The new executive director of the Bedford Chamber of Commerce endorses the philosophy of servant leadership, which he boils down to “doing for others.”
Robert Miner of Chelmsford has been in the post for about two months, succeeding Peter Bagley. He is making the rounds among members as the Chamber prepares new office space.
“I’m really just out and about, sort of a listen-and-learn initiative with members, trying to understand their wants and needs as we go forward,” Miner said. “It’s a brand new role and that’s the way I like to learn.”
“There’s a high level of excitement, vibrancy, and interest from the constituents, coming out from Covid,” Miner observed. “There generally seems to be a pulse of wanting to re-engage. Businesses want to do some networking in an effort to foster their relationships.”
He added, “It’s really about what the businesses say and want. We try to map programs and activities based upon that feedback.”
Miner grew up in Billerica and earned his undergraduate degree at Plymouth State College in New Hampshire, where he played baseball and hockey. Miner said his son plays intercollegiate lacrosse at Plymouth, which is now a university.
The new executive director spent about 20 years working in software industry business development, much of that in the category of ERP (enterprise resource planning) software. More than a decade ago he joined the Sigma Alpha Lambda national leadership and honors organization, first as director of operations and business development and later as executive director.
The Greek letters represent the English words “service, achievement, leadership,” Miner explained. “My dad was former military, and I always was growing up in an environment of ‘help one another,’” he said.
The organization, which was founded in Florida and now has a presence on about 80 campuses around the country, “is a model of servant leadership. You’re doing for others.”
Miner said he is receiving guidance from Adam Schwartz and David Tasto of the chamber Executive Board, Pam Brown of the Board of Directors, and member Sheena Santos.
The chamber is in the process of moving to new quarters at 110 The Great Road, Miner said. Although the office is no longer in Town Center, mail is still received at 12 Mudge Way. Miner can be reached at [email protected].