Anderson to lead Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce

BAR HARBOR — Alf Anderson, who has worked since 2015 as the director of membership sales and marketing for the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce, will be the organization’s next executive director, according to an announcement released Tuesday.

He will begin work in his new role on Aug. 12. He succeeds Martha Searchfield, who led the chamber from 2016 until the end of May 2019.

“We had several strong candidates for the position, but Alf brought an excitement about the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce and our members that was exactly what the search committee and I were looking for,” said Bethany Reece, president of the chamber’s Board of Directors.

“I am confident that Alf will work for the best interest of our members and bring exciting new ideas to the chamber.”

Anderson told the Islander he is excited to continue working with fellow chamber staff husband-and-wife team Chris and Melanie Graten. Melanie Graten is the longtime director of visitor services and member retention. Chris Graten joined the organization more recently as operations manager. The chamber also plans to hire an additional person to join the staff.

“The business landscape has changed a lot in the last 15 to 20 years,” Anderson said, “and the Chamber needs to be more nimble … [in] finding ways to help our members find new successes,” he said.

Anderson is originally from Connecticut. He graduated from Nichols College in Dudley, Mass., and worked in academic publishing in Boston before moving to Bar Harbor in 2013 with his wife Heather.

He served on the Bar Harbor Planning Board before stepping down last year when he and Heather moved to Trenton.

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