From Communications to Community Engagement
University of New Hampshire at Manchester graduate Cole Riel ’17 has had quite the diverse career, most recently securing a position as the Member Engagement Coordinator of the Greater Manchester Chamber. The Chamber facilitates conversations between the Greater Manchester business community and elected leaders, at times advocating for policies that would positively impact the community. In Riel’s current position, he is responsible for assisting in the advancement of the Chamber’s mission, strategic plan, and membership goals. He communicates directly with business owners to help them grow their organization and serves as a liaison between the Chamber and the Downtown Committee.
“I am proud to be a part of the amazing team at the Greater Manchester Chamber and working to help grow and connect businesses and improve our community every day,” Riel said. “It is a change from my past work, but beyond rewarding and an amazing organization to be a part of.”
Riel, a life-long Goffstown resident, began his career on the Goffstown Budget Committee in the fall of 2017, shortly after completing his B.A. in Communication Arts with Cinema and Media Arts Option. He would go on to become Vice Chair of the Committee in 2018, serving through two budget cycles as Chair. He served two years as a State Representative on the House Education Committee and two years on the Hillsborough County Delegation’s Executive Committee.
In March 2019, Riel began working with Mayor Pete Buttigeig’s campaign as New Hampshire Outreach Coordinator and later as Deputy Political Director, working as the first and initially only staffer and one of the first hires of the entire campaign. Much of this political success he attributes to his UNH Manchester education.
“I frankly do not know where I would be if I didn’t attend UNH Manchester,” Riel said. “Opportunities and experiences at UNH Manchester allowed me to network and enabled me to excel quickly through the political ranks. At 23 years old I was serving in local, county, and state government and was one of the first hires of a campaign that grew at record speed to incredible heights. That doesn’t happen in states other than New Hampshire, and I was only put on that track because of my time at UNH Manchester.”