James Rooney, executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), has resigned his post to become president and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, he announced this week. He assumes his new position, succeeding current Chamber chief Paul Guzzi, effective July 1.
"I am thrilled and honored to be selected to lead the Chamber," Rooney said in a statement. "I can't wait to get started."
Rooney has served as executive director of the MCCA since 2003, overseeing the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC), the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center in Boston's Back Bay, the Boston Common Garage, and the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA. Today, conventions at Boston facilities generate more than $500 million in annual economic impact for the state and for Greater Boston.
Continued Rooney, "When we arrived at 415 Summer St. in 2001, the BCEC was just a massive pile of dirt. Together, we have built not just a spectacular facility, but a culture of excellence that is known throughout the world. We have welcomed millions of people from around the globe and from every neighborhood. Time and again, we have proven our critics wrong. Our work together is something I will always be proud of. Thank you for 14 years, and an experience in my career that will be a part of me forever."
MCCA Board Chair Michelle Shell thanked Rooney for his service and wished him well.
"The announcement of James E. Rooney's appointment to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce is bittersweet for our board of directors, for the MCCA team, and for the entire Massachusetts hospitality industry," Shell said. "Jim's visionary leadership for the last 14 years put Boston on the meetings and conventions map worldwide. Through his tenure at the MCCA, he has been an unrelenting champion of Boston's ability to compete and perform at the highest level, and I am gratified to know that he will apply that same passion and boundless energy to his work at the Chamber of Commerce. He will certainly be missed."
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