Whitten Becomes Executive Director of Merrimack Valley Planning Commission

Merrimack Valley Planning Commission Executive Director Jerrard Whitten. (Courtesy photograph.)

A veteran of the Haverhill-based Merrimack Valley Planning Commission has been named the organization’s executive director.

Jerrard Whitten, who most recently served as the quasi-public agency’s GIS and Information Technology program manager, succeeds Theresa Park who was named deputy director and senior executive vice president of MassDevelopment.

Merrimack Valley Planning Commission Chairman Robert Snow of Rowley said Whitten “brings considerable planning and economic development experience along with strong regional relationships. Jerrard has significant knowledge and understanding of the Planning Commission’s work as he has been an integral part of the organization since 1995.”

The Commission contracted with Community Paradigm Associates and its principal, former Lowell City Manager Bernard F. Lynch, to search for and recruit candidates for the position. Whitten was selected from a field of 22 applicants.

Whitten, of Newbury, said he is honored to be appointed. “For years, I have seen the extraordinary quality of work accomplished by my colleagues at the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission and appreciate how they embrace the organization’s commitment to helping this region thrive,” he said.

Whitten is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a Master of Science in Resource Administration and Management and a Bachelor of Science in Resource Economics.

Besides Haverhill, the Commission serves Amesbury, Andover, Boxford, Georgetown, Groveland, Lawrence, Merrimac, Methuen, Newbury, Newburyport, North Andover, Rowley, Salisbury and West Newbury.

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