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Names to Know: Meet the new professionals on the Seacoast

Sep 02, 2023

SOMERSWORTH — The Falls Chamber of Commerce announced the appointment of Bonnie McNair as its new Executive Director. With a deep passion for community engagement and a proven track record in various industries, McNair is poised to continue leading the Chamber towards a bright future.

A dedicated resident of Somersworth since 2014, McNair has become an integral part of the local fabric, actively contributing to the betterment of the community and its surrounding towns. Her commitment to fostering a sense of togetherness is evident through her participation in events such as the annual Pumpkin Festival, where she can often be found at the Pumpkin Painting tent, and her invaluable service on election days as a volunteer at the polls in Ward 1, where she currently serves as the Ward 1 Election Moderator.

McNair 's impressive academic background includes a Master's degree in Organizational Leadership, coupled with an undergraduate degree in Hospitality Management. Her diverse professional journey has equipped her with a robust skill set in client relations, project management, and operations across a wide spectrum of industries, ranging from healthcare and education to finance. Notably, McNair has dedicated recent years to collaborating with local businesses, aiding them in realizing their growth potential.

"I am thrilled to take on this new role as the Executive Director of the Falls Chamber of Commerce," McNair expressed with enthusiasm. "I am deeply committed to supporting the businesses within our community and contributing to their ongoing success. By fostering collaboration, innovation, and growth, we can create a vibrant and resilient business ecosystem."

The Falls Chamber of Commerce is confident that McNair’s unique blend of experience, dedication, and community spirit will drive the organization's mission forward. Her leadership is poised to empower local businesses, enhance economic vitality, and strengthen the ties that bind the community together.

PORTSMOUTH - Northeast Credit Union announced the hiring of Sharon Plante as Vice President, Controller. With nearly 30 years of finance and accounting experience, Sharon will ensure the development and maintenance of key internal controls, accounting policies and procedures, and processes for compliance and risk mitigation while providing ongoing financial guidance and consultation to Northeast’s senior leaders.

“Having been in the financial services industry for decades, Sharon brings a building mindset which enables her to question the status quo in order to take Northeast’s purpose-driven mission to the next level” shared, Neil Gordon, Northeast’s SVP, Chief Financial Officer.

Plante adds, “I am excited to join Northeast Credit Union as VP, Controller and lead the accounting team as we support the credit union’s mission to nourish and enrich the communities we serve.”

Plante comes to Northeast from East Cambridge Savings Bank where she held a senior role, responsible for managing the daily and periodic functions of the accounting department, overseeing and ensuring the accuracy in the reporting of investment portfolio activities, and managing the performance and professional development of the accounting staff. Prior to working in the finance industry, she held senior-level accounting positions for software companies in Massachusetts.

DOVER — Bank of New Hampshire announced the promotion of Melissa Williams to Assistant Vice President – Dover Banking Office Manager.

In her role, Williams will be responsible for management of the office’s deposit portfolio, customer relationship management, new business development and community engagement. She will also oversee all daily operations of the office while becoming a trusted resource for Dover customers.

Williams began her banking career in 1999 and joined Bank of New Hampshire in June of 2005 as a Bank Services Representative at the Dover Office. Throughout the years, she progressed through the Retail Banking skill sets quickly. After being promoted to Assistant Office Manager in 2021, Melissa worked in the Laconia and Moultonborough offices. She was most recently promoted to Banking Office Manager of the Dover office in 2022. Williams holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Hesser College.

“Melissa has a wealth of knowledge in managing our Dover Office and her passion and expertise have earned her this well-deserved promotion,” said James Glover, Vice President – Retail Banking Regional Manager for Bank of New Hampshire. “Melissa provides tremendous support, leadership and guidance to her team. Personal relationships are what excites Melissa about her job. Melissa prides herself in providing expert customer service and has a true passion for her customers. She is an absolute pleasure to work with.”

Williams is looking forward to the fast pace environment of her new role as well as developing relationships with customers and local organizations.

Williams can be reached at the Dover office located at 845 Central Avenue, via phone at 603-527-7231 or by e-mail at [email protected].

PORTSMOUTH — Cornerstone Financial Planning, a financial planning firm with offices in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Portland, Maine, recently hired Kristen Vernace as a paraplanner. Ms. Vernace will work at the firm’s Commerce Way location in Portsmouth, where she will support planners throughout the financial planning process, including the construction of retirement projections and implementation of planner recommendations.

Prior to joining Cornerstone Financial Planning, she taught middle school English in both San Francisco and Eliot, Maine and worked part-time consulting with clients on their financial needs. Vernace graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Commonwealth Honors College at The University of Massachusetts in Amherst with a BA in English, then earned a Master of Arts in Education from the University of California in Santa Cruz.

PORTSMOUTH — Cornerstone Financial Planning, a financial planning firm with offices in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Portland, Maine, recently hired Becca Bahlert as the Client Service Manager. Ms. Bahlert will work at the firm’s Commerce Way location in Portsmouth, where her responsibilities will include greeting clients, opening/closing client accounts, account management, and assisting with charitable gifting.

Prior to joining the Cornerstone team, Bahlert worked for several years at a local coffee shop in downtown Durham providing excellent client service. Bahlert graduated Cum Laude from the University of New Hampshire with her Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Minor in Sports Studies.

Bonnie McNair appointed as new Executive Director of Falls Chamber of CommerceNortheast Credit Union welcomes Sharon Plante, Vice President, ControllerBank of New Hampshire promotes Melissa Williams to Banking Office ManagerCornerstone Financial Planning hires new ParaplannerCornerstone Financial Planning hires new Client Service Manager