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President Keenan Named to The Salem Partnership's Leadership Team

May 26, 2022

The Salem Partnership (TSP) named new leadership at its annual Board of Directors meeting last month. The selections include Salem State University President John D. Keenan as president, Executive Vice President of Salem Five Bank Joseph Riley as chairman, and Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) Lynda Roscoe Hartigan as vice president.  

TSP elects a new leadership team every two years. In addition to Keenan, Riley and Roscoe Hartigan’s roles, TSP’s 2022-2024 officers include Tom Daniel, director of planning and community development for the city of Salem (the city’s planning director holds an ongoing TSP vice president role); Laura Fleming, executive director of marketing and communication at Salem Hospital (TSP secretary); James Muse, corporator at North Shore Bank (TSP treasurer), and Dick Pabich, co-owner of The Salem Inn (TSP clerk).  

“These leaders represent vital industries in Salem, and I’m excited to have their passion and expertise guiding us in the years ahead,” said Elizabeth Debski, executive director of The Salem Partnership. “Leveraging the collective talent, knowledge and creativity across Salem’s industries will set us up to seize the many opportunities ahead for our city.” 

TSP is a public-private partnership that works to advance economic development opportunities in Salem, and it includes representation from leaders in sectors throughout the city, including education, the arts, media, tourism, hospitality, finance, health care and more. 

Keenan is a life-long Salem resident. Prior to becoming president of Salem State University in 2017, he served as vice president of administration at Salem State. From 2005 to 2014, Keenan represented Salem in the Massachusetts legislature. In recent years, Salem State University has achieved Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, which indicates significant institutional commitment to community and civic engagement; the Bertolon School of Business became one of five percent of business schools worldwide to achieve accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB); and the university has been granted $30 million from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to pursue a transformational building project that will enhance the student experience and better position Salem State to prepare the North Shore’s future workforce.  

“I have always had deep appreciation for the Salem Partnership’s contribution to the strength of our city, and I am delighted to follow in the footsteps of my predecessors, President Emerita Nancy Harrington and President Emerita Patricia Maguire Meservey, who both placed an emphasis on the university’s engagement and embeddedness within the community,” said Keenan. “At Salem State, we proudly educate countless students from the North Shore who go on to be leaders in our communities. Salem State’s commitment to serving the region through the opportunities we offer aligns well with TSP’s work to ensure a vibrant and thriving city.” 

A 40-year veteran of the financial industry, Riley oversees all aspects of retail banking for Salem Five’s 34 locations. Prior to joining Salem Five, Riley was an executive vice president of Eastern Bank. An active member of his local community, Riley is vice chairman of the board of trustees at North Shore Community College where he also serves on their foundation board. Additionally, he’s a member of the board of directors of the Lynn Boys & Girls Club. Riley earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the College of the Holy Cross and an MBA in accounting from Northeastern University.    

“It has been my great pleasure to serve as president of The Salem Partnership with a true professional such as Executive Director Beth Debski,” said Riley. “I’m honored to now be able to work so closely with President John Keenan, who has given so much of his life to the city of Salem, and with CEO and Executive Director Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, whose leadership of the PEM is certain to enrich our community in countless ways.” 

Roscoe Hartigan assumed the role of executive director and chief executive officer at the Peabody Essex Museum in August 2021. Prior to this role, Roscoe Hartigan was deputy director for collections and research and chief innovation officer at Canada’s largest and most visited museum, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. Roscoe Hartigan was appointed as PEM’s first chief curator in 2003, rising to deputy director in 2016. She led an ambitious, award-winning curatorial and exhibition program and reimagined the museum’s exhibition, publishing and collection strategies.  

"Salem is at a pivotal juncture in its growth and development and I am honored and energized to work alongside my fellow TSP Board members to help the city usher in its great next chapter," added Roscoe Hartigan, TSP vice president. "By harnessing the power of our private, public, and non-profit sectors, we can identify new solutions to our community’s challenges and collectively realize a bolder, brighter future." 

According to Debski, TSP’s priorities in the years ahead will include advancing the concept of a South Salem Commuter Rail Stop on the Newburyport/Rockport line; activating the Friends of FRIENDSHIP, a non-profit that supports maintenance and programming of the replica tall ship; and continued advocacy for transportation, housing, education, and tourism.  

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