WESTPORT, Conn. -- The Westport-Weston Chambers of Commerce named longtime Westport resident and Representative Town Meeting member Matthew Mandell as its new executive director and president.
Mandell is in his fifth two-year term on Westport's Representative Town Meeting representing District One. He chairs the RTM Planning and Zoning Committee and serves on five other committees.
"Matthew has shown a rare ability to advocate and lead," Jonathan Baron, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Chamber, said in a statement. "He's imaginative and processes the right social and technical skills to break new ground in the changing landscape of business in our community. Matthew caught our eye with how he created the Slice of Saugatuck Festival to promote local businesses and his influence to promote what is now a new restaurant district on the west side of the river, downtown."
Mandell is best known for his grassroots advocacy for open space and historic preservation. He has been integral in saving the 22-acre Partrick Wetlands in Westport as well as 6 acres at the White Barn Theater and 11 acres at the Norden property in Norwalk.
Mandell most recently championed the preservation of the Terrain house, the Geiger Barn and the Kemper-Gunn House with its innovative move to town property and its adaptive reuse to promote local incubator retail businesses.
"Westport sells itself. I love this place, and I believe this is a great opportunity to continue my work to make it even better. It's time to revamp what a Chamber of Commerce is and embrace new technology, innovation and adopt new practices to bring our businesses and community together," Mandell said in a statement.
"It's all about building relationships and getting people out to experience and know what our businesses have to offer, everything else will fall into place from there."