Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is the governing body of the Chamber of Commerce. Elected to three-year terms, the directors are nominated by the general membership as well as by the Nominating Committee (a sub-committee of the Board). The Nominating Committee presents its slate at the Annual Meeting. The slate is then voted on by the Chamber membership.

The Nominating Committee presents a slate of officers to the entire board and the board then elects the officers. The officers of the Board of Directors comprise the Executive Committee. Members include: the Chamber President, the Chairman of the Board, the Vice-Chairman of the Board, the Assistant Treasurer, the Secretary, and the Immediate Past Chairman of the Board. The Executive Committee meets monthly prior to the full Board meeting.

Sub-committees of the Board of Directors are established as needed. Sub-committees have included the Strategic Development Committee and the Nominating Committee.

For more information on the Board of Directors, contact JoAnn Ryan, the Chamber President & CEO at 860-482-6586 or e-mail

Government Relations Committee

The Government Relations Committee of Northwest Connecticut’s Chamber of Commerce meets on the second Thursday of the month. The Committee works closely with the Chamber’s lobbyist, Mike Rell, following the activities of the State Legislature.

The Committee develops an annual Legislative Agenda which is furnished to the Chamber’s Board of Directors for their approval and then presented to the State Legislative Delegation from the Northwest Corner. The Agenda reviews those issues that are priorities to the business community of Northwest Connecticut.

The Government Relations Committee also works with the Chamber staff to host the Candidate’s Forum, Legislative Reception, and the Connecticut Business Day.

For more information on the Government Relations Committee, contact JoAnn Ryan, Chamber President & CEO at 860-482-6586 or email

Membership Committee

Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce’s Membership Committee is a group of dedicated individuals who assist the Chamber staff throughout the year. Under the Membership Committee umbrella, there are three distinct groups: Member Ambassadors, Hospitality and Community Representatives.

Our Member Ambassadors work with the Chamber staff to welcome and acquaint new members to the organization. It is their role to reach out to an assigned member once a month and assure they are informed of upcoming events, are introduced to fellow members at the events and have any questions they may have answered by the staff. In addition, the Ambassadors are in touch with renewing members in order to support member retention.

The Hospitality group is visible at each Business After Hours event assisting with registration, greeting members, and manning beverage tables. They also make it a point to welcome the newest members of the Chamber at the networking events. Additionally, the group assists the staff annually with the distribution of the Chamber’s Business and Membership Directory.

Our Marketing & Communications sub-committee works closely with the Chamber staff to sustain and amplify the Chamber brand; to inform and promote events to members and the public; to evaluate the effectiveness of marketing efforts; to create or refresh initiatives and materials; and to assist and advise the staff, Membership Committee, and board.

For more information on the Membership Committee, contact JoAnn Ryan at 860-482-6586 or e-mail

Insurance Committee

The Insurance Committee meets the 3rd Tuesday of the month to review issues pertaining to those in the industry as well as to support the Northwest Connecticut Benefit Center and the Chamber Insurance Trust. The Benefit Center, established in 2004, allows the Chamber to market the insurance products available to members through the Chamber Insurance Trust. Products include: Group Health Insurance, Group Dental Insurance, Disability Insurance.

The Chairman of the Insurance Committee (currently Richard Whitbeck, Innovative Health Concepts) is a monthly contributor to the Chamber’s newsletter. Topics of interest to the entire membership are addressed.

For more information on the Insurance Committee or the Northwest Connecticut Benefit Center, contact the Chamber at 860-482-6586.

Celebration of Success Committee

Nominations for the annual awards are submitted by the general membership. The Celebration of Success Committee is responsible for reviewing those nominations and ultimately determining the honorees for the annual awards. The Committee also plans the evening that honors the awards recipients. Members of the Celebration of Success Committee include past recipients and representatives from the membership at large.

For more information on the Celebration of Success Committee, contact JoAnn Ryan at 860-482-6586 or e-mail

WOW! Forum Advisory Committee

The WOW! Forum Advisory Committee works all year long to plan the annual WOW! Women’s Forum held on the first Friday of October at the Warner Theatre in Torrington.

The WOW! Forum is a full day professional women’s seminar featuring keynote speakers, meals, networking and a silent auction.  Women from all over Connecticut attend the event each year.

The WOW! Advisory Committee selects the speakers, theme for the day, meal options, and works on the silent auction.

If you’d like to be on the WOW! Advisory Committee, please email