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A Quick Lesson on Leadership Transfer and a Thank You | News, Sports, Jobs



Chairman and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier

At the end of July 2020, I gave one year’s notice to the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce that I was planning to step down from my role as President / CEO. Over the course of my career, I’ve found that even the most well-thought-out deadlines and action plans don’t always turn out exactly as planned. Some jobs are delayed, some are sped up, and there are often curves and challenges along the way that require reorientation. But there are times when “the stars and the planets align” and things fall into place and the job gets done as planned. In the case of the Chamber, our transfer of leadership went as planned. He was on time and produced an exceptional result. To the merit of the board of directors and the team, we put in place a succession plan a few years ago and the executive committee executed it with the support of RA Koerner & Associates who accompanied us throughout. of our process. So, some practical advice to our members / investors, I recommend that you take the time to develop a succession plan if you do not currently have one. It is worth the time invested.

As I noted, we couldn’t be happier with the outcome. We had several excellent candidates for the position of President / CEO and ultimately the House Board of Directors chose Dan Heitzenrater. I have had the pleasure of working with Dan in various settings for several years and you can rest assured that the Chamber of Commerce is in good hands. Dan loves Chautauqua County, he works hard, he works smart and is dedicated. I am delighted to see him lead and take the organization to new heights.

On leaving, I say thank you to our members and investors for supporting the mission of the Chamber of Commerce, the hard work you put into your businesses and, ultimately, the engines of our economy. I have not only been fortunate enough to work with many of you, but have developed lasting friendships along the way. To our many partner organizations across the region; things only get done if we all work together, and I appreciated your partnership with us on this journey.

Thank you also to our board of directors for supporting me, and sometimes just tolerating me. I would like to note that, especially last year, for about three months, we met every week with the members of the Board of Directors of the Manufacturers Association to navigate through COVID-19. The advice and feedback from the Board of Directors has been extremely helpful at a critical time as we have helped our business community through these difficult days and months.

And a final note of appreciation to the team / staff I have had the pleasure of working with both past and present: Thank you for your dedication and hard work in support of the business community. . You’ve been a wonderful team of people to work with, and for the most part, you’ve done a really good job keeping me out of trouble!

I wish our members / investors, partner organizations, the Chamber team and the new “Room man”, Dan Heitzenrater, only the best in the future!


The Hanover Community Chamber of Commerce will once again host its annual Silver Creek Yard Sales event on Saturday, July 31. The sales are a fundraiser for the Hanover Community Chamber, helping them with events throughout the year, including scholarships for Silver Creek and Forestville School Districts. Residents can register to participate for $ 10 per sale. Registration is now open in person at Silver Creek Optical or online on the Chamber calendar at www.chautauquachamber.org. All registrations must be received by Monday July 26 in order to be included on the card.


The Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce is proud to welcome the return of Jamestown Cruise-In on Friday August 6th! In partnership with the Der Kobblers Automobile Association, the Chamber of Commerce will host this fun annual event from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. along Third Street between Washington and Spring Streets. Regional collectors of classic cars, hot rods and special vehicles will exhibit their cars and trucks. The evening will also include live music and the Babe Ruth World Series Committee will sell burgers, hot dogs and Pepsi merchandise. Downtown businesses are encouraged to offer extended hours and evening specials. Jamestown Cruise-In is proudly sponsored by Ahlstrom Schaeffer Electric, M&T Bank and Media One Radio Group. Cars can be pre-registered online through the Chamber’s events calendar at www.chautauquachamber.org or can be registered on site. All vehicle registrations are $ 10. Everyone is welcome to stroll downtown and enjoy this free and fun family event!


The First Friday is the first Friday of each month during the summer and the next is August 6 in the village of Westfield. These popular events are organized by the Westfield-Barcelona Community Chamber of Commerce and create a street fair every month on Main Street in Westfield, with live music, children’s games, wine, food, vendors and much more. Moreover. The event runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Everyone is welcome!


Once again this year, the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce will host its annual golf tournament at the Peek’n Peak Resort in Clymer. The event will kick off with a shotgun start at 11 a.m. on August 19. Space is limited. Golfers can register online now with preferential rates until July 29 at www.chamberrsvp.org. The 2021 Chamber Golf Tournament is sponsored by: A Automotive, AES / Empire Solar, Bush Industries, Chautauqua Lake Dental, Chautauqua Patrons Insurance, Community Bank, Dahlstrom Roll Form, DFT Communications, Express Employment Professionals, Graf Realty, Jamestown Container, Jamestown Kitchen & Bath, Jamestown Mattress Company, Koester Associates, Lake Shore Savings Bank, Lawley Insurance, Nestlé Purina PetCare, OBSERVER, The Post-Journal and Shults Auto Group.

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