Message from the President | November 2018

President/CEO A.J. Baynes
President/CEO A.J. Baynes

The Event 2018 has come and gone but will go down in the Chamber’s history as one of the best. If you were among the hundreds who attended, you will no doubt understand what I mean. The room was packed with people from both large and small companies representing every corner of the local business community. There was an incredible energy; engagement and networking were over the top! It was also a proud night for our six honorees who received some well-deserved recognition, including short, beautifully created videos telling their stories courtesy of Chamber member Buffalo Video Production. We kept the program portion moving and still made time for some wonderful remarks from each of our award winners. If you couldn’t attend, check out the photos from The Event on Facebook here and the videos on our YouTube page here.

Fall has brought a lot of rain our way, but nothing could dampen the spirits on Main Street in Williamsville Saturday when the Chamber helped cut the ribbon on the Picture Main Street project.  The construction began in June on the $3.7 million plan to make the street more walkable. Five months later, curbs are extended to shorten crossings and improve sight lines for both pedestrians and drivers. There is also a mid-block pedestrian-activated crossing with a hawk signal in front of the Amherst Library. It was a challenging summer for both commuters and businesses along that stretch, but the Chamber is proud of the result and glad we could help unveil the changes that are sure to bring more growth to that burgeoning area. A news conference was held prior to the ribbon cutting with Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, Congressman Brian Higgins and other elected officials. You can watch it in its entirety on our Facebook page here.

In October, we had great success with our newest program, the West Herr Driven to Success Series. We kicked it off with Buffalo Business First Publisher John Tebeau. We capped the attendance at 30 and offered a light lunch while John spoke informally to the group about his career and his views on journalism today. Those who attended now have a connection to John, who encouraged them to share story ideas or feedback on the newspaper. This program will run every other month. We are now finalizing the details to have our sponsor, West Herr President Scott Bieler, present in December.

It is theater season here in Western New York, so the Chamber thought it was the perfect time to check out MusicalFare for our Business After Hours last month. The intimate theatre on the Daemen College campus has a Cabaret room in the lobby which was the perfect location for wine tasting and enjoying light snacks. A bonus was a beautiful singing performance by Dominique Kempf.

We are just a few days into November and we’ve already held a Member Education Series on managing workplace conflict and a jam-packed Lunch Mob at Chef’s in Buffalo. The Chamber is looking forward to our Winter ProMix later this week featuring guest bartenders at SoHo Buffalo. You can check out who will be behind the bar on our Facebook page here. We are on track to repeat the great turnout we had in June at our Summer ProMix.  Don’t miss out on the fun. The event is open to everyone. Just register here!

The holiday season is coming up quickly, but be sure to take some time out to mingle with your Chamber colleagues at a Business After Hours at Bialek Chiropractic and Thrive Health and Wellness on November 20th when we’ll be sampling healthy wines (without sulfites) and enjoying catering by Salvatore’s Italian Gardens. We’ll put a little sparkle into your life closer to Christmas when Business After Hours moves to Brian Michael’s Jewelers. You can register for both in this newsletter.

November is the month to celebrate what we are thankful for, and the Chamber wants you to know how grateful we are for your support and partnership as we work to create a business environment where we all can prosper.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and remember my door is always open.