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Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 10:38 am

Chamber announces series of small business workshops

post by Howard B. Owens in business, chamber of commerce

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce has announced a series of business workshops for 2015 in conjunction with the United States Small Business Administration. 

The workshops are open to all Chamber and non-Chamber businesses and their employees and will offer expert advice from experienced business professionals designed to help small businesses succeed and grow.

“We’re excited to introduce this series of workshops this year,” said Tom Turnbull, president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.  “The Chamber’s mission has always been to create an environment for business success and we believe these workshops fit right in with our mission.  Each workshop will give business owners and their employees valuable insights on a specific business subject.”

The 20l5 workshop schedule is as follows:

  • February 11 “Marketing Your Small Business”
  • March 11 “Financing Your Venture”
  • April 8  “Home-Based Business Strategies For Success”
  • May 13 “Selling and Succession Planning”
  • June 10 “Women-Owned Small Business Workshop”
  • September 9 “Holiday Campaigning For Your Small Business”
  • October 14 “Profit Improvement Strategies – Increasing Your Cash Flow Now”
  • November 18 “Customer Service That Wins Sales”

All workshops will be held at the Chamber of Commerce office, 210 East Main St., Batavia.  The sessions will run from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Businesses may attend any one or all of the workshops.  Cost for non-Chamber members is $10 for each attendee.  Chamber members may attend all sessions free of charge but must make reservations to insure space for their employees. 
To reserve a seat in any workshop or for more information, contact Kelly Bermingham at 585-343-7440 or by email at  [email protected]

Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Chamber announces annual award winners

post by Howard B. Owens in business, chamber of commerce

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 43rd Annual Awards Ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Clarion Hotel, Park Road, Batavia. This is the County’s premier event that honors businesses and individuals for achievements in business, community service and volunteerism. Tickets are $50 per person or a table of 10 for $450.

The evening begins at 5:30 with hors d’oeuvres, entrée tables & cash bar (no formal sit-down dinner is to be served). The Award Program starts at 7 where dessert and coffee will be served. 

This year’s honorees are: 

  • Business of the Year -- Applied Business Systems, Inc.  
  • Industry of the Year -- Müller Quaker Dairy
  • Agricultural Business of the Year -- Corcoran Combining & Trucking  
  • Innovative Community Contribution of the Year -- Merrill Lynch
  • Special Service Recognition of the Year -- Genesee Cancer Assistance, Inc.
  • Geneseeans of the Year, “Peggy” Margaret Lamb, of Oakfield, and William “Bill” Schutt, of Basom
Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Chamber introduces 2015 board at annual meeting

post by Howard B. Owens in business, chamber of commerce

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce unveiled its 2015 Board of Directors at the Chamber’s Annual Membership Meeting at Bohn’s Restaurant Thursday.  

Serving on the Board in 2015 are Steven Beardsley, Bank Of Castile; Tim Call, Empire Tractor; Keith Conway, Z&M Ag and Turf; Dan Harvey, Graham Corporation; Dennis Kohl, Darien Lake Amusement Park; Steve Krna, Genesee Patrons Cooperative Insurance Company; Hiedi Librock, Town of Batavia; Jonathon Mager, Arctic Refrigeration Company of Batavia, Inc.;

Chan Patel, Clarion Hotel; Steve Pies, Max Pies Furniture; Michael R. Rivers, Rybak, Metzler & Grasso, PLLC; Chris Suozzi, Genesee County Economic Development Center; Joseph Teresi, Tompkins Insurance Agencies, Inc.; Eric Wies, Clark Patterson Lee; and Jennifer Zambito, GCASA.

Keynote speaker at the luncheon was Vinnie Esposito, executive director of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Council. Esposito praised Genesee County for being a leader in economic development and predicted a bright future for the county’s business community.

Chamber President Tom Turnbull gave an overview of the past year at the Chamber and outlined plans for 2015 initiatives. According to Turnbull, the Chamber will continue to fulfill its mission to create an environment for business success and improve the quality of life for all citizens of Genesee County.    

Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Chamber of Commerce accepting nominations for 2014 awards, deadline is Nov. 7

post by Billie Owens in business, chamber of commerce

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Committee has announced the 2014 Annual Award Ceremony will be held on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at the Clarion Hotel, Park Road, Batavia. This is the County’s premier event that honors businesses and individuals for their achievements in business, community service and volunteerism.

Please note that a brief write up will qualify your nominee for consideration. Nominations are now being accepted for Business of the Year, Entrepreneurial Business of the Year, Agricultural Business of the Year, Innovative Enterprise of the Year, Special Service Recognition & Geneseeans of the Year.

Business Nominees must be a Chamber Member (If unsure of your nominee, call the Chamber to verify).

Nomination forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce office, 210 E. Main St., Batavia, and can also be down loaded from the Chamber Web site at www.geneseeny.com

Nominations MUST BE RECEIVED BY November 7, 2014 to be eligible for consideration.

