Business leaders from two separate Braintree organizations have come together to form the Braintree Chamber of Commerce, the fourth largest such group on the South Shore with more than 200 member companies.
Michael Wilcox, an officer of South Shore Bank and chair of the new organization, announced to the Town Council on Tuesday night that the Braintree Business Council and Braintree Board of Trade have merged, creating an even more powerful proponent of business interests for the town.
"Now, as one, we're able to amplify our voice," Wilcox said.
Merger talks began last February. For a long time the South Shore Chamber of Commerce handled local advocacy, Wilcox said, but as the business community continued to grow the need for local leadership did as well.
The Braintree Chamber of Commerce will maintain an affiliation with the regional chamber, which will handle some administrative duties. It will host a kick-off event on Jan. 30 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Granite Grill.
Town Council President Charles Kokoros said that the council will do whatever it can to facilitate business growth, including passing ordinances related to signage rules, for example, and in general help promote small business.
"It's important to have this coalition," Kokoros said.
Below are the officers of the new group:
Chair: Michael Wilcox – South Shore Bank
1st Vice Chair: Tom Weitbrecht – Strategic Auction Alliance
Vice Chair Membership: Marta Googins – Fasano's Catering
Secretary: Jenifer Pinkham – Schlossberg & Associates
Robert Gorfinkle – Law Office of Robert Gorfinkle
Richard Frye – Frye Agency
Susan Burns – Braintree Cooperative Bank
Charles Tufankjian – Toyota Scion of Braintree
Charles Murphy – Murphy Insurance Group
John Hafferty – Bin Ends
Carolyn Loud – Braintree Schools
Michael Ford – BELD
John King – Cirees Inc.