Al Silverstein, President and CEO of the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce, has announced his retirement at the end of 2020 after 20 years of service to the organization. According to Debbie Walsworth, Chair of the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, for the remainder of 2020, Amy Kreiner, the Vice President of the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce, has been selected to fulfill all day-to-day responsibilities of the Chamber, as Silverstein prepares for his official retirement.
Walsworth comments, “Under Al’s leadership and vision, the Chamber has grown to include more than 700 members and has provided meaningful services to the Talbot County business community. The Board of Directors wishes to thank Al for his many years of exemplary leadership. Al is known for his smile, warmth, and passion to better this community. He has worked tirelessly in his role as the President of the Chamber.”
“Amy has worked with Al for nearly two years, serving as Vice President. She is a seasoned Chamber professional, having previously served as the Executive Director of the Caroline County Chamber of Commerce, and is pursuing her Institute of Organization Management certification through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Board of Directors is fully engaged in this transition period and looks forward to partnering with Amy to continue bringing these resources and services to the business community, in this new and changing business environment.” she adds.
Under Silverstein’s leadership, the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce membership grew and its relationships with the business community, economic development, and tourism flourished. One of the most significant accomplishments of Silverstein was helping the Talbot County Public Schools to fund the One to One Laptop Initiative. He also helped to fund the popular Shore Leadership Program, which grew out of the Chesapeake Leadership Foundation, previously the Talbot Chamber’s Education Committee.
In 2005, Silverstein was instrumental in getting a grant from Verizon to bring two-way video conferencing, a multi-media center, and a minority resource room to the Chamber, making the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce the first chamber with this type of technology in the state. Through a recent grant through AT & T, the Chamber has established a Business After School Program, which hopes to get underway this fall.
He comments, “We have stayed abreast of the changing community needs and have listened to our members and provided the resources and educational opportunities they have needed. Over the years, several local nonprofits and businesses have called the Chamber office space their homes, including the Easton Economic Development Corporation, SCORE, and Chesapeake Film Festival. Our conference room has also been used heavily by our members.”
Some of the signature Chamber events established during Silverstein’s tenure include the Talbot County Chamber’s Golf Tournament, the Talbot County Economic Symposium, and the Talbot County Chamber Awards Program. He also helped to found the Young Professionals of Talbot County, a younger group of businesspeople who meet at lunchtime.
“The most rewarding thing has been helping people be successful in their businesses and helping people get connected to other people,” he adds.
Silverstein has held a variety of leadership positions in the community, including serving as Vice-Chair of the Talbot Family Network Board and President of the United Fund of Talbot County and Eastern Shore Heritage, Inc. He also has served on the Upper Shore Transportation Advisory Committee, the Mid-Shore Regional Council CEDS Committee, Maryland Capital Enterprises, and the Easton Rotary Club. For 18 years, he also served on the Legislative Committee of the State Chamber of Commerce Board, as well as President of the Maryland Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. In 2009, he was named the Maryland Chamber Executive of the Year. In 2015, Silverstein was elected to the Easton Town Council.
Silverstein reflects, “Talbot County is unique as a rural county. We have an abundance of talent willing to give back to this community – the volunteers and the resources continue to make it a much better county and a great place to live.”
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