If you would like more information, feel free to call Kelly J. Bermingham, director of Membership & Special Events at the Chamber office, 343-7440, ext. 26.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 11:03 am

Photos: Chamber conducts annual ag tour

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, chamber of commerce, Oakfield

The Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual ag tour this morning, starting with a visit to BCA Ag Technologies in Oakfield (that visit was co-hosted by Z&M Ag and Turf).

During the first visit, tour participants learned about all the high-tech ways farmers more precisely and efficiently put seeds in the ground, using GPS and computer-programed seeding mechanisms.

After BCA, the group moved onto the Cargill facility in Batavia, which produces nutrients for dairy cattle throughout the Northeast, and finally they visited M&M Meats to learn about beef processing.

"For those of who are involved in it, it's pretty easy to lose track of and forget how big ag is and the fact that it is the number-one industry in the county, so it's great to get the folks who make decisions and impact what we do to understand what we do," said Keith Conway, chairman of the chamber's ag committee and store manager for Z&M in Oakfield.

Benjamin Flansburg, BCA.

Keith Conway

Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Vendors will star in reinvigorated Genesee County Home Show

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, chamber of commerce, Home Show

The revamped and reinvigorated Genesee County Home Show is just about ready for your visit this weekend.

More than 60 vendors will have their wares on display and Chamber of Commerce President Tom Turnbull said those local and regional business owners will be the stars of the show.

"We decided the businesses should be the celebrities," Turnbull said. "We want people to come in and see what they have and that will be their entertainment for the day. We'll have some other vendors, such as Darien Lake, Terry Hills, Batavia Downs and Adventure Calls, but for the most part, it's all about homes, fixing your home, or building a new home or adding on to your home."

The home show, which fell on some rough times in recent years, has moved back to the Falleti Ice Area (sans ice, of course) and the Chamber invested in new booth partitions and upgraded electric.

At least 1,500 and maybe as many as 2,500 people are expected to visit the home show this weekend.

After a long, cold winter, on a weekend when temps will be in the 40s and 50s, Turnbull thinks the home show comes at just the right time for people to get out and start looking forward to spring and summer and those special projects around their homes.

"It's going to be good weather for a home show," Turnbull said.

The home show came about, Turnbull said, because local business owners, most notably Eric Biscaro of Armour Building Supply, came forward and asked the Chamber to take on the event.

"They came to the chamber and said we need a home show in this town and you guys should be running it," Turnbull said. "It made perfect sense for the chamber to run it because that's what we do is promote business."

With all vendor spaces sold out for the weekend, the home show does seem like the place to be for homeowners and would-be homeowners this weekend.

Doors open at 5 p.m., Friday. It runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. The cost is $3 per adult. Children under 12 are admitted free. 

Alex's Place will have a food booth set up in the refreshment stand/skate rental room.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Chamber of Commerce holds it first Home Show beginning Friday at Falleti Ice Arena

post by Billie Owens in chamber of commerce

Press release:

An all-new Home Show featuring the products and services of 57 area businesses starts this Friday at Falleti Ice Area.

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is hosting the event which runs throughout the weekend, March 28-30.

Get the latest home improvement tips and suggestions on a face-to-face basis!

"The response from the business community has been incredible," said Chamber President Tom Turnbull. "We have sold out all of the 81 booths that were available."

The Home Show will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. The ice arena is located at 22 Evans St. in the City of Batavia.

Admission is $3. Children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Discount $1 off admission coupons are available at the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce office, 210 E. Main St., Batavia, or at any of the participating businesses.

There will be a drawing for a $500 gift certificate that can be used at any of the participating Home Show businesses. The drawing will take place at 3 p.m. on Sunday. The winner need not be present.

Food concessions will be provided by the award-winning restaurant Alex's Place.

A complete list of participating businesses and a map of the booth layout is available at www.geneseeny.com/homeshow

For more information call the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce at 585-343-7440.

Monday, March 10, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Genesee County Chamber announces opposition to Seneca casino in Henrietta

post by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, business, chamber of commerce

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce has joined the growing opposition to the expansion of casino gaming in Western New York.

The Chamber’s Board of Directors has unanimously passed a resolution opposing any new proposed casino in New York west of Route 14 and specifically the location of a new tax-free, Las Vegas-style casino in Monroe County owned and operated by the Seneca Nation.

The addition of another casino located in Western New York would over-saturate the regional gaming marketplace and would have negative impact on Batavia Downs Gaming and its operations. Batavia Downs Gaming is located in Genesee County and has shown to be an outstanding partner in the community and is directly and indirectly responsible for thousands of jobs in our region.

An additional casino in such proximity to Batavia Downs will greatly jeopardize the livelihoods of those thousands of individuals who rely on the continued operation and success of Batavia Downs Gaming. Not only would Batavia Downs Gaming be affected, but the addition of a full Las Vegas-style casino has shown to have a negative impact on surrounding restaurant, hotel and other hospitality businesses as well.

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce has asked fellow business organizations in the region to join in opposition to expanding gaming in Monroe County and all other locations in New York west of Route 14.

