Some time ago, I said I would be doing a series of interviews with members from the Board of Directors, the Officers, and the Staff at the Mashpee Chamber of Commerce. The purpose of this is to inform residents and visitors as to who works behind the scenes at making the Mashpee Chamber of Commerce—and the events they hold—a success. I recently sent out a couple email and got a response from Linda Steele, who is the Vice President.
Linda Steele has been an Assistant Vice President/Branch Manager for the Cape Cod Five Cents Saving Banks since 1994. She was originally hired to open and run the new Mashpee location. At this time, Mashpee was vastly different than it is today. There were only one traffic light, Dick and Ellie’s Flea Market occupied the space that is now South Cape Village, Mashpee Commons was a lot smaller without major retail shops such as Pottery Barn or Talbots. There were no apartments in the Mashpee Commons either and there was no Mashpee Christmas Parade.
Originally from Abington, located in the South Shore area of Massachusetts, Linda Steele has lived in Falmouth for 23 years. However, like many of those who have moved down the Cape, she has spent summers on Cape Cod since she was a young child. She says even though she resides in East Falmouth, she feels like she lives in Mashpee! Ms. Steele’s educational background consists of a bachelor’s degree in education. She majored in elementary education and taught for a few years. She has been involved in banking for over three decades.
Since her arrival in Mashpee in 1994, Linda has been involved with the Mashpee Chamber, holding a variety of roles in the business. She was treasurer for twelve years, she has been a board member, secretary, and she is now the vice president. Ms. Steele has been a part of the Chamber’s growth from occupying a single office space at the Cape Cod 5 Bank to its present location in the Mashpee Commons. She says the Chamber has played a significant role with the growth of Mashpee’s businesses and the growth of the town.
My final question was “What improvements would you like to see in the next five years regarding the town of Mashpee and/or the Chamber of Commerce?” and I could not agree more with her reply! I think this is very true and not just when it comes to Cape Cod.
Ms. Steele would like to see the Chamber continue to grow to a port where there will be more staff on duty to work with the small businesses in town. She would like to see that it becomes more involved with the economic development of Mashpee and to work with the town. She wants it to be more involved in attracting desirable businesses. One of the Cape’s biggest issues is that the young people are leaving because there are no jobs for them here that can turn into a career. They need to earn sufficient income in order to purchase a home, have families, and so on.
“I believe Chambers Of Commerce Cape-wide need to be a part of finding a solution for this issue,” were her final words. I agree, I think if the businesses work together on improving career opportunities on the Cape, then more people will stay here permanently instead of moving inland or out of state after graduation from high school.