Yarmouth chamber exec brings big-stage experience

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YARMOUTH — The Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce has hired Adrienne Nardi as the organization’s new executive director.

Nardi started Dec. 12, after the position was vacant for almost eight months. Her predecessor, Andrew Smaha, resigned in April, less than a year after he was hired.

Prior to working at the chamber, Nardi worked at TideSmart Global in Falmouth as the senior director of event services. She moved to Maine in October 2014 after working around the country and overseas.

Moving to Maine was an easy decision, Nardi said.

“There’s a really great foundation of life here that’s a great thing to stand on,” she said. “There’s this sense of great values, of family.”

Before moving to Maine, Nardi worked for companies and brands doing event and transportation coordination. She was the venue transportation manager for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and also worked on the 2012 London Olympics.

In 2009, Nardi moved to the Middle East to work on the FIFA Club World Cup. She has also worked on Super Bowls and has done special event transportation planning for the National Basketball Association.

Even though Nardi’s previous work experience was for large-scale events, she said she believes her skill set will transfer well to the Chamber of Commerce.

“With each of these big things, they affected smaller communities,” she said.

The fact that Yarmouth is a small community is part of what drew Nardi to the position.

“I grew up in a town similar to Yarmouth, and I really appreciated that kind of childhood,” she said.

A native of Hamilton, New York, which has a population of less than 7,000, Nardi now lives in Portland. She said she plans to move to Yarmouth in the spring or summer.

Nardi said she’s looking forward to getting to know the town better. She said she has an open-door policy.

“I’m really excited about meeting the members and finding out what we as a chamber can do to support and help grow their business,” she said.

Unlike previous executive directors, Nardi’s new role includes expanded responsibilities. On top of her regular duties, she will also be responsible for coordinating the annual Yarmouth Clam Festival.

Former festival director Mark Primeau left the chamber after this year’s festival. Nardi said she’s excited to take over the event.

“It’s your quintessential event here in Maine,” she said. “It’s almost Norman Rockwell-esque, having the whole community come together.”

Executive director and clam festival director are both big roles, but Nardi said chamber members won’t be forgotten while she plans the festival.

“The Clam Festival is obviously a big-ticket item on my to-do list, but it’ll be well balanced with working with our business community,” she said.

While the responsibilities of both roles will be more than enough to keep Nardi busy, she said the biggest challenge she foresees is the desire to know as much as she can, as fast as she can.

“For me, it’s wanting to know everything now,” she said. “But I’m enjoying this time of getting to know each individual and each business.”

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

Portland resident Adrienne Nardi has been hired as the new executive director of the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce.

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I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.