By Daniel J. Heitzenrater,
President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce
Working together was a running theme through the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting on Friday. From the presentation of the Pam Lydic Coalition Builder Award presentation to the keynote address by two college presidents, the event demonstrated how the entire county benefits from individuals and organizations collaborating.
Dr. Daniel DeMarte, president of Jamestown Community College and Dr. Stephen Kolison, president of the State University of New York at Fredonia shared the spotlight for the keynote address with an announcement that through a new collaborative effort SUNY Fredonia will offer a way for JCC students to complete their bachelor’s degree through SUNY Fredonia, but on the Jamestown campus of JCC. Dr. Kolison pointed out that classes can begin for the new program as soon as the fall of 2022, calling it both “a game changer and a no brainer” as the two sought ways to work together to provide improved educational opportunities for students.
The 2021 Pam Lydic Coalition Builder Award was presented to the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation, United Way of Northern Chautauqua County and United Way of Southern Chautauqua County. The organizations worked closely together to form the Chautauqua County Response Fund. As a coalition they created a centralized funding pool that was able to quickly deploy resources to community-based organizations to address the dramatic economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Since its inception, the Chautauqua County Response Fund has raised more than $1 million from individuals, community organizations, and local foundations. Representatives from the staff and boards of all four organizations were on hand to accept the honor.
Each year the Chamber of Commerce presents an honorarium to a charity chosen by the award recipient. This year the stipend will go to the Capacity Lab, a new shared nonprofit capacity building initiative to be housed at both Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation.
The Chamber’s Board of Directors for 2022 was confirmed. Fred Johnson of Johnson Estate Winery will remain as Board Chair and also represents the Westfield-Barcelona Community Chamber Committee. Vice Chair is Heather Brown of The Resource Center. Kris Maytum of DFT Communications will be Treasurer. The Secretary will be Emily Reynolds of Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Brian Bugaj of Nestle Purina PetCare remains Immediate Past Chair. New Board Members elected were Kim Carlson of Pea Pod & Juniper and Ben Webb of Webb’s Captain’s Table. Returning Board Members are Robert Manning of Manning’s Fireside Manor and Kristofer Sellstrom of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities, and the chairs of each of the six Community Chamber of Commerce committees: Dunkirk, Ellen Luczkowiak of KeyBank; Fredonia, Larry Fiorella of HBKS Wealth Advisors; Hanover, Rick Klisiewicz of Golden Arrow Logistics; Jamestown, Vicki McGraw of Elegant Edible Catering; Mayville-Chautauqua, Sorena Gilkinson of ERA VP Realty; and Westfield-Barcelona, Fred Johnson of Johnson Estate Winery.
The Chamber Annual Meeting was sponsored by Chautauqua Harbor Hotel, DFT Communications, Jamestown Community College, Media One Radio Group, OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, Zach of All Trades, Forecon, and M&T Bank.
CHAMBER PRESENTS TUESDAY TALKS PANEL ON BUSINESS SECURITY
The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is reviving its series of Tuesday Talks programs, with a timely panel discussion on security for all businesses on Tuesday, December 14. This informational session will focus on both cyber security from presenters at Ultimate Tech Solutions, and on personal security from Officer Matthew Rhinehart of the Jamestown Police Department.
Tuesday Talks is designed as an informational and interactive program, where participants can feel free to ask questions.
This event will be held via Zoom meeting for the convenience of all participants at 8:30am, Tuesday, December 14. Sign up now through the Chamber’s online events calendar to get the Zoom link.
SHOP LOCALLY THIS SEASON
Remember the joy in holiday shopping? You can find it again when you shop at small locally owned businesses. Small Business Saturday is past, but you can shop small every day when you choose to support local businesses.
There are dozens of small, locally owned businesses are dotting every corner of Chautauqua County and packed with gift items that will fit your list and your budget. Whether you’re looking for games, books, toys, home decor, clothing, artisan made soaps, local wines, or more, you’ll find those products at small local businesses right here in our own communities. Savor the shopping experience and find unique and special gifts for your family and friends.
It’s also easy to support small local businesses when you shop online. Visit www.ShopLocalCHQ.com to find a local shopping and marketing platform featuring over 70 local merchants with more than 300 products for sale.
Local businesses make our communities vibrant and distinct. Support small locally owned businesses during the holiday season and all year round.