Chamber Corner: August 12

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Chautauqua County’s Gold Standard

Written by Todd J. Tranum, President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce & Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier

It’s been quite a week in Chautauqua County!  Once again, we were treated to an extraordinary event watching Fredonia native Jenn Suhr in Olympic Pole Vaulting – this time as she won the gold medal!

Born Jennifer Stuczynski, our gold medalist only began to compete in pole vault in 2005.  Always an athlete, she played a number of sports at Fredonia High School and won the New York State pentathlon title as a senior in 2000.  At Roberts Wesleyan College near Rochester she competed in basketball and track and field.  She has worked with coach, Rick Suhr, for many years and the pair married two years ago.

When Jenn Suhr won a silver medal in the last summer Olympics, Chautauqua County shared in the proud moment.  This time, seeing the gold medal around her neck, we are all beaming and delighted with the story of a local girl who is number one in the world!  Congratulations to Jenn and to the Stuczynski family.

We are also proud to be celebrating with the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Center in the wake of another tremendously successful Lucy Fest weekend!  The Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy drew thousands of people to the Jamestown area, bringing some national media coverage our way.  The enduring draw of Jamestown native Lucille Ball, the fun of the team competition in this year’s Lucy World Games, and the top notch talent of headliners Billy Gardell and Paula Poundstone created yet another big win for our region.

With continued success like the last two years, Lucy Fest will remain an important economic and tourism driver in Chautauqua County!

This combination of big wins for our county this week can serve as reminders to us all that there is much to be proud of right here in our own backyard.  We continue to be a world class tourist destination and an exemplary training ground as the World’s Learning Center.

Dunkirk Chamber Revives the Farmers Market

The Dunkirk Community Chamber of Commerce has re-established a downtown farmers market on Lark Street between Third and Fourth Streets.  The market will operate on Thursdays from 11am – 6pm.

Chautauqua County Chamber Director of Member Development Greg Krauza and Chamber intern Kevin Lowther worked with city officials and vendors to get the project up and running.  At start-up it included fresh produce from Fred Farms, Someday Maybe Farms, and a Spanish food vendor.  Additional vendors are being sought, including some local wineries.

Sponsors include D & F Travel, Univera Healthcare, and the Resource Center.  The City of Dunkirk is also a sponsor, as the Farmers Market is being housed in a city owned parking lot.

Gift Check Deadline August 15th

Anyone who may have Shop Chautauqua County Gift Checks with an HSBC name and routing number should remember to use those checks before the August 15th deadline.

Due to the sale of HSBC branches to First Niagara bank, the Chamber’s Gift Check account was sold to First Niagara as part of the corporate agreement.  As a result, the program is in a transition from HSBC to First Niagara.

First Niagara is honoring all currently distributed HSBC checks until August 15.  After that date, those gift checks can no longer be processed.  The Chamber can not guarantee payment on old checks after that date and will not be responsible for returned check fees.

Anyone who has a question about the Chamber’s gift check program can call the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101.

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Shoptauqua Gift Check program has been directly responsible for putting over $1-million back into local businesses in our community.  We continue to see it as a tool to improve foot traffic and increase sales for participating businesses.  Thank you for your continued support of the Chamber and this program.

Business After Hours August 16th

The Dunkirk and Fredonia Community Chambers are partnering on a Business After Hours networking event August 16, which will be held at Katarina’s, above Demetri’s at the Dunkirk Harborfront from 5-6:30pm.  There will be a cash bar, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a business card prize drawing.  Attendees can stay and watch Music on the Pier for the evening from Katarina’s upper deck.  The concert that night will be Chautauqua County native Jackson Rohm.

The cost of this event is $5 for members and future members.  If a member pre-registers and brings a guest, the member can attend for free.  Registration is available through the Chamber website.

Chamber Golf Tournament September 7th

Enjoy a fabulous day of golf, prizes, and dinner with other Chamber members during the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Annual Golf Tournament, Friday, September 7th at the Chautauqua Golf Club.

The tournament is sponsored by DFT Communications, County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency, Fredonia Place, Lawley-Tradition LLC, National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, NRG Dunkirk Power LLC, Petri Baking Products, Inc., Ed Shults Chevrolet, Inc., GHD Consulting Engineers, Community Bank, N.A., Liazon Corporation, Lake Shore Savings Bank, OBSERVER, and The Post-Journal.  You can register through the Chamber website or by calling the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101.