The Hull Nantasket Chamber of Commerce is in search of a new administrator, following Renee Kiley’s resignation last fall, and the “connection-based” position will be posted on social media once the job description is finalized, according to President Adrian Muir.
“We’re interested in candidates who are familiar with town events and who have hometown and regional connections and social media skills to promote the chamber” and all that it does, Muir told The Hull Times.
As a 12-year, full-time resident, Kiley brought to the chamber a deep and wide base of knowledge about the town. Replacing Kiley, who now works at Town Hall, splitting her time between the Department of Community Development and Planning and the Conservation Department, will not be an easy task, Muir acknowledged.
“Renee was phenomenal. She was able to multi-task and foresee things that we hadn’t discussed yet and be prepared for them,” he said. “Then the pandemic hit, and the world was flipped upside down and sideways, and Renee was instrumental in spearheading support for our restaurants.”
Kiley went door-to-door, collecting menus to post on a special chamber website link to help increase business for Hull’s eating establishments, which were hard-hit by the pandemic. With the help of Kat Wasabi, the information was uploaded. “It was a huge task,” Muir noted.
The ideal candidate for the administrator position will also have “personal familiarity with the events the chamber has been running year after year, including the Holiday Showcase, Endless Summer, and the [town-wide] Stem to Stern yard sale,” he explained. “We’re looking for someone with hands-on experience as either a volunteer, event organizer – or someone who has participated in some way – to help grow these events.”
The chamber’s role, especially during these challenging times, Muir continued, is to help local businesses attract more out-of-towners to Hull – “to spend money here and to return again, for a day or a weekend, to visit different businesses, stay in the hotel, dine at local restaurants, or visit the [Hull Lifesaving] Museum.
“There’s not enough of a year-round population in town to support the local business community and the tax base. We have to do a better job of keeping our community thriving and bringing in more revenue throughout the year, not just during the crazy beach times.”
In her role as administrator for about three years, Kiley assisted members with “whatever they needed,” helped run chamber events, and performed the necessary day-to-day administrative tasks, as well as keeping the chamber’s social media posts “relevant, fun, and interesting,” she told the Times.
What attracted her to the job in the first place – knowing that she had “big shoes to fill” after Robin Flynn’s tenure as administrator – was that it seemed to be such a good fit for her. “I love Hull, and I want all the businesses to succeed,” she said.
Her favorite part of the job was working with all the people involved in various aspects of chamber business. In that role, she organized the volunteers who gave “mini history lessons” about Hull, answered questions, and made suggestions about some of the best places to grab a bite to eat, when the Hull O Trolley was running. She also arranged for the advertising that was posted on the sides of that special mode of transportation. “It really does take a village to run the trolley,” she said.
In addition to an ability to multi-task, other requirements for the administrator’s post include excellent organizational skills, flexibility, “being upbeat, loving Hull, and having a desire to see new and exciting programs happen,” Kiley said.
A high point of her time with the chamber has been the town’s demonstration of its resilience in the throes of the coronavirus, moving ahead with the Stem to Stern yard sale and the Endless Summer celebration again this year (when at first the events’ future looked uncertain) and “getting people back into town and into our restaurants [and other businesses],” Kiley said. “Trying to help people navigate COVID was a challenge.”
Kiley pinpointed what she thinks makes Hull special: “When you drive into town, you feel like you’re on vacation, even for those who make Hull their home. It’s such a super-relaxing atmosphere.
“I hope people appreciate Hull, participate in town events, and continue to spread the love.”