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Staff

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A.J. BAYNES
PRESIDENT/CEO

A.J. Baynes, Jr. officially took over as President and CEO of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce in January 2018.  He has already begun fulfilling the Chamber’s Strategic Plan as well as providing day-to-day leadership and a strong commitment to advancing the Economic Development and Public Policy Agenda of the Chamber.

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JOANNA PASCERI
SENIOR DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING

Joanna is a 28-year veteran of the television news business, most recently the co-anchor of the primary newscasts at WKBW-TV in Buffalo.  She comes to the Chamber after a stint as the first-ever Public Information Officer for the Erie County District Attorney’s Office. Joanna leads the marketing and communications efforts of the Chamber by promoting its strategic plan, increasing member services and sharing the stories of the businesses that are the backbone of our local economy.

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CHRISTINE LANGENFELD
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS 
LICENSED NYS HEALTH INSURANCE BROKER/AGENT 

Christine serves as an integral part of the Senior Leadership Team and is responsible for the fiduciary oversight of the organization’s assets and resources. She provides executive support to all Chamber departments, committees and councils.

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PENNY LAPLACA
MANAGER, INSURANCE
LICENSED NYS HEALTH INSURANCE BROKER/AGENT 

Penny is the Manager of our Health Insurance division and is responsible for the administration of all health insurance-related tasks. She is always available to help you with your health insurance related questions.

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OLIVIA DANN
MEMBER BENEFITS  
LICENSED NYS HEALTH INSURANCE BROKER/AGENT 

Olivia meets with businesses in the area to familiarize them with the benefits of membership in the area. She is the lead in the identification of locations for our popular Business After Hours series and coordinates Ribbon Cuttings and Grand Openings, in addition to leading our ProNet Groups.  Olivia serves as a business community conduit and communicates gaps in the marketplace with Chamber leadership for the purpose of mobilizing programs and services as a solution.

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COLLEEN C. DIPIRRO
SENIOR ADVISOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & PUBLIC POLICY

After a 36-year career at the Chamber, Colleen has stepped down as President and CEO and will now serve as Senior Advisor, Economic Development and Public Policy, consulting the Chamber on the initiatives that create a stronger, more vibrant region.

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