After working on projects that ranged from helping fill empty storefronts to launching Ridgefield’s film festival to getting more electrical vehicle chargers in town, John Devine has resigned from the Ridgefield Economic and Community Development Commission. He’s returning to Andover, Mass.

Devine has served on the “ECDC” as it is known, for four years, has been its chairman, and was one of its most active and visible members.

“I am personally and emotionally conflicted, leaving our community during these unique and challenging times,” he wrote in a June 2 resignation letter. “I’ve had the opportunity to live in 7 zip codes over the past 40 years and through my personal lens, I recognize and appreciate what a unique and special community Ridgefield is. Many of our business owners have become friends and I regret not being able to be here as we recover from the pandemic.”

He has a career in consumer products sales and manufacturing with companies such as Procter & Gamble and L’Oreal, and more recently has been doing business consulting.

“The pandemic has changed both my personal and professional life,” he said. “On the business side, my partners and I have not set foot in our Irvington office for three months. We are closing the office and will continue to work remote.”

Devine said he has a daughter in Goshen, and another daughter who’d just moved from Princeton, N.J., to Cape Elizabeth, Maine. With that move Ridgefield lost its fairly central location.

He expects to move back to the Andover, Mass. area In late June. “My extended family, including my elderly Mother and friends, still reside in the area,” he wrote. “I will also be able to ensure that I can have a reasonable drive to visit my daughters and six precious grandchildren as often as they allow!”

Devine praised the “leaders in our community in government, non-profits and local businesses” that he’d worked with.

He expressed confidence “the leadership and talent” in Ridgefield would continue serving the town well through the “challenging journey” of recovery from COVID-19.

“I am proud of the accomplishments that the ECDC has achieved over the past four years,” Devine said. “We have made a noticeable and measurable impact on our community. The website, the elimination of silos, collaboration with all of the arts organizations and Downtown Ridgefield, new strong linkages with the state, bringing new businesses to town and watching them grow, adding banners and organizing calendars and building brand awareness through continuous paid effective marketing efforts, to name a few...

“I leave knowing that a much stronger, talented and more diverse commission will continue to serve the community going forward,” he said.

“It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve the community of Ridgefield,” Devine said. “I am a firm believer in Paying Forward and have been lifelong volunteer in numerous endeavors. My experience on the ECDC has been enlightening, challenging, educational and very rewarding. Thank you for the opportunity to serve.”