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Message from A.J. Baynes: February 2022

President/CEO A.J. Baynes
President/CEO A.J. Baynes
Amherst Chamber 65 Year Anniversary Sticker

What an exciting time at The Chamber as we approach our 65th Anniversary with the virtual installation of our 2022 Board of Directors and the State of the Town address next Friday, February 11th at 9am. We are excited that Dr. Michael Cropp, President & CEO of Independent Health, representing over 1,000 employees whose headquarters is just down the street from The Chamber, will kick off this event and reaffirm Independent Health's commitment to keeping our community healthy. Unfortunately, due to the uptick of COVID-19 cases throughout the holiday season and most of January, we felt in the best interest of everyone we moved our Annual Luncheon to a "virtual event" as we did in 2021. In 2020, we enjoyed a record turnout of over 400 people in attendance, and we hope in 2023 we can return to an in-person event as we have done with our Small Business Awards Luncheon and The Event this past October. The response so far has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are thrilled that Daemen College has agreed to host us again this year. You will hear from Supervisor Kulpa, who was just elected this past November to another four-year term, about his ambitious plans for the Town of Amherst and some longstanding projects that are finally getting underway. If you have not registered already, please do so here.

February is Black History Month, and The Chamber remains committed to social justice and equity for all. Last month, through the hard work of our Diversity & Inclusion Council, The Chamber had partnered up with one of Western New York's most prestigious organizations, Buffalo Prep, to assist employers in finding qualified candidates for many of the job openings in this area. Buffalo Prep was founded in 1989 and has grown to serve hundreds of students each year in the Buffalo Public Schools. Through the extensive alumni network at Buffalo Prep (Alumni | Buffalo Prep) we have already begun to bring our companies' job openings together with the Buffalo Prep Alumni to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce in our region. If you are looking to hire and have job openings in your organization, please reach out to the Chamber today by emailing for more information about this incredible partnership.  Members can also add their opened positions in our website’s Member Information Center.

Later this month, The Chamber will kick off its Emerging Business Leadership program at UB's Incubator Space on the downtown medical campus. This nine-session, once-a-month program is an excellent way for you to help provide additional skills to those high performers in your organization between the ages of 25-40. The program covers an array of topics such as Public Speaking both in person and in a virtual setting, time management, BIG 5 Personality test, Professional Reviews both receiving and conducting, along with multiple networking opportunities and an evening of charitable outreach. There is still time to register, and for a nominal fee, this is an excellent way to let a key employee know you are committed to investing in their future.

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I strongly encourage you to visit one of the many Chamber restaurants for your special occasion or send a gift to someone you care about through one of the many florist or retail shops. If you'd like to send a monetary gift to someone, feel free to purchase a Shop 716 eGift Card with over 800 local merchants, there is sure to be something for everyone! The Shop 716 program has already seen nearly two million dollars spent in our local economy.

Visit our Chamber Directory to see a complete list of our members and learn more about the Shop 716 initiatives here.

In a follow-up to our highly successful January Lunch Mob at Glen Park Tavern this month, we will be at Dibella's Subs for lunch on Thursday, February 17th. Lunch Mob is a great way to network with other Chamber members in a more casual setting. Members are encouraged to bring guests and or coworkers to show them the benefits of membership with the Chamber. Please take a look at our calendar to learn about future events or reach out to Maureen about opportunities to join ProNet.


The Chamber continues to march towards Spring, and we remain committed to advocating on your behalf. If you have questions about challenges in your business or are looking for a connection, please do not hesitate to reach out to us; we are confident we can assist. We strive each day to be an extension of your brand, and please remember my door is always open.   

BabyBaynes (1)
Shop 716 Valentine's Day Graphic
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