After a three-month search process that generated over 50 applicants from across the country, the board of directors of the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce has selected Rebecca Swanson Conrad as the agency’s next President and CEO, effective March 27.
Conrad is currently the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Maine College of Art in Portland, where she has worked since 2006. With her husband, she was co-owner of Austin’s Fine Wines and Foods for 20 years, and for three years owned and operated Rÿsen Home Garden & Antiques, a retail gallery promoting local art and products that supported international women’s economic development. Both shops were located in Downtown Auburn.
Prior to Rÿsen, Conrad’s career spanned 21 years in higher education administration at Bates College, including the four years from 1999-2003 when she served as executive director of LA Excels, the college’s non-profit community partnership focused on the development of leadership, arts, educational aspirations and economic revitalization in Lewiston-Auburn.
She served on the Maine Arts Commission for seven years, four as vice-chair. Her leadership positions on volunteer boards have included chair of the Lewiston Auburn Economic Growth Council, past chair of L/A Arts and Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice, and vice chair of the Maine Association of Nonprofits. She has also served on the boards of Advocates for Children, the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce, and the advisory boards of USM/LA College and Central Maine Community College.
Conrad received her BA in English from Bates College and studied in the New England Studies MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine. She lives in Auburn with her husband, Austin Conrad, Jr. and her cat, Charles Mingus.
Conrad was selected through a rigorous search process that was led by an 11-person selection committee, assisted by former board chair Art Boulay of Strategic Talent Management. The group conducted extensive testing of the applicants, thorough reference checks, and three rounds of interviews, the last of which was before the entire board.
The Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is an organization of community-minded businesses that serves Lewiston, Auburn and the surrounding communities. Located at 415 Lisbon Street in the heart of downtown Lewiston, the Chamber offers networking events, professional development opportunities, educational scholarships, and practical resources to help professionals advance and businesses of all sizes grow. The Chamber also provides a collective voice to advocate for issues, influence ideas, and facilitate conversations in support of business, commerce, and community. For more information, call 783-2249 or see lametrochamber.com.