Haverhill Chamber Head Receives Derry Job; Replacement Search Begins

Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Beverly J. Donovan, center, with Haverhill Bank President Thomas L. Mortimer on her left and Mayor James J. Fiorentini at a business ribbon cutting. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Derry’s gain is Haverhill’s loss as the president of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce received the New Hampshire town’s nod Tuesday night to become its next economic development coordinator.

Beverly J. Donovan, who has served as the Chamber’s president and CEO since September of 2016, said she received notification last Friday of the job offer, pending confirmation by the Derry Town Council. She begins in two weeks, but will stay on at the Chamber part-time until the end of March to help with the transition.

For Donovan, of Salem, N.H., it is a return to her passions. She first came to the Haverhill Chamber four years ago as economic development director.

“Haverhill had so much going on—so much excitement here, and I wanted to be part of it. That’s worked out really well for me and that really is my love—doing economic development,” Donovan told WHAV.

Asked what she considered were her biggest accomplishments at the Chamber of Commerce, she said she was able to upgrade all of the Chamber’s systems and streamline operations. Her largest achievements, though, centered on helping the city grow.

“I’m really proud of the work that we were able to do with the Mount Washington Alliance in winning the Working Cities Challenge Grant, and also partnering with the Planning Commission and UMass-Lowell on the Mass Innovation Nights,” she said.

According to Derry’s employment posting, the economic development coordinator will “lead efforts assisting the community to achieve its economic development goals.” The job involves establishing a productive relationship between the business community; reviewing, assessing and implementing various studies; identifying current and potential development and redevelopment opportunities; and implementing and continuously reviewing and refining the town’s Economic Development Strategic Plan.

The Chamber’s executive committee met Wednesday morning and will meet again Friday to begin the process of selecting Donovan’s replacement.

Donovan, who in 2010 received her master’s in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University, said she previously helped Derry with the sale of town-owned real estate.