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Chris Mutty, Town Meeting member who ran hydroponic farm, tapped to lead Chamber of Commerce

Chris Mutty, the new executive director of the Brookline Chamber of Commerce. Photo courtesy of Chris Mutty
June 10, 2024

After reading a Brookline.News article in February about the gap in leadership at the Brookline Chamber of Commerce and the need for a unifier, Chris Mutty was inspired.

“Small business experience, knows the town, lives here. It was all hitting me over the head,” Mutty said. “This is something you should apply for.”

After a lengthy interview process, Mutty got the job. He started as executive director of the Chamber in April, replacing Lisa Leger who left in December after just nine months in the role.

Mutty, 36, helped create and run Green Line Growers, a hydroponic farm and local food store in Coolidge Corner, along with co-owner Bobby Zuker. It lasted about four years, closing in 2019 after staff turnover and challenges finding a market for its products.

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Since then Mutty, also a substitute teacher and rugby coach, has been largely a stay-at-home dad with his three children, now six, three and nine months old.

Mutty has lived here for 10 years, and is also an elected Town Meeting member. (He also ran unsuccessfully for School Committee last year).

“[The Chamber] has a government affairs committee. But I’m actually part of the government,” Mutty said. “So having an opportunity to advocate for businesses not only as the director of the Chamber of Commerce but also as a Town Meeting member is going to be pretty crucial to my role.”

Mutty says he’s coming into the job with his ears open, and will be going on a “listening tour” through the month to meet with Chamber members and other business owners in town to learn about their challenges and goals. “I think at the end of the day, it boils down to listening,” he said.

Mutty also wants to restart monthly networking events and to work on bringing new businesses to Brookline, including connecting them with landlords who have vacancies.

David Gladstone, chair of the board of the Chamber, said that the organization chose Mutty from a shortlist of four candidates.

“It’s nice to have a Brookline guy who’s Brookline-centric, a member of Town Meeting, having run a business in the past and been involved with a not-for-profit,” Gladstone said.

He said Mutty’s dual role as a Executive Director of the Chamber and Town Meeting member will be valuable.

“96% of the people that own businesses in Brookline live outside of the town, and there’s a lack of representation at Town Meeting,” Gladstone said. “It’s important for Town Meeting to get the perspective of a business person.”