REPORT FROM THE CHAIRMAN THE BOARD
DAVID FLYNN/PHILLIPS LYTLE
As I complete my fourth month as Chairman of the Board of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on what I have witnessed in my new leadership role. As a member of the Board of Directors for more than five years, I had a good perception of the breadth of the Chamber's activities and engagement in local and regional initiatives. As the chair I can tell you that the actual scope of the Chamber's activities so far this year has greatly exceeded my expectations.
Beginning with our Annual Meeting in January, attended by more than 300 area business representatives and public officials, I began to understand the true sense of ownership multiple user groups have in our organization. Chamber members, ranging from CEO's of major firms to individuals working from their homes all reached out to me to express their support and relate their high regard for the Chamber.
I was honored to work with our staff and Governor Cuomo's staff as we prepared for his first official visit to Western New York in February at Daemen College. Our organizational dedication to taking a leadership role in the identification of public policy issues on behalf of our members has certainly resonated with our public officials. Following the Governor, we have hosted NYS Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and NYS Senator Mike Ranzenhofer. This month we will be hosting meetings for Congressional Candidates Jane Corwin and Kathy Hochul and later this month Congressman Brian Higgins will join us as a Special Guest at our monthly Business After Hours event. Plans are also underway for the new CEO of Empire State Development, Kenneth Adams, to address our leadership.
From a small business perspective, our Professional Networking Groups have expanded; both in size and number. Currently, each of the five groups enjoys a membership of over 30 members, representing a diversity of businesses. We are working to track the amount of business being conducted within these groups on a dollar basis to validate the value of participation to the participants. The very ambitious and hard-working Chamber staff meets daily with our members in an effort to identify solutions to their business challenges and create cost savings benefits that promotes their prosperity. Our Solutions Center meeting space is being utilized regularly and members are recognizing the value of this member benefit.
My experience these few short months has been that the Amherst Chamber of Commerce is delivering on its promise- providing business members of all size with the tools to be prosperous . As I stated when I became chair, I want each and every member to be able to quantify a tangible return on investment in their Chamber. I believe we are well on our way. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments or suggestions.