Jim Snodgrass named 2021 Citizen of the Year

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Jim SnodgrassCONCORD, NH (October 2021) - The Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Jim Snodgrass as its 2021 Citizen of the Year. The Chamber will honor the Concord nonprofit leader at its 102nd Annual Meeting and Citizen of the Year Award event on Wednesday, November 3 at the Grappone Conference Center. All are welcome to attend this in-person celebration of Snodgrass’s positive impact on the Greater Concord community.

As Executive Director at Second Start for 47 years, Jim Snodgrass has been instrumental in providing educational opportunities for all members of the capital region community. In a nomination statement, Chris Blanchard of Implied Networks, LLC wrote, “Everything Jim has done has been to give back to the people of Concord and surrounding areas.” This is evident through Second Start’s history. Under Snodgrass’ leadership, the organization quickly grew from a handful of part-time staff offering a few adult classes and minimal childcare to the robust organization it is today. This key organization now serves adults, job-seekers, at-risk youth and Concord’s New American communities.

One of the first projects Snodgrass implemented was moving the organization out of a church basement into the West Concord Firehouse. Later on, the organization renovated and moved into the historic Garrison Elementary School. Expanding the organization physically has allowed Second Start to offer robust childcare services, spanning from infant care to afterschool programs for grades one through five. To support older children who were not successful in a traditional school setting, Snodgrass established the Alternative High School program. Second Start also works closely with schools through its substance misuse prevention programs. Snodgrass’ innovation and passion for education has supported families across the capital region.

Snodgrass also expanded the adult programs at Second Start. He established the English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, which have grown and adapted as Concord has become more diverse. Between 2012 and 2014, this program’s enrollment surpassed all other adult classes combined. The ESL program has served Concord’s immigrant and refugee population, offering crucial support as these residents establish their new homes. “I did not know how to speak or write English. It was very difficult for me to look for a job and try to improve my future in this country,” said an ESL student. “Second Start is a blessing in my life. Now I feel like my fears are gone and my freedom is here.” Second Start also offers a New American Driving School program, which helps immigrant and refugee residents achieve their driver’s licenses.

“Jim has made a critical impact on the Greater Concord community,” said Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce President Tim Sink. “This award represents the Chamber’s highest honor, and we are thrilled to recognize such a worthy recipient.” The Chamber has honored an outstanding individual from the local community with its most prestigious award for over fifty years. Jim Snodgrass will join the ranks of these esteemed award recipients in November.

The Chamber’s 102nd Annual Meeting and Citizen of the Year award event takes place on Wednesday, November 3 at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord. Presented by Merrimack County Savings Bank, the celebration begins at 5 p.m. with a cocktail reception, followed by a plated dinner, and culminates in the Citizen of the Year presentation ceremony. Register online at concordnhchamber.com/key-events or call (603) 224-2508.

Incorporated in 1919, New Hampshire's state capital chamber of commerce—the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce—develops economic opportunities, strengthens the business climate, and enhances quality of life in the Capital region. The largest chamber in the state, it is deeply invested in the local community and dedicated to shaping competitive economic development strategy, advocating for policies and projects that benefit the region, and promoting Concord as a culturally vibrant visitor destination. For more information, please visit concordnhchamber.com.

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