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Message from A.J. Baynes: April 2022

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

The first quarter has come to a close, and we are moving quickly into the second quarter. Take advantage of this week to evaluate the goals you set for yourself, both professionally and personally, and have an honest conversation with yourself as to where you are and where you want to be. While a quarter of the year is wrapped up, there is plenty of time to accomplish what you set out to do. Undoubtedly, I am confident you can find a goal that has been achieved already but focus your energies on what needs to be reprioritized and what tasks are falling short. After you establish your priorities, make sure they are attainable and measurable. Then, set a clear plan to achieve those goals while working with your team on who will own those goals. The Chamber is no different from your business as we are constantly planning, reevaluating, and making changes as we move throughout the year. We strive every day to represent you and your organization in the best possible light to assist in growing your business.


With just about seventy-five percent of the year remaining, the location of our next Business After Hours event could not be more relevant in helping you knock off those goals! On Tuesday, April 19, from 5-7pm, Entrepreneurial Operating System & Stas Balanevsky will open their doors to the Chamber and its membership. It has been several years since we have been at this location, and we are thrilled that EOS owner Stas Balanevsky agreed to host. I am confident it will be a delightful evening of networking and idea-sharing for our members. Stas has been an industry leader in helping organizations reach their goals. I encourage you to join us and bring a work colleague or a friend to show them the benefits of chamber membership. You can register by visiting here.


Our Emerging Business Leaders provided an exceptional opportunity for our members to think about who they are as individuals and how effective they are as leaders at our EBL Symposium hosted by Daemen University in sponsorship alongside National Grid. This symposium which attracted nearly 100 people, focused on increasing your personal brand, behavioral sciences in the workplace, and developing more inclusive leadership traits to further your company's culture. The response from those who attended was overwhelmingly positive, and we have already begun planning for a follow-up symposium. It was encouraging to see a robust response from our membership and it strongly reiterated to our team the need and desire for programming throughout the year. If you would like to learn more about the day or have a programming idea you want the Chamber to explore, please reach out to Maureen Girven, our Member Services Manager, at


The Chamber has repeatedly heard from our membership the struggles and challenges in finding quality talent to build your teams. Through our DE&I Council, we continue to work with Buffalo Prep to connect local talent with employers who will serve as a tremendous asset to your organization. If you have a job opening at your organization, please let us know. The Chamber is also interested in hearing from you if you need summer interns. Take advantage of your member page to alert us to the opportunities that exist in your organization, and we will be sure to post it on our jobs page found here: Job Postings | Amherst Chamber of Commerce

This year is the 60th anniversary of the Mental Health Association of Western New York. I had the great fortune of attending their Anniversary Gala this past week, and it is a stark reminder of the challenges that so many people face on a day-to-day basis. This is just one organization in our community that is doing tremendous work to address the many mental health challenges that people face. At the Chamber we offer an Employee Assistance Program through our partnership with Child & Family Services for companies to provide their employees, very much like a health insurance plan but at a much more affordable price. Our EAP program does not just cover your employees but extends to their immediate families and would be another benefit from employers to their employees at a time when the Mental Health crisis conversation in this country has finally moved to the front burner. If you are interested in learning more, please visit our EAP page here: EAP (Employee Assistance Program) - Amherst Chamber of Commerce


Many great things are taking place at the Chamber over the next several months, so please stay up to date with our calendar of events. Before I close, I wanted to remind you to "Save the Date" for two upcoming events: the West Herr Driven to Success with Deputy County Executive, Maria Whyte on May 10th and our Small Business Awards Luncheon & Showcase on Thursday, July 14 from 10am-2pm at Samuel's Grande Manor. This is always one of the most popular and fun events of the year for the Chamber, and we look forward to seeing you there. If there is a chance for the Chamber to do more, please do not hesitate to reach out, and remember, my door is always open.

Nominations for Small Business Awards

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