On Thursday night at Spinelli’s Diane Modica was installed as the East Boston Chamber of Commerce’s new President by Senator Anthony Petruccelli. Last week’s installation also included the swearing in of the Chamber’s new board members and officers.
Modica, Eastie’s former City Councilor, has served on the Chamber since 2003 and recently served as the group’s Vice President.
In her speech in front of a crowd of 200 people from Eastie’s business and civic community, Modica said the world of commerce has changed dramatically since her earliest involvement in the Chamber. “Globalization and technology have changed the world that many of us grew up in,” said Modica. “While it is daunting in many ways, I see great opportunity for economic growth and development in the next few years.”
Modica said this year this will be a watershed year for this Chamber and that its challenge is to take the group to another level.
“We are facing exciting and challenging opportunities with a potential casino at Suffolk Downs and a renewed commitment of Mayor Menino to jumpstart the stalled development of the East Boston waterfront,” said Modica. “Our energy and efforts will be focused on promoting and protecting our members interests so that they will benefit and prosper from both large scale and small scale growth opportunities. Our job is to make sure their voices are heard.”
Modica said East Boston has many great attributes that make it an appealing place to live, work and grow a business.
“We have a diverse, and hard working labor force, an active business community, solid banking institutions, great restaurants, proactive and responsive police and fire officials, respected social and health care agencies, great access to public transportation, new and varied housing options, an expanding and impressive park system, beachfront and waterfront property with million dollar views, a unique maritime history, a blossoming visual and performing arts community and a great volunteers who care and commit to promoting and preserving these assets,” said Modica. “We are a proud island and we look at the horizon with a great anticipation that we can be more.”
Modica called the aforementioned the ingredients for the Eastie brand.
“We need to pull it all together in one package and stay on message in a sophisticated and compelling campaign,” said Modica. “A campaign designed to increase our visibility and create a more vibrant image. By integrating these assets into a formidable East Boston brand we can provide significant employment and entrepreneurial opportunities that create and expand markets for our local businesses.”
Modica said she plans to expand the Chamber membership base to include new businesses, young start-ups, women and minority entrepreneurs and existing businesses whose experiences and long-term success can be an inspiration and model to other members.
“There are abundant free resources available from public and private non profits that can be brought to our membership to assist in business plan preparation, financing options, marketing tools including social media and capital improvements,” said Modica. “We will give our members value for their investment in the Chamber because that is what they expect and deserve.”
Modica also plans to update the Chamber’s website, expand its networking options through new technology to keep members and others aware of Chamber activities.
“Our Board of Directors represent impressive resources and includes large institutional employers, non profits and small and medium size business owners,” said Modica. “They bring a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to our mission to guide and assist our members in effectively marketing their businesses and connecting them with resources to better serve their customers.”
Also installed Thursday was First Vice President Pat Todisco, III, Second Vice President Marisa DiPietro, Third Vice President Scott Heigelmann, Treasurer Kim Altschul and Secretary Joanna Cataldo.
The Chamber’s new board members are Phil Giffee, Michael Sulprizio and Bobby Martin.