HAVERHILL — Dougan Sherwood is stepping down from his position as president and CEO of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce to take a job with a start-up company in Cambridge.
However, he will continue to assist the organization as a member of its Board of Directors.
"I came to Haverhill because I see the potential in its diversity," said Sherwood, who joined the Chamber in 2018. "It’s a complicated place, but it has so much going for it."
Mathew Juros, president of the Chamber's Board of Directors, said it is the nature of innovative, agile, new business start-ups, and start-up leaders, to be constantly moving and creating.
After launching one of the most important revitalizations in the Chamber's history, and preparing the Chamber to better serve the community and thrive into the future, Sherwood is joining a Cambridge start-up company that is setting up COVID-19 testing across the country, Juros said.
"Thankfully, he will be spending the next few months assisting us with this important leadership transition, and plans to transition to the Board of Directors to continue lending his time and talents to our work," Juros said.
Sherwood said the Chamber sees itself as a driver for important growth and change throughout Haverhill.
"It’s been a wonderful experience working with so many talented people ... to make this organization a leader in Haverhill," he said. "I’m excited to move onto the board to continue this work and to offer my support to our next president."
Sherwood was recruited from the Cambridge Innovation Center three years ago to bring new energy, fresh perspectives and a stronger competitive edge to Haverhill's business community.
He has brought all those things and much more, Juros said.
"The organization that exists today is vastly different than when Dougan arrived," Juros said. "His mandate was to strip the organization to its core and rebuild it as a nimble, inclusive community and economic development operator. Today the Greater Haverhill Chamber leans into businesses both emerging and established and the entrepreneurs who lead them. It’s been a heady ride, with Dougan. I am deeply grateful to him and I’m excited to add a new leader to the team so we can continue our work in this burly, vibrant Gateway City."
In his time as Chamber president, Sherwood led a strategic planning process that rebranded the Chamber as an organization serving its members and the larger, increasingly diverse, Haverhill community through a commitment to inclusive economic development.
He helped firm up the financial footing of the Chamber, relocated it to the iHub at Harbor Place, and has forged vital new strategic partnerships with businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and other allies in Haverhill and across the state, Juros said.
Sherwood has also taken essential and immediate steps to diversify leadership on the Chamber’s board and to collaborate with organizations like the Lawrence Partnership and the Lowell Plan to encourage diversifying and preparing the leadership talent pipeline for these vibrant Gateway Cities.
His efforts earned him the title of “Gateway Cities Champion” and the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth (MassINC) 2020 Award for Small Business Diversity and Inclusivity, Juros said.
Sherwood will remain involved in Haverhill and the Merrimack Valley in a number of ways and in particular supporting initiatives related to the Merrimack River. His service to the city as part of the Harbor Commission will continue as will his position on the Board of Directors for the nonprofit Merrimack River Watershed Council.
Juros said the Chamber will soon be announcing a search for a new president and invites bold, innovative leaders to apply or to nominate others.
For more information, visit haverhillchamber.com.