News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, November 27, 2013
Peninsula chamber of commerce executive director steps down
Kurt Stoll to leave in February

Blue Hill Peninsula Chamber of Commerce director Kurt Stoll announces resignation

The Blue Hill Peninsula Chamber of Commerce announced that Executive Director Kurt Stoll, above, has resigned, effective February 2014.

Photo courtesy of Kurt Stoll

by Anne Berleant

Kurt Stoll, who has held the reins of the Blue Hill Peninsula Chamber of Commerce as executive director since 2009, announced his resignation on November 25.

“It is with great regret that the Blue Hill Peninsula Chamber of Commerce has accepted the resignation of Kurt Stoll, its Executive Director,” reads a chamber press release. “He graciously plans to stay on through February to assist the Chamber in a smooth transition.”

Stoll said health concerns are behind his resignation.

“I might need some treatment that would take me away from the chamber,” he said in a recent interview. “I decided to give notice early enough that the board will have time to find someone.”

The board of trustees’ annual meeting in February will be his last day, Stoll said, unless the board has not filled the position or asks him to help the new director transition into the job.

“I’m not going to drop the pen,” he said.

Stoll, a former board president, was offered the executive director position after “stepping in” while the board searched to find a candidate to replace Sue Walsh who resigned in 2009.

“They asked me if I’d be interested in staying on, and I did,” he said.

Stoll said his biggest accomplishment as executive director was to “make sure that the members realized what the chamber does for them. They need to have trust in the chamber. They need to see there’s value in their membership.” Holding member events like After Hours gatherings was one way Stoll showed members that the chamber “appreciated their engagement.”

A challenge facing the chamber is the amount of work the executive director position entails, Stoll said.

“The position needs to become a full-time position. There’s plenty of work here, and its really crammed into 50 percent. I just lock up the door at 3 p.m. and go home and continue working.”

Beyond his international airlines career, Stoll brought to the chamber a wealth of local experience, including his ownership of the successful Landing Restaurant, his service as Executive Director of the Bagaduce Music Lending Library and as Chief Executive Officer of AUTOGRAPH, Inc., a website management and development company, according to the press release. During his three-year term, Stoll significantly raised the number of memberships, improved the quality of events, such as The Fall Festival, implemented a major rejuvenation of the website and markedly improved communications throughout the Peninsula with his Weekly News Flash. The chamber has formed a committee to begin searching for a new executive director.