This is a monthly series in which the Attorney General will feature a Vermonter doing exemplary work in their community. Have someone you think should be featured? Email AGO.CAP@vermont.gov.Darcie McCann has served as the Director of the Northeast Kingdom Chamber for 23 years. She is a native of the Northeast Kingdom, and supports her community in myriad ways.
Darcie is an avid sports fan, known for her chocolate chip cookies, writes a biweekly column for the Caledonian-Record and has been involved in many local community groups and organizations. This includes: mentoring local students, serving on the boards of the Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital and Burklyn Arts Council, participating in the Regional Tourism Council and her local church, and supporting Vermont chambers across the state as President of Chamber Benefits, Inc.
Darcie tirelessly promotes the NEK as a place to visit, or live and start a business. She travels to Eastern states and Canada, and plans the Colors of the Kingdom and Business Celebration events through her role at the Chamber. She also spearheaded the creation of an Online Business Resource Guide — an exceptional effort to bring vibrancy back to the Kingdom.
Darcie returned to the Kingdom after a career in journalism, after serving as the executive editor of the Wellesley Townsman in Massachusetts and a reporter and section editor at a San Diego paper. She worked in college public relations at Merrimack College and Lyndon State College before taking the Northeast Kingdom Chamber post. Married for 29 years, the recently widowed mother of two adult children is looking forward to her daughter getting married in May 2018.
How did you get involved with the Chamber?
I got persuaded to try for the Northeast Kingdom Chamber position by the previous director, a good friend, who was leaving the post for another job. I figured I would stay at the chamber job, tops, for 10 years … and here I am, celebrating my 23rd year at the chamber. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t still love it and it wasn’t a challenge. I never know what the next day will bring.
How have you supported the community through your work with the Chamber?
Working at a chamber in the Northeast Kingdom means that you not only have to look at the economic climate of the region but also its socioeconomic variables. I have tried to not only get involved with regionwide and statewide organizations that strengthen the economic landscape but look at the reasons why we have historically had the weakest economy in the state and work to solve those problems as well.
How does supporting the NEK business community support the community at large?
The Northeast Kingdom business community is, in fact, your neighbors. What we strive to do at the chamber is to remove some of the roadblocks that businesses face to help our fellow residents succeed. We not only help bring in additional business through aggressive marketing but also save them money through our many discount benefit programs. I am a native of the Kingdom. I think that is one of the reasons I am still here at the chamber after 20 years; when you love a place so much, you want to see it not only flourish but thrive.
What advice do you have for others looking to impact their community?
My advice for anyone thinking of helping out in their community or region is that it is not a burden but a privilege. I have gotten far more from being involved in the Kingdom than I have given, I can tell you that. I have gained a legion of friends, satisfaction from helping the Kingdom and a really broad and diverse support system. If you love what you are doing, it is never a chore.