Submitted by Haley Stafford, Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce
(October 24, 2022) — The Board of Directors of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce has announced that Larry McHugh will be retiring from the Chamber at the end of the year, and the Chamber will appoint Johanna Bond as its next President/CEO.
“We are extremely grateful for Larry’s tremendous leadership of the organization and his strong advocacy for the businesses and communities of Middlesex County. In his 39 years, Larry has built the Chamber to be one of the largest in the state and one that members have come to rely on to effectively represent their interests,” said Kristen Roberts, Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors.
“It has been a wonderful 39 years working with an outstanding staff, volunteers and fantastic Board Chairs to create the most vibrant and largest Chamber in Connecticut,” said McHugh. “It is now time to move on and spend more time with my wife, Patty, and our family.”
Larry McHugh first joined the Chamber in 1983 and has served as the organization’s top executive responsible for all aspects of the Chamber, including member outreach and support, operations and financial performance for the Chamber’s nearly 2,000 members throughout 14 communities in the Greater Middlesex County community, including Rocky Hill.
“Larry, who has worked to make the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce the best in the state and one of the most recognized in the country, represents the best of a community leader,” said State Sen. Norm Needleman, who has worked with Larry as the owner of a local business, Tower Laboratories, and as First Selectman for the town of Essex and as State Senator representing communities in the 33rd District. Needleman added, “Larry has been a trusted friend, a mentor and a colleague who has dedicated his life to building an organization that has supported businesses in Middlesex County for decades, and with that strong foundation, will continue to be the vital Chamber serving its members that we have all become accustomed to.”
The Executive Committee has been working closely with McHugh on succession planning and is very excited that Johanna Bond will be appointed as President and CEO of the Chamber, effective January 1, 2023.
Roberts continued, “The Board is thrilled that Johanna accepted the new role and we are confident she will provide continuity and strong leadership for the organization. She has proven to be an advocate for businesses and to consistently deliver a high level of service for chamber members.”
“I am very excited to step up and lead this amazing Chamber after being mentored by Larry for over 30 years,” said Bond, the Chief Operating Officer of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce. “I am honored to work side-by-side with outstanding colleagues and volunteers, and together, we will continue to build upon the successful foundation Larry established. We are on the move to keep the sun shining in Middlesex County.”
Bond first joined the chamber in 1994 and has taken on increasing levels of responsibility through her career, most recently serving as the Chief Operating Officer. She has led many key programs and projects throughout her 28-year career at the Chamber and is ideally positioned as Larry’s successor.
McHugh added, “I’m very happy Johanna Bond will take over the leadership role at the Chamber as I retire. Johanna is smart, positive, dedicated and committed to moving the Chamber forward.”
Photo provided by Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce