Wilmington Works hires local man as first executive director


WILMINGTON -- After two years and four months serving as the executive director of the Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce, Adam Grinold will be leaving the position. But he won’t be leaving the town where the office was located.

He was just hired as Wilmington Works’ first executive director.

"The goals of Wilmington Works have always been near and dear to me," he said. "It was difficult to want to leave this organization but the opportunity to work from the ground up and build something that includes economic development and more concrete projects, things people can touch, is intriguing."

On May 1, Grinold will begin working for the downtown organization Wilmington Works.

He was chosen as a result of a recommendation from one of the organization’s committees created for the purpose of hiring a director.

The position was advertised and four candidates were interviewed. The board voted and Grinold was selected as top choice.

"We felt like he had the best match of qualities and he could really hit the ground running for the organization," said Lisa Sullivan, co-chairwoman of the Wilmington Works board of advisors.

She mentioned that the board felt the organization was able to do a lot of things and has had a lot of board participation and activity in its inaugural year.

"It felt really good but in order to keep that momentum, we were going to need an executive director. We’re looking forward to more communication and more organization within the committees," added Sullivan. "We’re really looking forward to continuing with the work we have been doing and working with Adam as executive director."

When the town was officially given a downtown designation as part of the statewide program, Grinold joined the Wilmington Works board of advisors. He had also assisted with running his family’s business at the White House and was involved in projects that included getting new trash cans, park benches and flower barrels set up around town.

Having grown up in Wilmington, these types of projects have remained important to him. It was still difficult to leave the chamber as Grinold was on the board for seven years and continues to be a member of it.

"I firmly believe in the mission and goals of the chamber in this valley," he said. "There is a need for a valley-wide organization that bridges the gap between individual communities. And for me to go and choose to work for one community was a struggle, but I feel there truly is a partnership between Wilmington Works and the chamber."

The two positions have similar roles and responsibilities, Grinold pointed out.

"I still think the chamber plays a critical role in the valley in breaking down the barriers between towns. That is what the chamber does and will continue to do," he said. "In my new role, I will make sure everything we do will be with an eye to collaboration."

He told the Reformer that his biggest accomplishments at the chamber had to do with moving forward on many projects following Tropical Storm Irene and a winter without snow.

For Wilmington Works, the goal will be to create an economic vitality in the downtown area. The statewide downtown program is based on a national program that assists individual towns. Having a downtown designation makes towns more eligible for grants and other services.

"It’s very prescriptive as to how to go about succeeding for your goal," said Grinold. "So there’s clear guidelines on how to do that."

For now, the Wilmington Works board and Grinold will be completing a work plan to establish and set priorities. The chamber is currently looking for a new director.

Grinold believed he was perfectly qualified to serve the organization

"I would have had a hard time not doing it," he concluded.


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