Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce executive director Nancy Gardella has spent 15 years working to support and promote Island businesses. Now she’s ready to pass the torch to someone new.

The chamber announced Tuesday that Ms. Gardella would be resigning as executive director, effective the start of the new year. In a phone call to the Gazette, Ms. Gardella said she’s confident the chamber will be in good hands.

“I know that they’ve got this,” she said.

As the nonprofit organization searches for a new leader, deputy director Aela Mass will take up the mantle on an interim basis.

“The chamber will go into the new year stronger than ever,” Ms. Gardella said.

Ms. Gardella said she will miss the job and that it has stayed fresh every day for 15 years.

“There’s never been two days that have been the same,” she said.

In her tenure, Ms. Gardella has led the chamber through business changes including advances in technology during the pandemic. But she said she is most proud of helping to cultivate a lively business community on the Vineyard.

“This chamber has such a great relationship with its business members,” she said. “I’m not sure where else in the world I’ll ever get that experience again.”

Ms. Gardella said she’s seen the business community grow to accept what she called a “renewed focus” on green technology and sustainable business practices.

“The business people on Martha’s Vineyard have amazed me with their adaptability,” she said.

She stressed the unique, strong sense of community among business people on the Island, especially throughout the pandemic.

“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in a global pandemic,” she said.

In a press release, chamber board president Greg Orcutt thanked Ms. Gardella for her work over the years.

“On behalf of the entire Board, I want to express my gratitude to Nancy for all of her contributions to the Chamber and local businesses, and for her efforts promoting our special place to visitors from near and far,” Mr. Orcutt wrote.

Ms. Gardella said the pleasure was all hers.

“It has been such an honor and a privilege to be part of this chamber, and be part of this community for 15 years,” she said.