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headshot of lake champlain chamber president cathy davis

Lake Champlain Chamber announces transition of executive leadership

The Board of the Lake Champlain Chamber is pleased to announce the transition of executive leadership to Cathy Davis from Tom Torti, effective November 5th, 2020. Mr. Torti will step down as President of the Chamber and retain his position as Chief Executive Officer while Ms. Davis will become President and assume leadership and direction of all chamber activities. Mr. Torti will focus on strengthening the Chamber’s 501(c)(3) foundation, which supports and promotes leadership, talent and economic development in the region.

“This transition has been in the planning process for the past two years,” said Kurt Gruendling, chairperson of the Chamber Board, “with Tom working to ensure that the Chamber was positioned, fiscally and organizationally, for a seamless transition.” 

“Cathy takes the reins in the midst of the most difficult fiscal and health crisis facing our state and nation in the past century. We can think of no leader better equipped for the challenge than Cathy,” continued Gruendling. “The Chamber’s work to seek and support economic opportunity for all Vermonters is even more vital now.”

“Tom can now devote his energy to our goal of growing the Foundation and in turn growing the impact of the Chamber on our community through the leadership, talent and economic opportunity work the Chamber excels at.”  

According to Torti, the Chamber has evolved and grown since he assumed the leadership in 2006. “We survived the 2008 economic crisis, changes to our funding model and in people’s expectations from membership organizations, all while striving to improve the value we return to our members for their investment with us.”

Cathy Davis has been with the Chamber since 2007 and has held various roles with the organization rising from Government Affairs Specialist to Executive Vice-President. “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve Vermont in this new capacity. Leading the Chamber, an organization that makes such a difference for our businesses and our community is an honor. Businesses are the heart of our organization and they need us now more than ever.” said Davis. “Together with our talented staff and dedicated board, we’ll continue to innovate with programs and services that create economic opportunity for our region and help our businesses recover faster, better, and stronger.”

The Chamber Foundation has existed as a stand-alone 501(c)(3) for the past decade to support the Chamber’s community-benefit programs in leadership and business development. “Demand for programs have skyrocketed in recent years,” said Torti. “Supporting this highly effective work through a foundation makes total sense and will allow the Chamber to sustain and grow their impact. I am honored to support and help sustain those efforts.” 

The transition period between June and November has been established to ensure a seamless executive transition while allowing the Chamber staff to continue their focus on serving its members during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Lake Champlain Chamber, Vermont’s largest business advocacy organization, powers prosperity through five distinct points: seeking economic opportunity for all; celebrating business ownership and entrepreneurship; promoting a robust, diversified visitor economy; cultivating community leadership; and nurturing emerging talent. To learn more, visit