House Annual Meeting Highlights Collaboration | News, Sports, Jobs



By Daniel J. Heitzenrater,

President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce

Working together was a recurring theme at the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce annual meeting on Friday. From the presentation of the Pam Lydic Coalition Builder Award to the opening speeches of two college presidents, the event demonstrated how the entire county benefits from the collaboration of individuals and organizations.

Dr Daniel DeMarte, president of Jamestown Community College and Dr Stephen Kolison, president of State University of New York at Fredonia shared the spotlight on the keynote speech with an announcement that, through a new collaborative effort, SUNY Fredonia will provide a way for JCC students to complete their bachelor’s degree through SUNY Fredonia, but at JCC’s Jamestown campus. Dr Kolison pointed out that classes can start for the new program as early as fall 2022, calling it both “A game changer and a no-brainer” as the two looked for ways to work together to provide better educational opportunities for students.

The Pam Lydic Coalition Builder Award 2021 was presented to the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, the North Chautauqua Community Foundation, the United Way of Chautauqua County of the North, and the United Way of the County of Chautauqua of the South. The organizations worked closely to form the Chautauqua County Response Fund. As a coalition, they created a centralized funding pool that was able to quickly deploy resources to community organizations to deal with the dramatic economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Since its inception, the Chautauqua County Response Fund has raised over $ 1 million from individuals, community organizations and local foundations. Representatives of the staff and boards of directors of the four organizations were on hand to receive the honor.

Each year, the Chamber of Commerce presents honoraria to a charity chosen by the recipient of the award. This year, the allocation will go to the Capacity Lab, a new shared non-profit capacity building initiative that will be hosted by both the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation.

The House board for 2022 has been confirmed. Fred Johnson of Johnson Estate Winery will remain chairman of the board and will also represent the Westfield-Barcelona community chamber committee. The vice-president is Heather Brown of the Resource Center. Kris Maytum of DFT Communications will be treasurer. The secretary will be Emily Reynolds of Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Brian Bugaj of Nestlé Purina PetCare remains the past president. The newly elected board members were Kim Carlson of Pea Pod & Juniper and Ben Webb of Webb’s Captain’s Table. Former board members are Robert Manning of Manning’s Fireside Manor and Kristofer Sellstrom of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities, and the chairs of each of the six Community Chamber of Commerce committees: Dunkirk, Ellen Luczkowiak of KeyBank; Fredonia, Larry Fiorella of HBKS Wealth Advisors; Hanover, Rick Klisiewicz of Golden Arrow Logistics; Jamestown, Vicki McGraw of Elegant Edible Catering; Mayville-Chautauqua, Sorena Gilkinson of ERA VP Realty; and Westfield-Barcelona, ​​Fred Johnson of Johnson Estate Winery.

The Chamber’s annual meeting was sponsored by Chautauqua Harbor Hotel, DFT Communications, Jamestown Community College, Media One Radio Group, OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, Zach of All Trades, Forecon and M&T Bank.


The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is relaunching its series of Tuesday discussion programs, with a timely roundtable on safety for all businesses on Tuesday, December 14. This briefing will focus on both the cybersecurity of the Ultimate Tech Solutions presenters and the safety of Constable Matthew Rhinehart of the Jamestown Police Department.

Tuesday Talks is designed as an informative and interactive program, where participants can feel free to ask questions.

This event will be held via a Zoom meeting for the convenience of all attendees at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, December 14. Register now through the Chamber’s online events calendar to get the Zoom link.


Remember the joy of holiday shopping? You can find it when shopping at local small businesses. Small Business Saturday is over, but you can shop small each day when you choose to support local businesses.

There are dozens of local small businesses dotted around every corner of Chautauqua County and are full of gift items that will fit your list and budget. Whether you are looking for games, books, toys, home decor, clothing, handmade soaps, local wines or more, you will find these products at small local businesses right here in our own communities. Savor the shopping experience and find unique and special gifts for your family and friends.

Supporting local small businesses is also easy when you shop online. Visit to find a local shopping and marketing platform featuring over 70 local merchants with over 300 products for sale.

Local businesses make our communities vibrant and distinctive. Support local small businesses during the holiday season and year round.

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