Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: August 9, 2021 Women to Watch

Women to Watch: Quincy Hentzel leads Portland Regional Chamber with a sense of purpose

Photo / Tim Greenway Quincy Hentzel CEO of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce

Quincy Hentzel, CEO of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce since 2017, says that having a career built on relationships has allowed her to make a “positive, lasting impact.” That’s never been more evident than this past year, when the Chamber helped hundreds of businesses weather the pandemic and played a key role in fighting racial injustice through initiatives such as the Standing in Solidarity pledge and 21-day Racial Equity Challenge.

Mainebiz: How has being the Chamber’s first female CEO influenced your leadership approach?

Quincy Hentzel: Perhaps I bring a different perspective in how to talk to people and how to listen, how I weight an argument for or against policy, and who I expect to see at the table making those arguments. I’m motivated by a sense of purpose and desire to have a positive impact on my community — that is what guides me every day.

MB: What has been the follow-up to the Standing in Solidarity pledge signed by more than 400 business leaders?

QH: Since last summer, the Chamber has offered our members a series of educational opportunities around racism in our community and in-depth trainings in how businesses can be more racially equitable and diverse. We spent the last few months talking with CEOs and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion specialists from across our region to see how we can collectively bring about change. The outcome of these conversations is a business community-wide strategic plan to determine how we can best address needs around racial equity. We are launching this over the summer, and I couldn’t be more excited to see what comes out of the initiative.

MB: Besides taking events virtual, how else did the Chamber shift gears during COVID?

QH: Aside from having to completely change how we connected and provided information, the information we provided was also different. We became a conduit for critical information — and a means to ask specific questions of government and get specific answers. It was a wild time for everyone, but also a time of coming together and collaboration. We also launched campaigns to help our members navigate the calamity — and emotions — of the pandemic.

MB: What happened with membership during the pandemic?

QH: We were surprised to see our membership numbers actually increase during COVID. I give all of the credit to our tremendous team at the Chamber — they went above and beyond to ensure the business community had the information needed to navigate the pandemic, the shutdown, financial relief and then the reopening phases.

MB: To what extent is the Chamber becoming more active in lobbying and advocacy?

QH: Advocacy has always been a pillar of our mission and it’s important to our members — even more so over the last few years. Creating a strong and vibrant economy is critical to our success as a state. That doesn’t happen naturally. You need good policy initiatives that foster the right climate to let businesses start, grow and flourish.

MB: What can you share about your programs for immigrants or New Mainers?

QH: We began a program a few years ago in conjunction with the Office of Economic Opportunity in Portland called Portland Professional Connections. The purpose is to connect immigrant professionals who have moved here and are striving to find meaningful employment to people established in that same profession or industry. Continuing to build our workforce is essential to our success — and survival — over the next few years. This is a program that helps do exactly that.

MB: What are some of your goals for the Chamber in 2021?

QH: I would like to see the Chamber help bring forward a solid, community-wide initiative that will have a lasting positive impact on our region — in the realm of either racial equity or workforce development. We have several efforts underway, and I’m looking forward to seeing where we can go with each. I also want to ensure that the Chamber continues to communicate openly, transparently and civilly in everything we do.

Sign up for Enews

Related Content


August 10, 2021

Does not sound as though her priorities are business enterprise priorities, but are designed to serve a designated and divisive political party ideology. What is the Portland Chamber of Commerce doing to help obtain delivery of the long-promised but continually delayed Cold Storage Warehouse on the Portland #Waterfront to benefit @Eimskip and other #Maine Businesses?!

Order a PDF