Brien

Daily News

HOLYOKE — The Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce has named Jordan Hart its new executive director.

“Jordan brings a longtime commitment to Holyoke and to the chamber to her new position,” said Harry Montalvo of bankESB, the chamber’s board chair. “We are looking forward to her leadership in mapping out new strategies to work with our members as we emerge from the challenges of the past year.”

Hart will replace Andréa Marion in the role. Marion recently announced her departure to pursue other opportunities.

“It is such an honor to serve our membership as their new executive director,” Hart said. “I have gotten to know many of our members and business leaders in our community since I started at the chamber in 2013, and I look forward to bringing vibrancy and presence to our membership through new programming and collaborations as we emerge from the limitations imposed by the pandemic. And, of course, I’ll be excited to start seeing our members in person again soon.”

Hart has served in a variety of roles in the past eight years at the chamber, most recently as program coordinator. She is a board member at Enchanted Circle Theater and was a leader of the “Have a Ball in Holyoke” public art effort through Leadership Holyoke. She holds an associate degree from Holyoke Community College and is currently taking courses at Greenfield Community College.

Among the top priorities for the 131-year-old chamber moving forward are re-establishing a solid suite of programming and seminars to support local businesses in their success, continuing to serve as a cheerleader for economic development and job growth in the city, and working with leaders throughout the area to bolster civic pride and quality of life in Holyoke and surrounding communities.

Key to Hart’s responsibilities will be collaborating closely with partners throughout the region, including leaders at City Hall.

“It’s great to see Jordan Hart take the reins of the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce at this critical time,” said Aaron Vega, director of the Office of Planning and Economic Development. “Jordan has been actively involved in every aspect of the chamber’s work for over seven years. I know Jordan is passionate about our city, supporting current business and attracting new businesses here. As director at the Office of Planning and Economic Development, I look forward to working with Jordan in her new role.”