BELFAST — In their first “Business after Hours” gathering since the coronavirus shut everything down last year, members of Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce paid tribute to retiring Executive Director Steve Ryan and welcomed Dorothy Havey back as his successor.

The event was set up outside the chamber office on Lower Main Street, with food inside and beverages outside, provided by Ryan Otis of Rollies.

Retiring for the second time, Ryan and his wife are heading to Portugal for a new adventure as expatriates. Havey previously led the chamber from September 2013 to the end of 2014, leaving for an offer she couldn’t refuse on the staff of then-Maine Senate President Michael Thibodeau, R-Waldo County. Just over a year ago, Havey moved from Lincolnville to Belfast, excited about her new home, she said, only to have the city shut down almost immediately by COVID-19.

Friends, business associates and local officials turned out to bid Ryan a fond farewell, greet Havey and swap stories. Among them were Belfast City Councilors Brenda Bonneville and Mike Hurley, Waldo County’s Democratic state Sen. Chip Curry of Belfast, City Manager Erin Herbig, George Frangoulis, David Dancy, Kristine Wentworth of BAY PRO (a chamber offshoot for young professionals) and Scott Smith of the chamber staff.

Ryan’s daughter Belle wrapped up the evening’s tributes with reminiscences of her dad since his first retirement in Bangor, followed by his tenure with the chamber in Belfast.