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CNHCC’s New Executive Director

Introducing Martha "Matty" Leighton

CNHCC’s New Executive Director

The Central New Hampshire Chamber of Commerce (CNHCC) has hired Martha “Matty” Leighton of Ashland, New Hampshire, as its new executive director. The Chamber serves 23 towns in the Baker, Newfound, Pemi-Waterville, Plymouth, and Squam Lakes areas.

Leighton takes over for Frank Cocchiarella, who announced his retirement earlier in the year, ending a six-year tenure as executive director. Cocchiarella saw the Chamber through significant organizational change, including the merging of several local Chambers into CNHCC and navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.

A New Hampshire native, Leighton comes to the Chamber from Plymouth State University, where she most recently managed a financial service center for thirty-five departments within the Division of Academic Affairs. In addition to her deep financial background, Leighton has more than twenty-five years of experience in community relations, marketing and communications, event management, and non-profit leadership. Since 2017, she has served on the board of Voices Against Violence, a non-profit crisis agency located in Plymouth, New Hampshire, assuming the roles of president of the Board and chief executive officer, secretary, and Governance Committee chair.

“We are pleased to welcome Matty Leighton as the new executive director for CNHCC,” said Jennifer Duncan, CNHCC treasurer and Executive Director Search Committee member. “Matty’s background and experience in finance, customer service, event and volunteer management, and non-profit leadership, will help us build upon the strong foundation Frank Cocchiarella helped to establish.”

“It’s important to me to be able to make a difference in my community,” said Leighton. “This opportunity with the Chamber allows me to do that in a meaningful way.”

CNHCC serves its members by advocating for, connecting, and empowering entrepreneurs, business owners, and organizations through strong community partnerships, educational programs, and networking events.

“One of my goals is to demonstrate to current and future members how the Chamber can be a key element in building a strong, vibrant business community, even as we continue to recover from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Leighton. “I look forward to collaborating and engaging with our members and partners in the region.”