MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
Happy New Year!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! I love coming back to work at the Chamber after the Holidays. While I always look forward to taking some time off at the end of December and spending time with my family and friends, the first day back in January is an uplifting time. I get excited about the opportunity to recreate, refine and reinvigorate! And, 2015 is going to be exceptionally exhilarating.
We have spent the past 6 months engaged in a strategic planning process. Our facilitator, Bob Volpe, reached out to community leaders from across the region in the public and private sectors to get input on their perception of the Amherst Chamber's role in the area. He conducted focus groups and a membership wide survey and facilitated small group information gathering meetings. The results are being synthesized and will be presented to our Executive Committee later this month. From there, we will develop a Program of Work and Marketing Plan that incorporates all of the feedback into a workable strategy. Our current membership, the largest in the region, represents over 70 zip codes in the Buffalo Niagara region - well beyond the borders of Amherst - so we expect to realign our organizational goals to reflect our large and diverse constituent base. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, read our newsletters and emails or pick up the phone and call one of our staff to keep abreast of our progress.
January is also the kick-off to our programs for the year. Our Annual Lunch, one of the most well attended events we sponsor, is Friday, January 30th, 2015 at Classics V. In addition to the Installation of our Board of Directors by NYS Assemblyman Ray Walters, the luncheon features our Amherst Supervisor Barry Weinstein who presents the State of the Town address. He will be joined this year by Deputy Supervisor Guy Marlette.
Our Public Policy Agenda will also be distributed at this event. The Public Policy Committee works diligently for months researching issues that impact our members' ability to prosper and impact our residents' quality of life. Once we have a list compiled, we determine if we have the ability to impact the outcomes of these issues and make our selections. We have a great relationship with our Public Officials at all levels of government, on both sides of the aisle, and our Public Policy Agenda is well regarded and a great tool for us to generate support for our positions. The Agenda serves as a guideline for our advocacy activities and is an important component of our organizational goals and objectives.
At the end of the day, the Amherst Chamber of Commerce is committed to serving our members, large and small. The Strategic Planning process will insure that we continue to be pro-active in assessing our members' needs and our Public Policy Agenda allows us to have input into issues that impact your ability to grow and prosper.
I will end this column the same way I started - wishing you all a Happy New Year. When making your New Year's resolutions, be sure to add getting more engaged in the Amherst Chamber of Commerce. Unlike losing weight or saving money, getting involved in the Chamber is easy and results in a huge return on investment.