Chamber to honor Mary Louise Hancock with Special Community Service Citation

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Mary Louise Hancock, Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce Special Community Service Citation recipient. Photo courtesy of Geoff Forester.CONCORD, NH (Nov. 1, 2017) The Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce will present Mary Louise Hancock with a Special Community Service Citation at its 98th Annual Meeting and Citizen of the Year award celebration on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

During her decades of public service, Mary Louise has been an elected official, a planner, an environmentalist and a passionate champion for seniors and people with disabilities. A trailblazer, she refused to let the social challenges of the time constrain her in an era when women had very limited options outside of the home.

Mary Louise Hancock, Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce Special Community Service Citation honoree. Photo courtesy of Geoff Forester.

Mary Louise graduated from Concord High School in 1937, and earned her English degree from the University of New Hampshire in 1942. She went on to work in the New Hampshire Office of State Planning from 1944 to 1960, where she became state planning director. At the time, she was the only woman to head a state agency in New Hampshire and the only woman in the nation to head a state planning agency. During her 16-year tenure in the office, Mary Louise worked to prevent uncontrolled growth, helped communities create planning boards and zoning ordinances, connected land use with water quality and supported state park acquisition. Closer to home, Mary Louise has served on the Turkey River Basin board of trustees since 1987.

Growing up in the state capital, Mary Louise developed an early interest in politics from listening to political discussions in her family’s drugstore across the street from the New Hampshire State House. Her first elected office was Concord School Board, on which she served from 1955 to 1964. In 1975 Mary Louise became the first woman elected to represent Concord from State Senate District 15 serving until 1979. She remains active in state and national politics, advising candidates for offices from governor to president of the United States.

Much of Mary Louise’s distinguished volunteer service has taken place in Concord. She served on the city Planning Board from 1967 to 1972 and on the Concord Board of Adjustment from 1972 to 1977. Mary Louise was a member of the Concord Hospital Board of Trustees from 1979 to 1992 and served on the Downtown Concord Revitalization Corporation Advisory Committee from 1978 to 1983. She was president of the Women’s College Club of Concord and has sat on the New Hampshire Technical Institute Human Resources and Nursing School Advisory Committees.

A polio survivor, Mary Louise never let that slow her down. On the contrary, she set herself to work energetically as an advocate to see that government acts in the best interests of everyone and provides a safety net for people in need. In addition to her elected service, she served for 16 years on the Community Services Council of Merrimack County board of directors and was a trustee of Easter Seals Society-Goodwill Industries of New Hampshire.

These examples only scratch the surface of the service that Mary Louise Hancock has contributed to her city and her state. For these reasons and many more, the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce is honored to recognize Mary Louise Hancock with its Special Community Service Citation.

To register to attend the chamber’s 98th Annual Meeting and Citizen of the Year award event on November 8, visit or call (603) 224-2508. The celebration begins at 5 p.m. with a cocktail reception, followed by a keynote presentation by Dr. Gary Stager and seated dinner, and culminates in the Citizen of the Year and Special Community Service Citation presentation ceremony. The chamber extends special thanks to Presenting Sponsor Merrimack County Savings Bank, the 2017 Citizen of the Year Committee and all who contributed nominations.

For more information about the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce, call (603) 224-2508, email or visit

The Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to developing economic opportunities, a strong business climate and enhanced quality of life in its communities throughout the region.

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