By Joyce Carroll
Special to Delaware Business Times
Mike Quaranta brings more than 30 years of experience in both the public and private sectors to his new role as president of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce. His government experience includes a seven-year stint as the chief of staff for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Here in Delaware, Quaranta is a member of the New Castle City Council. Couple these with years as a consultant and now with a vested interest in his wife’s antique business, 2nd Act Antiques, and Quaranta sees the full picture.
Local chambers of commerce — there are a dozen in the state — offer networking and events to their respective business communities. By contrast, the state’s chamber is the preeminent advocate with regard to public policy and its impact on businesses throughout all of Delaware.
“People join for a couple of reasons. On their own, they may not have the ability to influence statewide policy outcomes. Collectively, they can through us,” Quaranta said.
Like its local counterparts, the state chamber also sponsors events, but on a grander scale. On Oct. 16th, it will host an economic development event titled, “Developing Delaware: Conversation, Collaboration, and Innovation” in Dover.
“I’m very optimistic about the prospects of developing a robust, statewide business policy agenda that includes input and endorsement from local chambers of commerce, the Delaware Business Roundtable, and other business organizations,” Quaranta said.
While his service-oriented career has yielded many proud moments, Quaranta is quick to acknowledge those who have helped pave his way. He credits his years as a consultant with providing him with the customer service tools required to lend support to the chamber’s membership. His wife’s three-year-old business in historic New Castle has heightened his ability at reaching out and building kinship with the chamber’s membership.
“The men and women who operate large and small businesses are united in their shared set of hopes and concerns. I’m interested in finding out about the things they are doing, the plans they’re making. I’ve come to appreciate the creativity (inherent in) the men and women steering these businesses and what drives them to put something in the marketplace that has value,” he said.