The Cohase Chamber of Commerce board of directors is pleased to announce that Ruth Ann Hacking of Haverhill, N.H., has been named the new executive director. She succeeds Sarah Pushee, who left the Chamber earlier this year to focus on her family and her other active roles in the community.
“The hiring committee was universally impressed with all of Ruth Ann’s experiences and skills, and we are excited for all of the possibilities that will come with her as the executive director,” states Andrew Barter, board president of the Cohase Chamber and chief operating officer of Little Rivers Health Care in Bradford, Vt.
Hacking grew up in New Hampshire and is a graduate of Smith College. She brings to the position a passion for local economies and a career spent managing a range of small businesses, from software development to agriculture. She is the owner of Half Wild Arts, a farm in North Haverhill, N.H., producing locally grown herbal body care products, and was previously the Farm & Food Program Manager at the Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network in Bethlehem, N.H.
“I believe that we are stronger when we work together and use technology to expand rural economies without giving up our local character,” says Hacking. “These issues have been forced into the spotlight recently with the outbreak of COVID-19 and the rush to do business from a safe distance, but they are not new problems for businesses in the Cohase region, and the urgent times that we find ourselves in provide us with an opportunity to find solutions as a community.”
Hacking joined the Chamber on March 10, 2020, and focused immediately on providing resources and support to local businesses impacted by COVID-19.
The Cohase Chamber of Commerce serves the Vermont towns of Newbury, Bradford, and Fairlee and the New Hampshire towns of Haverhill, Orford, and Piermont. The Chamber provides member businesses with regional marketing, networking and educational opportunities as well as sponsoring community events such as Paddle the Border and the Annual Farm and Garden Tours.