PORTLAND — The Portland Regional Chamber announced Tuesday that Christopher Hall has been hired as chief executive officer, after serving in the role on an interim basis for two months.

Hall replaces Godfrey Wood, who stepped down as CEO last December after serving in the position since 1997.

The selection comes out of a nationwide search that attracted nearly 85 candidates and involved interviews with the organization’s members and staff as well as community leaders, according to the chamber.

Besides serving as acting CEO since Wood’s resignation, Hall has held the position of senior vice president for the last six years. Previously, he worked for 17 years as senior vice president and general counsel of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce.

Hall will lead a strategic planning effort within the chamber expected to be unveiled at the annual organization meeting in September.

“We’re building on a strong foundation, but you can expect some significant changes in the months ahead,” he said in a prepared statement. “Everything we’re working on is intended to broaden our ability to make our eight communities stronger – in every sense of the word.”

The Portland Regional Chamber represents 1,250 member companies and is comprised of five community chambers serving Cape Elizabeth, Cumberland, Falmouth, Gorham, Portland, Scarborough, South Portland and Westbrook.

Wood is married to Karen Wood, publisher of The Forecaster.

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