James Przypek
Reminder Publishing submitted photo

In the world of business, especially small business, chambers of commerce are a valuable tool. At their core, chambers are an association of businesses that promote and protect their members’ interests.

Their existence is a testament to the truism that there is power in numbers. The Quaboag Hills Chamber of Commerce recently selected James Przypek to take on the role of CEO and Executive Vice President. Przypek said his career has prepared him to help lead the organization in supporting the area’s business community.

Since 1978, the chamber, headquartered in the Three Rivers, has represented 15 towns — Belchertown, Brimfield, Hardwick, Holland, Monson, New Braintree, Palmer, Spencer, Wales, Ware, Warren and the four Brookfields. Przypek said the organization represents hundreds of businesses and more than 80,000 residents. Przypek, a lifelong area resident, said part of the appeal of coming to the chamber is working in and contributing to the town he lives in.

Many of the towns covered by the chamber are rural and some are economically depressed, as evidenced by open storefronts on their main streets.

Przypek said that when a business joins the chamber, “They’re getting another employee in me.” Through the chamber, he said that he oversees leadership training, resources, promotion and networking for each of the organization’s businesses.

Przypek began his career in the hospitality industry. He worked in various positions at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for 14 years, managing various departments. While in the Marketing Partnerships Department, Przypek said many of the skills he learned there serve him as the chamber’s CEO, specifically around involvement with sponsors.

From there, Przypek spent six years as the general manager of the Three County Fair, a nonprofit fairground that has been operated by the Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden Agricultural Society in Northampton for more than 200 years. He said that as a smaller nonprofit, the “soup to nuts” work he did at the Three County Fair was not unlike his responsibilities at the chamber, where he works hands-on with the businesses under the organization’s umbrella.

Moving forward, Przypek said, “I’m excited for the opportunity and I’m looking forward to being an extra advocate for our businesses.”

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