A year after she signed on as the Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce’s first full-time executive director, Janet Dutson has announced she will be resigning in October for family reasons.

During her brief tenure, Dutson reinvigorated the regional business and tourism group and was often commended for her efforts to extend the reach and relevance of the organization.

She recently moved to southern Maine to be closer to her husband’s work and has been commuting to Belfast as she finishes her work with the Chamber. Among other reasons for moving, she listed parents, children and extended family living in southern Maine.

“This job being the only reason I didn’t want to do it,” she said. “We vaguely considered moving down and me commuting, but the director really needs to be here.”

Rob Constantine, president of the Chamber’s board of directors, said under Dutson’s leadership the Chamber had grown both in membership and in more subjective measures like the visibility of the organization and how it is perceived in the community. He attributed this to Dutson’s efforts to make the organization known outside of its member constituency.

“She attended a ton of meetings, worked with the Belfast economic development director, spent time in the surrounding communities and met with the selectmen. She got the Chamber back on the map,” Constantine said. “People didn’t know the Chamber existed. She changed that.”

The Chamber had historically been a volunteer-run organization, and Constantine said much of the work Dutson did amounted to getting the internal works in order. “Janet did a great job of getting the office working again,” he said. “When you don’t have full-time management a lot of things slip through the cracks.”

Dutson launched a new Chamber of Commerce Web site, started a YouTube channel — BelfastBayMaine — and was behind a major overhaul to the organization’s magazine-style area guide, Belfast Bay & Beyond.

Dutson said the magazine, which was produced last year in collaboration with Bangor Metro, will be done in-house this year and will include an extensive section on starting businesses in the area.

“It’s something I’ve seen other people pay lip-service to, but we’re putting in a decent section about how great it is to start a business here,” she said

According to Constantine, attendance at the Chamber’s After Hours events increased while Dutson was director. Dutson also started the Chamber-sponsored Good Life Fest — a public event held at the Belfast Armory in May featuring booths by 45 local businesses.

Constantine said the board of directors had started the search for a new executive director and is currently seeking applicants.

“We hope somebody as good as Janet shows up really quickly,” he said