Our Story

Commerce Chenango plays a LEADING ROLE IN ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT. From training and education programs, business planning, and business financing to providing regional demographic information, labor and workforce statistics, economic trending reports and relocation packages, we can provide the information you need to help retain, expand or initiate business. 

Projects include downtown revitalization, workforce development and launching and supporting new and emerging businesses. 

We are the voice of business, large and small, to local, state and federal leaders. Our government and advocacy efforts allow us to team up with other influential business organizations such as Unshackle Upstate NY and the Business Council of New York State to increase our political strength for member causes.

Commerce Chenango serves our members and the Greater Chenango area through a partnership with business and all levels of government in order to leverage resources for sustainable economic growth.

Our History

On October 31, 1958 the Norwich Chamber of Commerce, led by William Kingman, voted in favor of becoming the Chenango County Chamber of Commerce and the certificate of incorporation was signed on January 17th, 1959. 

During the many decades of change since then, our commitment to the community has not changed. It has only strengthened and grown with each year to meet the needs and challenges of our members, local residents, businesses and visitors. 

In the 1970’s, Marylou Stewart began her job as Executive Vice President and remained until 1995 when she retired. Under Marylou’s tutelage, The Chenango Foundation was incorporated, the first Leadership Chenango Class graduated, Accreditation by the U.S. Chamber was achieved, and member programs and benefits grew.

In 1995, Tammy Carnrike was promoted to President & CEO. Through the next decade, the Chamber became the official Tourism Promotion Agency for Chenango County, acted as a catalyst in the development of the Route 12 corridor, published a full-color business directory, and added more member benefit programs.

Consolidation of tourism, economic development and Chamber operations was achieved under then President & CEO, Maureen Carpenter. With a new name, Commerce Chenango played a critical role in bringing Agro-Farma, Inc. dba Chobani, Inc. to Chenango County. Our Member2Member discount program was initiated as well. In late 2008, consolidation of the Chenango County Area Corporation, and the Greater Local Development Corporation was achieved and now operates under Development Chenango Corporation.

In May of 2009, Commerce Chenango took on a fresh 'look' and implemented an innovative new brand as part of the strategic plan to increase awareness and promote the unified image of our organization. Today, Commerce Chenango is close to 300 businesses strong and is committed to serving the county by fostering and strengthening economic growth, promoting the wonders of Chenango County and serving the needs of visitors from around the world. Our history is rich and powerful and Commerce Chenango is proud of the impact our leadership and active membership has and we look forward to serving our community for decades to come.

BOARD / COMMITTEES

COMMERCE CHENANGO BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Board of Directors holds the governance and policy-making responsibilities of Commerce Chenango. The Board meets quarterly on the 4th Wednesday of the month at 7:30 a.m.

  • Darcy Aldous
  • Charlie Andrews, Norwich-An Alvogen Company
  • Mike Ferrarese, (Chenango Foundation Chair)
  • Jim Henderson - Golden Artist Colors, Inc.
  • Pete Komendarek - The Raymond Corporation
  • Eric Larsen - Laral Management (Chairman, IDA)
  • Amy Law - Preferred Mutual Insurance Company 
  • Pegi LoPresti - NBT Bank 
  • John Massey - UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital 
  • Pat McNeil, Chair - McNeil Jewelers 
  • Doreen Rowe - DCMO BOCES (DCC Chair) 
  • Terri Slater - Scholet Furniture 
  • Deb Sylstra - Frontier 
  • Lawrence Wilcox - (Chair, Chenango Co. Board of Supervisors)

CHAMBER COMMITTEES

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

The Executive Committee supports ongoing communication between the membership and board of directors; conducts investigations and studies and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors when appropriate; and supports the staff. The committee meets as needed.

  • Jim Henderson - Golden Artist Colors, Inc.
  • Pegi LoPresti - NBT Bank
  • Patrick McNeil, McNeil Jewelers
  • Terri Slater, Scholet Furniture

FINANCE COMMITTEE

The Finance Committee provides guidance in the financial activities of the Chamber. They play an integral role in the monitoring of financial benchmarks, policy and procedure implementation. The committee meets quarterly on the third Thursday of the month. 

  • Darcy Aldous - CPA P.C.
  • Douglas Franklin - New York Central Mutual
  • Jim Henderson - Golden Artist Colors, Inc.
  • Shauna Hyle - NBT Bank
  • Patrick McNeil - McNeil Jewelers

GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

The GAC committee works to advance the understanding of legislative activity; stimulate effective communications among our members and elected officials; and identify issues that affect the economic climate in Chenango County. They report to the Commerce Chenango Board of Directors and meet when needed.

  • Steve Natoli - Chair, Natoli & Natoli, LLP
  • Steve Palmatier - Walking Ridge Development
  • Sheldon Prentice - NBT Bank
  • George Seneck - Guilford Town Supervisor