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Message from A.J. Baynes: May 2024

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

The Chamber has officially begun its move back into our renovated and refreshed office space, and we couldn't be more excited to welcome our members back. We are still adding additional furniture this week, however, we hosted our first ProNet in the space on Wednesday last week, and welcomed over 25 people to our New Member Orientation on Friday. Doubling the space in our old conference room, there is now plenty of room for everyone. This space will help the Chamber bring more events back to our offices and serve as an asset to our members. We encourage every member needing conference room space, no matter the size of the group, to consider utilizing the Chamber. Members can use the space for meetings or team building if they need a large room with Zoom capabilities.

We proudly announce that our Small Business Awards Luncheon and Showcase will take place on Thursday, July 18, at Salvatore's Italian Gardens. This event, a true celebration of our community, is a time when we come together to honor the small businesses that have set the gold standard for our community. It's a testament to the strength and resilience of our local business community, and we couldn't be more proud to host it. Last year, there was a record-setting attendance, with over 350 people in the room, when we honored Hartman's Distilling Company as our Business of the Year, along with several other businesses and individuals receiving recognition. What makes this event so unique is that it is the only event we host, where we have about 50 chamber member businesses in a single room with vendor tables set up to promote their business and network. We want to hear from our members and encourage all of you to nominate a business that deserves recognition. Please click to register for a showcase table, buy tickets, or learn more.

Tonight, we will have our rescheduled Business After Hours and ribbon cutting at The Establishment. If you still need to register, please do so by clicking here. Staying on the networking side, we recently hosted our Lunch Mob at Deep South Taco, which is always a great time whenever we can sit outdoors with colleagues. Lunch Mob is back in Amherst on Tuesday, June 4, at Amherst Pizza and Ale House at Crosspoint Parkway. Please register here.

Wegmans, who has long been a supporter of the Amherst Chamber, is hosting a learning session about changes coming to their corporate programming on Friday, May 17, at noon. If you use Wegmans for catering or want to learn more, please click here.

The Chamber LIFT (Leadership Inspiration For Trailblazers) Council has been working hard the past few months, planting the seeds for this women-only networking group. This incredible group of women spanning the legal, financial, HR, not-for-profit, hospitality, and educational fields are developing something extraordinary at the Chamber. I recently had coffee with their Chairwoman, Bernie Aja, and I am inspired by the enthusiasm these women bring to the council. Much like the early days of our Emerging Business Leaders, LIFT will become another pillar of the Chamber. Their first unofficial event, taking place next week at the Golf Dojo, is already sold out! However, they are planning their official launch in the fall, and I will be sure to keep our members informed. You will find additional information about this incredible council on our LIFT webpage.

The Chamber is deeply grateful for our membership, and we value each and every one of our members and the unique contributions they make to our community. Your support and participation are what make our events and initiatives possible. Please be sure to let us know if there is anything we can be doing better on your behalf, and remember my door is always open. 

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