Message from the President | September 2018

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

We’ve arrived at the waning days of summer. The leaves will soon start changing, and it’s back to the books for students. The Amherst Chamber has been getting a history lesson itself, as the Town of Amherst marks its 200th anniversary.

We learned a lot about our past during our Monday Minute with Susan Grelick, the former town supervisor. The celebrations that began back in January included walking tours in Swormville, Williamsville and Snyder, focusing on some of the Town’s oldest businesses, including the Eagle House founded in 1832 and the Amherst Bee established in 1879.

The festivities will wrap up on December 17th at Town Hall when a time capsule filled with modern day relics will be buried. Recognizing and embracing the past help lead us to a brighter future. The town has undergone substantial changes over the past twenty years. The Chamber is now looking ahead to the next five years. We are working with our partners in government and higher education to build on our success and continue making a positive impact on our region.

Fall also means one of our biggest events of the year is fast approaching. So important, it is referred to as THE Event. While we celebrate business excellence every day, this is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on those whose accomplishments have benefited the community at large. We have six categories this year: Hospitality, Innovation, Community Service, Entrepreneur, Woman of Distinction and of course, our Business of the Year. The list of honorees will be announced later, and we are looking forward to everyone coming together for this great event that draws more than 450 people every year. We are working hard to create an engaging, enlightening and entertaining night. Mark your calendar for Monday, October 22, 5:30pm-8pm at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens. For more information on sponsorships and to register, click here.

August is often low-key, the last chance for a summer getaway, but we decided to rev it up with a return of Speed Networking. About 30 people signed up for a chance to meet new people and pass out business cards in a more structured environment. The encounters are timed, but long enough to give your pitch and hear from everyone else. It went so well, the event ran over the scheduled end. Thanks to all who signed up. It will be back!

Some of our speed networkers then followed us to The Irishman for the ribbon cutting at the new bar patio. It was a hot and sunny day, perfect for a cold brew at the new spot. Local dignitaries, fellow business owners and many in the community showed up for the event. We are proud to help spread the word about the wonderful improvements to this Main Street staple. The new patio will allow The Irishman to expand its outdoor festivities into fall. Check it out and check out our story in The Amherst Bee!

The momentum continued and the Chamber ended the day cutting the ribbon at the new Amherst business, Painting with a Twist. It’s a place to paint and party, where you are encouraged to bring snacks and drinks, and those over age 21 can sip their favorite wine or beer. We welcome owner Debbie Peterson back to the community after spending 13 years in Florida.

One of the nice things about summer winding down, is that Western New York is known for having a beautiful fall season. The Chamber’s events over the next few months are embracing this great time of year.

They include a hearty Lunch Mob at Pizza Plant on September 14th (register here) and two Business After Hours; a cozy night at the luxurious Reikart House on September 18th (register here) and a salute to the arts on October 16th at MusicalFare Theatre on the Daemen College campus (register here).

Good times are ahead! The Chamber hopes you’ll join us, and remember, my door is always open.