Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


John Wishart (91.9 The Bend Photo)

Greater Moncton Chamber CEO announces retirement

By Tara Clow Sep 28, 2023 | 12:27 PM

The CEO of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton is stepping down.

John Wishart will retire on February 29,  2024.

“I’ll be 64 in January, and so it was coming sooner than later. My wife and I want to do some other things. We have two children in Halifax and one in Italy, we want to see more of each of them. And, I think you get to this point in life and you realize there’s a window of opportunity to do other things. And I think that window has arrived for me,” Wishart says.

He joined the Chamber in July 2016 serving as Director of Communications and Operations for 18 months before he was appointed interim CEO in November 2017. Wishart became the permanent CEO in February 2018.

Some of the successes since he began his role include the number of members, “The Chamber has increased by about 160 during my term. I’d like to think that the profile of the Chamber has been elevated, that was one of my goals when I took over. We’ve been involved in a lot of community initiative committees, and taken a lead role in issues like homelessness.” Wishart says. “Probably the one thing that stands out the most for me was the role we played during COVID-19. There’s no playbook for any organization during that period. I think we stepped up and we focused on communication. We sent out a daily email briefing to our members in the community, and we were there to support businesses in other ways like handing out rapid test kits and advocating for what they needed to get through the pandemic.”

With a few months to go before he officially leaves his role, one of his focuses now is to ensure a smooth transition for a successor. Wishart just submitted his notice to the Board on Wednesday, but he says they have initiated the process to send out an RFP to HR search firms. He expects the full search will start sometime in October with interviews by the end of the year.

“I think their goal is to have somebody identified by the end of the year who can start early in 2024, and maybe have a little bit of transition time with me before I leave,” Wishart adds.

Chair of the Board of Directors Michelle Duffie says, “John has had an incredible impact within the Chamber and the business community as a whole.”

Wishart adds it’ll be a pretty active fall for the Chamber with a continued focus on issues like housing and the workforce as well as homelessness. He says with rumours of a provincial election call, they’ll also have to ensure they have their advocacy game in shape for that as well.

But he has no plans to disappear entirely from the community once he retires, “I’ve talked to enough recent retirees who say, don’t sit in a lazy boy and watch Netflix all day. You need to stay connected. I think I’ve been so connected for the last number of years that I would really miss that. So I’ll be out there, whether it’s volunteering or doing a bit of contract work or sitting on a board or something. I definitely want to still be involved,” Wishart remarked.