Amherst Chamber of CommerceAmherst Chamber of Commerce

 Message from the President

By: Colleen DiPirro


Over 1000 business leaders participated in various activities sponsored by the Amherst Chamber in January.  Participants ranged from sole proprietors that work from home to the CEO's of major regional corporations.  Looking back to the first thirty days of 2013 provides an accurate snapshot of the Amherst Chamber and the diversity of programming and services we provide that results in our being the largest chamber in the region.

Four networking groups, ProNets, met twice each last month with approximately 130 business representatives in attendance.  While ProNets were originally created to focus on members hoping to expand their market penetration via leads, they have expanded to include large firm representatives looking for ways to purchase products and services in a cost effective and secure manner.  One group, led by Alan Demski of Waddell and Reed, finished 2012 with over $100,000 in sales with one another!  Committee and Council meetings including the Business Resource Council, Emerging Business Leaders and the Public Affairs Council hosted almost 500 members throughout the course of the month.  This included meetings, networking receptions and events.   This doesn't include another 125 business leaders that attended a luncheon with Kenneth Adams, President of Empire State Development or the 25 CEO's who had a private meeting with Lt. Governor Robert Duffy, both events hosted by the Amherst Chamber.

Photos of these events are featured in this publication and will help familiarize you with the variety of the events we host and give you the opportunity to view the large crowds we draw.  However, our success is not attributeable to just our events.  We also facilitate Grand Openings and Ribbon Cuttings on behalf of our members including two this month; Salon D'avoe ( a Hollywood type Hair salon) and Mash (an urgent care facility). 

Providing resources for our members is a high priority for us and in January we hosted a Tools For Prosperity Workshop featuring Rick Wallace who offered advice to attendees on how to be more profitable with less stress.   Members who work from home benefited from workshops, one presented by Superior Group on Technology for the Home Based or Small Business and a Public Speaking presentation by Bobby Mills from Daemen College.


Many small meetings were held in our offices throughout the month from a New Member Orientation where we acquainted over 30 new members with our offerings to meetings with assorted individuals and groups such as Linda Soltis from the Canadian Consulate, Dennis Elsenbeck from National Grid to prepare testimony for the PSC Rate Hearings, Lawley Benefits Group to strategize preparation for Health Care Exchanges, Sweet Home Schools and Wendel to discuss industry/education partnerships and workforce development initiatives.  This is just an overview  of some of the activities going on at any given time at the Amherst Chamber.

Our Annual Meeting in January included the State of the Town Address by Supervisor Barry Weinstein and had an attendance of almost 300, including Congressman Higgins, NYS Senator Mike Ranzenhofer, Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs, Town Board members, the Town Justices, Buffalo News and Amherst Bee reporters, CEO's and small business representatives.  In addition to the unveiling of our Annual Legislative Agenda, our 2013 Board of Directors and Officers were installed and officially kickstarted the beginning of our program year.  David Donovan from Independent Health gave his inaugural speech as chairman and outlines his vision for his term in hiscolumn this month.

The Amherst Chamber of Commerce is an inclusive organization that responds to the diverse needs of our membership.  If you are reading this and are unsure how to take advantage of your investment in the Chamber reach out to me at or our Member Services Director, Kim Whelan at

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