Chautauqua County powerhouse

Sometimes we take leadership for granted. We are so fortunate to live and work in an area where there are many, many people who are leading the way in their fields or communities to help get things done. This was pointed out very nicely recently when Buffalo Business First published its new Power 250 list.

Power 250 is much more than a “who’s who” listing for Western New York. It is a list of achievers who sometimes fly under the radar. Granted, many of the people included are very public figures, but not all.

Here in Chautauqua County, nine leaders made the list. They are: Virginia Horvath, president of SUNY Fredonia; Sam Teresi, mayor of the city of Jamestown; Mark Thomas, regional director of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; Catharine Young, New York State Senator for the 57th district; Betsy Wright, president and CEO of WCA Hospital; Greg Edwards, CEO of the Gebbie Foundation; Paul Cesana, executive director of The Resource Center; Tom Becker, president of Chautauqua Institution; and Greg Peterson, partner at Phillips Lytle LLP.

Nominations were made by Business First readers.

Managing Editor Donna Collins wrote, “There’s no easy way to quantify power and influence. A title isn’t enough to be influential you have to be respected, both within a company or organization, and outside the company walls. A Power 250 person gets things done.”

Here at the Chamber/MAST we are proud to know and work with each of these people in different ways from time to time. Congratulations to each of them.

Celebrating success

We often find ourselves in the midst of so many good things going on in Chautauqua County that it’s hard to know where to start. This week the Chamber will highlight a couple for outstanding performances in the past week.

Last weekend, Mayville took center stage hosting the Presidents Day Weekend Winter Festival. Throngs of people flocked to Lakeside Park, not only to see the first ice castle in four years, but also to participate in the many winter festival activities on tap throughout the two-day event. The Chamber can’t call it anything but an unqualified success. The Chamber sincerely congratulates David Douglas for the work he and his team did on the ice castle and all of the organizers and volunteers who made it happen. Their work over many months culminated in a festival that included something for everyone and creates a true sense of community while celebrating Western New York’s amazing winter offerings.

Meanwhile, Jamestown Community College recently played host to Empowered Women: New Careers, New Frontiers. This event, focused on science, technology, engineering and math careers for women highlighted some of the educational and employment opportunities in manufacturing, medicine, environmental science, technology and more. The Chautauqua County Education Coalition was proud to play a role in presenting this program, attended by some 200 young women from 14 school districts.

Salute to the Finest Feb. 24

The Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Salute to the Finest award celebration on Monday, Feb. 24 at Shawbucks Press Room, 212 W. Second St., Jamestown.

Receiving awards this year are: Manufacturer of the Year Artone, LLC; Retailer of the Year Everyday’s True Value; Community Service Award Terry Frank and Dennis Webster of Media One Group; Pride of Jamestown Award Chautauqua Striders; Business of the Year Jamestown Business College; Service to Humanity Award Chautauqua County Health Network; and New Business of the Year VIE for Fitness.

Registration opens at 5 p.m., with complimentary hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment by Susan Waite and Tom Swanson of Red Letter Blues and a cash bar. Dinner and the awards ceremony begin at 6 p.m. Advance reservations are appreciated and this event is open to Chamber members or non-members. You can register online at or call the Chamber at 484-1101.

Business Over Bagels: Build relationships using LinkedIn

Do you have questions about LinkedIn? Have you thought about joining LinkedIn, but you are not sure if it would be right for your business? Do you really need to be on social media? How can LinkedIn help you grow your business? Curt Anderson from the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Jamestown Community College will offer information on how LinkedIn can help your business.

LinkedIn Strategies discussed will include: How to create a profile that works, making quality connections, finding leads on business prospects and jobs, starting or joining a LinkedIn group and creating a LinkedIn company page. Come join the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, SBDC and JCC for a morning of good food and interested marketing ideas for your business. Bring your tablet or smart phone along to enhance the experience.

Anderson is a Business Advisor at NYS SBDC at JCC. He is an e-Commerce and internet marketing consultant. He has been an entrepreneur for 23 years including 17 years in e-Commerce. He is passionate about internet marketing and how it can help you reach out to new customers that you might not have reached through conventional marketing techniques.

This informative event will be held March 27 at 8:30 a.m., at the JCC North Training Center, Bennett Road, Dunkirk. It is being sponsored by the Small Business Development Center and the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency. The cost for this special Chamber Business Over Bagels session is just $10. The same course will be offered on JCC’s Jamestown campus at a different price point. To register and receive the special Chamber price, call the JCC Center for Continuing Education at 363-6585.