Ashley Haseltine has a vision- to grow the Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce into even more of a local powerhouse as its new president. The former Windham native has been helping businesses build up communities for almost 10 years and now brings that experience (with some heart) to Derry.
Haseltine has been on the job for only a month. She said she feels qualified because of the wide breadth of her work. She’s been with big companies, nonprofits and co-runs a family-owner construction business with her husband, Nick.
Her role as president is to “work with the board to set goals and direction for the year.” The goal for 2018 is to grow the chamber by bringing in new members and encouraging old ones to return. Haseltine said there are currently around 300 members, but she would like to have 350 by the end of next year.
Promoting the chamber and its membership perks is another goal. One way Haseltine does that as president is to encourage business owners to participate in and sponsor networking events, like a “business after hours” get together.
Haseltine understands that not all events work for all businesses. She likes to mix it up with various kinds, like roundtable discussions, luncheons and open forums. There is an upcoming one on energy and how businesses can be more effective with their energy use, which can be a big money saver as we approach winter in the Granite State. These events are posted on the chamber’s website, so businesses can see which ones they would like to attend.
Haseltine has an knack for creating events and fundraising. She first started with volunteering for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Salem. She then went on to work for the ACS for eight and a half years. During that time, she began working within the development department and was able to start coordinating her own events and fundraisers. From there she went to work for The Residence at Salem Woods, an independent and assisted living facility in Salem. She finally left because she desired more balance in her family and work life.
Working at the Chamber of Commerce provides Haseltine with the type of job she feels best suits the needs of her and her family. “It’s not a time-based field,” she said. She felt she can relax at home without worrying about her “work list running through her head.” This gives her time to focus on her children, a 4-year old and 10-month old twin foster boys.
Haseltine said she may create a roundtable discussion for members to brainstorm how to achieve a sense of balance and value between their careers and home lives. She recognized that everyone is different and workers and business owners need to find what’s right for them.
“It’s ok to love your job,” she said. When it comes down to it, she said, “it’s not about the number of minutes, but the quality of the time” people spend with their families.
Before Haseltine can set up an event, she first runs it past the Board of Directors. “I always appreciate their insight,” she said. The important thing to her, she noted is to make sure each and every event has value for the members.
Haseltine knows what sort of events chamber members value because she has been part of the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce for the last four years with Haseltine Builders, LLC. She is also a member of the Greater Salem Rotary Club. She said she plans to attend meetings for the Rotary clubs in Londonderry and Derry to build her relationships with local business owners and see how they can partner up more with the Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce.
Business owners interested in joining the chamber can fill out an application online at gdlchamber.org