Boston Public Market’s founding CEO steps down

Liz Morningstar’s replacement has already been named.

Boston Public Market CEO Liz Morningstar will step down at the end of January.
Boston Public Market CEO Liz Morningstar will step down at the end of January. –Craig F. Walker / The Boston Globe

Boston Public Market CEO Liz Morningstar, who helped build and open the permanent year-round market in Boston in July, will step down from her position at the end of the month, according to a release from the market.

“Liz joined us three years ago to write our business plan, raise critical funds, oversee design, permitting, and construction, recruit our vendors, and open the Boston Public Market. She has done an extraordinary job and accomplished all that she set out to do and more,’’ Brian Kinney, board chair of the market, said in a statement.

With the news of Morningstar’s departure, the board also announced the hiring of Cheryl Cronin as the market’s new CEO.

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“The market is ready for chapter two,’’ Cronin told Boston.com. “I want to do everything I can to get more people in the market, support our vendors, and provide nutritional education for kids. The market is so amazing and will be even more so in 12 months.’’

Cronin said she has known Morningstar for years, which “has made this an easy transition.’’

“The Boston Public Market is a start-up non-profit in the business of supporting other start-ups. Over time the market will change, adapt, and evolve, in order to ensure continued success and Cheryl is the right leader to chart the path forward,’’ Morningstar said in a statement. “I leave knowing the Market will continue to thrive, to contribute to the Boston community, and to grow under Cheryl’s leadership.’’

Cronin’s ties to Boston and its organizations are numerous, having served on the boards of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, the Greenway Conservancy, the University of Massachusetts Amherst Foundation, and the Alliance for Business Leadership. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Boston Public Library, and on the board of Sail Boston. Her career began in law as the first general counsel of the Office of Campaign & Political Finance, and as legislative counsel to the Attorney General of the Commonwealth.

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“Cheryl’s combined legal, political, nonprofit and civic leadership will clearly be an asset as the market looks to expand upon its success to date and engage even more visitors and supporters,’’ Trustees of Reservations President and CEO Barbara Erickson told Boston.com. Erickson’s orgnaization is the market’s programming partner.

Vendors were notified of the leadership shift in an announcement Monday. Many have worked closely with Morningstar throughout the construction and launch process.

“I am a huge fan of Liz’s, simply amazed at what she, her staff, and the board of the [Boston Public Market Association] has accomplished during her tenure, and will miss seeing having her friendly presence around the market on a daily basis as CEO,’’ Chris Kurth, owner of Sienna Farms, told Boston.com. “I completely trust the BPMA board in their selection of Cheryl Cronin as their new CEO, and recognize that the project of running a market such as the BPMA is a very different job than building it.’’

Al Rose, of Red Apple Farm, said he believes the next three cold winter months will be the most trying in terms of business, but said he is looking forward to learning more about Cronin’s business plan when she meets with all 38 of the market’s vendors in a meeting expected to take place Thursday. Kurth said Cronin called Monday to introduce herself before officially starting the position next week.

Gallery: Opening day at the Boston Public Market

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