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Message from A.J. Baynes: September 2023

A.J. Baynes Headshot
A.J. Baynes, President & CEO

As we bid farewell to the summer months, it's time to shift our focus towards the busy fall season ahead. With the changing seasons and the ever-evolving business landscape, it's crucial to take a proactive approach to ensure success. Now is the time to put the pedal to the metal before the holiday season and winter distractions descend upon us all. Identify where you and your business might be falling short and put together a realistic plan of action to ensure recovery. Stay connected with your team; you can host a working lunch for collaboration and a collision of ideas. Highlight a professional or personal accomplishment of one of your team members to build camaraderie and encourage professional development.

As part of our efforts to promote and celebrate the excellence of our members, we are excited to announce that we are now accepting nominations for The Event – Celebrating Business Excellence 2023. The Event is historically the biggest event of the year at the Chamber, and we anticipate another sold out event. Join us on Monday, October 23! If you know a business or an individual who deserves recognition for their hard work and dedication to making Western New York a better place, we encourage you to submit a nomination. You can find our nomination form here, and if you're interested in having your company featured in our program book or any additional sponsorships, please click here.

After another successful Lunch Mob at Pierogi Pete's last month, we head to Rachel's Mediterranean on Sheridan Drive in Williamsville on Tuesday, September 12. We are also thrilled to partner with Evans Bank for our upcoming Business After Hours event. Evans Bank recently moved its headquarters to Amherst and will be hosting its Evanspalooza FREE COMMUNITY event. Join us for Business After Hours Thursday, September 21, for an evening of live music from Nerds Gone Wild, numerous food trucks, and networking. First 40 chamber member arrivals will receive a free Resurgence drink ticket!

As many of you have seen on local news or social media, the Chamber helps celebrate the success of our members when they open a new business or a new location. Over the next few weeks, we will cut the ribbon throughout the Western New York community:

  • Horizon Health on Niagara Falls Blvd.
  • Thee W Studios in Amherst
  • Victoria's Bridal Shoppe in Williamsville (under new ownership!)
  • Air Buffalo in Amherst with many more to come!

Please be sure to check our calendar for all of the latest events happening at the Chamber, and if you are interested in visiting any of these businesses, please feel free to join us for their ribbon cutting!

As we continue to build our staff, we are thrilled to welcome Seana Carlson to the team. Seana (pronounced: Shaw-na) comes to the Chamber with a background in public communication and a passion for Western New York, and she even has an Instagram Page with nearly 30,000 followers! We are thrilled to have Seana join us, as she will be working hand-in-hand with our members to ensure we undoubtedly are an extension of your brand. I am sure you will cross paths with Seana at one of our many events over the next few weeks, so please let Seana know how the Chamber can better assist you.

As you can see, we have a lot going on at the Chamber and even more up ahead. Our benefits team is preparing for a busy open enrollment; if you are in the marketplace for Health Insurance, Vision, Dental, Life Insurance, or an Employee Assistance Plan, please do not hesitate to reach out to Penny or Matthew for more information, or you can email Also, please remember my door is always open.

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