LIVINGSTON COUNTY – The Livingston County Chamber of Commerce is welcoming a new chair to carry forward its vision of cultivating businesses from Avon to Dansville.
After three years at the helm of the Chamber Board of Directors, Matt Cole is moving to a board member role. His longtime fellow board and executive committee member Ed Russell is the new Chair.
“I grew up in Canton, New York, near Clarkson, and before coming to Livingston County had never heard of Letchworth State Park,” said Russell, a partner attorney at Underberg & Kessler LLP. “There’s a lot of focus on bringing dollars here by promoting tourism and recreation. It’s a very exciting time.”
The Chamber is looking at making a few changes designed to both restructure its membership opportunities and keep close contact with its existing member businesses to keep them aware of the full pallete of services offered.
“Health care is a big new step for us,” said Cole. “There’s a lot of emphasis on training businesses, especially in social media and online presence. We’re always listening for thoughts that businesses have so that we can advocate for them in Albany.”
“There’s so much more available for businesses than a sticker for the door,” said Russell. “There are many services that members are not even aware of. We want to proactively contact our members to let them know exactly what we have for them. Our great staff are already working on these initiatives. I think Laura has been a great leader for this organization.”
Chamber President and CEO Laura Lane said that much of the Chamber’s work, especially their promotion efforts, go unseen by Livingston County residents because so much emphasis is put on drawing in people from other regions to ultimately shop here.
“A lot of our work might go unseen if you live in Livingston County because you’re already here,” said Lane. “We love to see our county in the press. We’ve had 77 placements in national publications, and are always striving for more.”
Russell added that the Chamber board is one of the most active, engaged boards he’s ever been on. He has previously served at the Veterans Outreach Center, library boards, school boards and the Monroe County Bar Association.
“It’s a collaborative process to get where we’ve been and where we’re going,” said Russell. “We have such a good group and such a good staff.”
Russell says that he and the entire Chamber look forward to a full calendar of events for businesses and the public at large, the next of which being the 2018 Farmer Neighbor Dinner on March 23.