Rodney Frelinghuysen, who announced his retirement from Congress, made rare comments during his address to the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. William Westhoven, @WWesthoven
Paul Boudreau, a key figure in state business and politics as president of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, is stepping down.
Boudreau, a former Honeywell executive and Maine legislator, will retire effective Dec. 31. Boudreau said he’s grateful to have worked with the chamber board, staff and members for the last decade.
“Together we’ve built an organization that is focused on adding value for our members and committed to economic growth and prosperity for Morris County and our state,” Boudreau said.
The chamber board has formed a search committee to secure his replacement.
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“His dynamic leadership style has been instrumental in making the chamber a vital resource and advocate for businesses in Morris County,” said chamber board Chairman Jack Miller, president and CEO of Solix, Inc.
“He has become recognized by business and political leaders across the state as a pragmatic voice in the important discussions impacting our economic future,” Miller said.
Boudreau replaced Florence Block, who resigned in 2008 after succeeding longtime president William Donnelly in 2006. Since then, he has increased membership in the chamber from 660 members to nearly 900.
“He has brought that Morris chamber to a whole new level with the addition of companies that have come in,” said 25th district Republican Sen. Anthony Bucco, also a business owner. “That is not an easy task in light of how we are losing companies in the state of New Jersey, but he has been able to get companies who want to join and be active in the chamber.”
Prior to joining the chamber, Boudreau spent 24 years with Honeywell, ultimately serving as vice president of state and corporate relations, responsible for state and corporate relations in North America. He also served six years as executive director of the Honeywell Foundation and was a member of the Morris County-based corporation’s Political Action Committee board for 10 years.
His business and political acumen was put to good use by the chamber, where membership ranges from local family-owned retailers to international corporations such as Bayer USA, BASF and Genral Dynamics, all of which base their U.S. operations or other divisions in Morris County.
“He was a politician in New England, and he knew how to work with both sides of the aisle,” Bucco said of Boudreau, who was elected to two terms in the Maine House of Representatives in 1976 and 1978.
As chamber president, Boudreau also has served in leadership roles with several state and local organizations, including the Public Employment Relations Commission, the New Jersey State Military Installation Task Force, Opportunity New Jersey, the Morris County Airport Advisory Committee, the Somerset Hills YMCA, Tri-County Scholarship Fund and the Mental Health Association of New Jersey.
The search committee is by Ed Ahart, a partner at the law firm Schenck, Price, Smith & King LLP. The Nonprofit Search Group of New Vernon has been retained to facilitate the search process.
The new chamber president will oversee a staff of eight full-time employees, two part-time employees, and a budget of $2.1 million.
“As representatives of one of the most vibrant and successful chambers anywhere in the United States, our Search Committee understands that successfully replacing Paul Boudreau is a challenging task,” Ahart said.
The chamber sponsors dozens of public events throughout the year and also oversees programs such as the Morris County Economic Development Corp. and Leadership Morris, which teaches business professionals and not-for-profit executives about the opportunities, challenges, institutions and people of Morris County.
Credit: Staff Writer William Westhoven: 973-917-9242; wwesthoven@Dailyrecord.com.