The chief executive officer of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, Wendy K. Northcross, announced earlier this month that she will be retiring from her role at the helm of the chamber after 24 years.
During her tenure, Ms. Northcross built the chamber into one of the top five chambers of commerce in Massachusetts. The Cape Cod Chamber now has more than 1,200 members from all sectors of the Cape’s economy.
“It has been the honor and privilege of my lifetime to serve as CEO of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce,” Ms. Northcross said in a press release. “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.”
As leader of the chamber, Ms. Northcross launched a “blue economy” initiative, expanded the chamber to serve more entrepreneurs and artisan businesses, and focused on issues such as transportation, wastewater infrastructure and tourism promotion.
In coordination with local officials, the Cape and islands legislative delegation, environmental groups and business leaders, Ms. Northcross and the Cape Cod Chamber helped to establish the Cape and Islands Water Protection Fund.
The fund, which the state Legislature adopted in 2018, gathers revenues from a 2.75 percent excise tax on hotel and motel lodging and other short-term rentals, including Airbnb stays. The revenue gathered by the fund is dedicated to addressing the region’s lack of wastewater infrastructure and degrading water quality.
Through the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Northcross has helped facilitate the Cape Cod COVID-19 Response Task Force that has focused on the safe reopening of businesses, setting safety standards for the travel industry and increasing COVID-19 testing and vaccination access.
Ms. Northcross will remain in her role until the chamber board of directors chooses a successor later this year.
“Wendy has positioned the chamber for continued success, and the board remains grateful for her leadership and vision,” board chairwoman Linda Markham, president of Cape Air/Nantucket Airlines, said. “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.”