Chad Stearns has moved from representing the business community to helping them manage their money.

On Friday, Stearns closed up the Littleton Chamber of Commerce office for the last time. It had been his professional home for the past five years.

"The Chamber was my first full-time job out of college," Stearns said on Friday. "They hired me as the only full-time employee, but not executive director at first. A year later, I was promoted to executive director."

At the helm of the chamber of commerce, Stearns spearheaded many projects and improvements. Among the accomplishments that he's most proud of, he lists moving the chamber into its home at the Littleton Opera House, town beautification including pianos and flowers, as well as new and revived community events.

"We've been able to do quite a bit in a tough economy," he said, "maintaining membership and bringing in new events." In fact, the number of chamber members has held steady at approximately 300 during Stearn's time there.

Stearns is making the move to become branch manager and loan officer for the Bethlehem and Franconia branches of the Connecticut River Bank. "It was a great opportunity that I couldn't pass up," he said. "It's something that's always intrigued me." He'll begin his new job on April 15.

He's also excited about staying local in the North Country. "I'm still going to be in the community," he said. "I plan on helping [the chamber] out through the transition, with the search and preparing documents for the new management. I've told everybody that I'm here to help."

Daniel Stannard at Connecticut River Bank said of Stearns, "We are excited to bring on such a well-known and local professional to the CRBNA team. Chad's extensive understanding of the needs of businesses and the local economy will greatly benefit our customers and The Northern Region employees alike."

Chamber President Alycia Vosinek also has nothing but kind words for Stearns. "We're obviously very grateful for the five years that he spent with us. He was a great addition to our organization and he did a lot of wonderful things. We really wish him the best with his new career path."

The chamber isn't wasting any time moving forward. Vosinek said that the chamber has received about 20 resumés for the executive director position, and that the calibre of candidates was very high. "We were really happy with the quality of resumés that came in," she said. "It made it harder to make the decision."

Looking to the future, Vosinek hopes that the organization can reach the next level. "We're trying to do better and be better for our membership and for the community. That's what we're going to be looking at: continuing the things that we do well and tweaking the things that we need to do better. We're headed in the right direction."

On Wednesday, the Littleton Chamber announced that Lauren Alberini has been named as the next executive director. She has been the marketing director for the Littleton Food Co-op (read more about Alberini in the Professional Update column.)

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