40 Under 40 Class of 2009

Tony Maroulis

Tony Maroulis

Age 36: Executive Director, Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce

Tony Maroulis likes to tell a story — a long one.

Early in his career, this former New Jersey boy wanted to be a novelist, so he moved to New York City and began work on a science-fiction piece that went on, and on, and on. “It was experimental fiction,” he confessed. “I was obsessed with it.”

To support his literary efforts, Maroulis took a job at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “I started off as a security guard and wound up working in the Operations department as an exhibitions assistant,” he said. The job fueled a passion for art and introduced him to the woman he would later marry. The couple settled down in Pelham, where Maroulis continued to work on his novel while staying home to raise their first child (they now have two).

By the time the baby was walking, Maroulis found a new outlet for his passion: local arts and culture. In 2004, he held a marketing role at the Emily Dickinson Museum. Later he served as project coordinator of Museums10, a consortium of museums associated with the Five Colleges. And last year, Maroulis took over as executive director of the 600-member Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce, introducing successful new programs like the ‘brown bag’ series.

“We invite members to present on topics on their expertise without doing it in any hard-sell way,” he said.

In 2007, Maroulis and his wife co-founded Wünderarts gallery in Amherst. He also serves on several boards, including the Amherst Walk Committee, Art Show Amherst, and the Amherst Club, to name just a few.

These days Maroulis writes to promote the local economy. As for his original piece of fiction, it was published somewhere, “but it’s impossible to find,” he said. “It’s not that bad — the main problem is it’s dense.”

—Amy Castor