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Message from A.J. Baynes: September 2022

A.J. Baynes Headshot
A.J. Baynes, President & CEO
Amherst Chamber 65 Year Anniversary Sticker

While September signals the end of summer and children are returning to school, now is the time to jumpstart your focus on a more regimented schedule that you may have let loose over the past few summer months and reinvigorate the goals you may have ignored. While at the Chamber, we maintained a busy summer and have added another layer of focus as the third quarter is ending with reevaluating our strategic plan. At the end of 2019, the Chamber updated the strategic plan, but we all know what took place in 2020, and that is why the Chamber has recently engaged a diverse group of members to evaluate and update it. This group is dedicated to ensuring we maintain our "big picture" strategy and continue to deliver a first-in-class experience for our membership. We also want to ensure we are set on the right path for engaging Generation Z as they enter the workforce and maintain a meaningful impact in providing a voice on behalf of the business community regarding regional, state, and federal issues. As the year closes, I look forward to reporting to the membership on our strategic plan.


As we look ahead to what the Chamber will look like in the future, we have the Chamber of today, which has an array of events and networking opportunities! Monday, Oct 24, we will have our 2022 The EVENT - Celebrating Business Excellence. This is our most significant event of the year when we attract nearly 500 business and community leaders on one night, where we honor those who have truly raised the bar in our community. Nominations are through 9/15, and I hope you will consider an organization or individual for one of these many honors: The Event - Celebrating Business Excellence 10/24/22 - Oct 24, 2022 (


If anyone has recently attended Lunch Mob, they are sure to notice the uptick in new members and engagement from long-time members. Please join us this Thursday at Simply Pierogi at the Eastern Hills Mall for what is one of our more casual and relaxed networking opportunities. We encourage members to bring their colleagues or potential new members to Lunch Mob as it is a great way to introduce individuals to the Chamber community in a more informal setting.


Tuesday, September 20th, we are delighted that Evans Bank and their CEO David Nasca will be hosting our next Business After Hours at their new headquarters. Evans Bank has long been very supportive of the Chamber and their CEO David Nasca is a pillar of our community. We will tour their new offices and learn about a Work/Life Solutions that Evans Bank is doing in conjunction with United Way of Buffalo and Erie County. There will also be an opportunity to win a free catered office lunch from Fresh Catch Poke for those in attendance. I'd encourage everyone to stop by and join us.


The Chamber Benefits team is about to hit their busy season with open enrollment just around the corner. I'd encourage every member to learn more about how the Chamber can assist your business regarding health insurance, dental & vision, life insurance, or an Employee Assistance Program; the Chamber is here to assist you and your business. September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, where it is important to recognize that life insurance is intended to protect your loved one’s at a time of loss. Our brokers can assist you in quick and easy quotes which can be accessed in minutes on our website with the ”Quote & Apply Tool.” In addition, we continue to be the only Chamber in Western New York with an in-house brokerage team dedicated to helping you achieve your goals. To learn more, visit our website or email about any questions you may have.


In closing, I would like to encourage all members to visit their dedicated webpage on our site and update any necessary contact information. Our Member Services team has already begun to reach out to members individually, ensuring we stay connected. We value our membership and want to ensure you get the most from the Chamber. If there is a service or program you feel the Chamber should provide, please remember my door is always open.

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