HYANNIS – Wendy Northcross, chief executive officer of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, announced Monday she will retire later this year.
Northcross, who transformed the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce into one of the most influential organizations in the Commonwealth, has led the chamber for 24 years. She will remain as chief executive officer while the chamber board of directors chooses a successor and promised to ensure a smooth leadership transition while overseeing critical ongoing economic development, public policy and organizational initiatives through mid-2021.
“Wendy has positioned the chamber for continued success, and the board remains grateful for her leadership and vision,” said chamber board Chair Linda Markham, president of Cape Air/Nantucket Airlines. “The board looks forward to finding a candidate who will best continue the chamber’s mission to strengthen, support, and promote the Cape’s cultural richness, environmental sensitivity, social needs, and economic viability.”
Resumes for the position can be submitted to CEOselection@capecodchamber.org.
Under Northcross’s leadership the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce grew into one of the top five chambers in the state with more than 1,200 members from all sectors of the Cape’s economy. Northcross has shaped the 100-year-old organization as a respected voice on generational economic issues such as transportation and wastewater infrastructure, tourism promotion and community resiliency. At the same time, she expanded the mission of the chamber into serving entrepreneurs, boosting artisan businesses and launching a significant blue economy initiative.
Northcross began her chamber career in 1988 at the Hyannis Area Chamber of Commerce, where her accomplishments included the founding of the JFK Hyannis Museum, securing the land for the Walkway to the Sea in Hyannis, establishing a fund to protect ponds and coastal waters and agreement by federal and state governments on the development of new Cape Cod Canal bridges.
Recently, she has led through a period of unprecedented change during the COVID-19 pandemic, facilitating the Cape Cod COVID-19 Response Task Force that has advocated for safe business reopening, set safety standards for the travel industry and fought for increased COVID testing.
In retirement, Northcross plans to participate in more of her interests, including volunteerism and community sustainability.
“It has been the honor and privilege of my lifetime to serve as CEO of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, and now, on the anniversary of the chamber’s 100th year, and in a time of rapid change and adaptation, it is time for me to turn the work over to the next generation of leadership who will build on a strong organizational foundation to the benefit of all Cape Codders,” Northcross said.