Chamber honors founders and key leaders at 50th anniversary event
The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 50th year of existence in 2022, and with it has come a number of special events meant to bring together the local business community of Genesee County. Last night a Founder’s Event was held at GOART! in Batavia.
This invitation-only reception was held to recognize the men and women who have led the organization in its first 50 years. Past and present board members shared an evening of fellowship and remembrance, sharing stories of their time with The Chamber and how this community has changed over time. The building that currently houses GOART! in Downtown Batavia, Seymour Place, was the perfect location to hold this event as it itself is steeped in the history of the business community of Genesee County.
Special guests included two of the original members of the merger that made The Chamber what it is today, John Dwyer and Jim Vincent. Both men gave their remembrance of the events that took place in 1971 and how they along with other business leaders, like Bill Brown and Tom Cashin, came together to consolidate and connect the communities of Genesee County. The principle of a county-wide Chamber was meant to bring together people from all aspects of industry and business and was something that was already being embraced in other upstate NY communities.
In Genesee County, before 1971, there were two primary Chambers: The Batavia Chamber of Commerce and the Le Roy Chamber of Commerce. Setting competitiveness and hometown pride aside, the Board of Directors of these two Chambers agreed that a county-wide Chamber was both warranted and necessary in Genesee County. However, they not only wanted Batavia and Le Roy businesses to be involved, they wanted a balance of representation from the remainder of the businesses in the county as well. This was in hopes that The Chamber would create a cross-section of the communities and businesses that it would serve.
On July 10th, 1972 the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce was founded on the idea of this countywide community in Genesee County, NY. Last night was a way for us to remember and appreciate the past and also embrace and look forward to the future of Genesee County. The modern-day Chamber is different than what it was in the ’70s, but the idea of a countywide community of businesspeople working together is still very much at the heart of our mission.
We would like to send a special thank you to the hundreds of people that have served on our board over the past fifty years, and to all those that attended last night to celebrate with us! Here’s to fifty more years of The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce!