WESTFIELD — Kate Phelon, executive director of the Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce, announced she will be retiring on Sept. 25.
Phelon has been instrumental in growing the chamber from when she started in 2011 to more than 260 members and increasing program revenue. In addition to membership growth, Phelon established public-private relationships that led to her appointment by Gov. Charlie Baker to the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative in 2016. Also in 2016, her collaboration with Stefan Czaporowski, superintendent of Westfield Public Schools, created the Westfield Education 2 Business Alliance, which gained local, regional, and state recognition for bridging the business community to education through its mentoring program, the Adopt-a-Classroom initiative, and the High School Career Fair.
Phelon currently sits on the Economic Development Partners committee, working with economic-development professionals from Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties, as well as regional employment boards, the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, MOBD, MassDevelopment, and other chambers of commerce. She created and hosted Chamber Chatter in 2017 and still hosts the monthly radio show on WSKB 89.5 FM, showcasing a chamber member each month.
In 2018, her schedule permitted her to once again sit on the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission’s Plan for Progress coordinating council. She is a corporator at Westfield State University and the Westfield Athenaeum as well as an ex-officio board member of Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail and a member of the Rotary Club of Westfield.
Dino Gravanis, president of the Greater Westfield Chamber board and general manager of Springfield Country Club, will coordinate the search for the next executive director.