Monday, December 16, 2013 at 10:11 am

Past career prepares new Chamber president

post by Bonnie Marrocco in chamber of commerce, Tom Turnbull

Tom Turnbull is no stranger to Batavia, its Chamber of Commerce, or the business community. He is a lifelong resident of the city; he’s been active in the Chamber for many years and was the publisher of the Daily News for the past 11 years. He is a familiar face and a respected leader.

The skills and experience Turnbull brings from his career at the The Daily News, journalism, business, marketing, public relations and community involvement, align well with his new position as the president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

“From my time as an advertising representative and also as publisher, I am used to working with area businesses on marketing and promoting their businesses. A lot of what we do here at the Chamber is just an extension of promoting and marketing area businesses and Genesee County as a whole,” Turnbull said.

The son of a local business owner, Turnbull, 60, holds a degree in journalism from Syracuse University and an MBA from the State University at Buffalo. Following the retirement of former Chamber president Lynn Freeman, Turnbull took over the job in October. He’s settling into his new role and is enthusiastic about his new career.

Turnbull jokingly says that his biggest challenge so far has been trying to figure out predecessor Lynn Freeman’s filing system.

“Seriously though, the biggest challenge has been getting my arms around all of the different aspects that the Chamber is involved in,” Turnbull said. “I have been amazed at the breadth and scope of our Chamber’s activities. From tourism to insurance to small business consulting and loans to public policy advocacy to regional collaborations to networking… it just goes on and on. Our Chamber is a very dynamic organization and I’m still learning about all that we do here.”

After 38 years at The Daily News, where he worked his way up from an advertising representative to the publisher, Turnbull was used to knowing his field inside and out. There weren’t many situations that he hadn’t run into in the newspaper business. As the new kid on the block at the Chamber, he’s getting used to not having all the answers and he’s embracing the challenge of researching the ins and outs of his new profession.

“It is different but that’s also part of what makes this switch to the Chamber so exciting. I’m learning something new every day and enjoying every minute of it,” Turnbull said. “Our chamber is one of the best run in the state and that was one of the things that excited me about taking this position. Lynn and the staff have done a great job. The way I look at it is I’m just going to take the baton and keep on running.”

Being born and raised in Genesee County and having lived here his whole life, Turnbull values and believes in the Chamber’s mission of creating an environment for business success that will enhance the quality of life for all the citizens of Genesee County.

“I love this county and I believe that this position will allow me to give back to the area which has been so good to me and my family.”

The Chamber has around 600 members and plays an important role in supporting the business community because a strong business community ensures a better quality of life for everyone.

The Chamber's function includes training for businesses, representing business to elected leaders and providing networking opportunities for business owners and employees. The Chamber helps businesses connect to the community and grow.

For 2014, the Chamber is sponsoring the return of the Home Show, which will take place March 28, 29 and 30 at the Ice Arena. Planned events are the awards dinner Feb. 22 at the Clarion, Celebrate Agriculture dinner March 22, golf tournament Aug. 6, and the Decision Makers Agricultural Forum in September.

Currently being discussed by the Town of Batavia, is the possibility of a new Welcome Center to be built on Veterans Memorial Drive and Park Road. The Welcome Center would house the offices for the Chamber, which serves as Genesee County’s tourism agency.

Turnbull has been married to his wife, Michelle, for 20 years and they have a 14-year-old son, JT.

Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Chamber announces 2013 award winners

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, bergen, business, chamber of commerce, Pavilion, Stafford

The 42nd Annual Chamber of Commerce Awards are getting a bit of a makeover this year with no general Business of the Year honoree and a complete skip of Innovative Enterprise of the Year -- even with a qualified nominee in the mix.

Much like last year, there are two winners for Geneseean of the Year, with awards going to Laurie Mastin, of Pavilion, and Timothy Michael Adams, of Stafford.

Rather than Business of Year, the chamber is honoring a Service Business of the Year, Alex's Place, and Retail Business of the Year, Adam Miller Toy & Bicycles.

The Agricultural Business of the Year is Bonduelle USA, Inc., of Bergen and Oakfield.

The Bergen Business and Civic Association is receiving special recognition with a Special Service award.

Nominated by The Batavian for Innovative Enterprise of the Year was Insource Urgent Care, but no award was given in that category for 2013.

While Insource has transformed the urgent care business through innovative use of telemedicine and cooperative arrangements with doctors and specialists from throughout the region, greatly reducing the cost of care for patients, the Batavia-based company was bypassed by the awards committee. 

It's not unprecedented for the chamber to hand out awards with different titles than previous years or what was on nomination forms.

The awards dinner is Feb. 22 at the Clarion Hotel, Park Road, Batavia. Tickets are $50 or a table of 10 for $450. Hors d'oeuvres are at 5:30 p.m. followed by entree tables (no formal sit down dinner). There is a cash bar. The awards program starts at 7 p.m., which will include coffee and dessert.

Call Kelly Bermingham at 343-7440, ext. 26, to make reservations.

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