GENESEO – The Livingston County Chamber of Commerce celebrates over five decades in business.
“50 plus one. We missed the opportunity to celebrate our golden anniversary due to COVID, so now that we are able to come together again, we are excited to celebrate in public at our annual gala,” said Laura Lane, President and CEO of the Chamber.
On Saturday, April 23, the Chamber will host its 50th Anniversary Gala Celebration at the Willow Creek Event Center, 3100 Lakeville Rd., Lakeville
“We’re celebrating and recognizing five different honorees this year because we really wanted to recognize members who represent the different areas that the chamber of commerce really touches and interacts with,” Lane said.
The Chamber has over 600 members. His office is located at 4635 Millennium Drive in Geneseo, but Lane says that wasn’t always the case.
“Physically there were offices on Main Street in Mount Morris, to my knowledge that’s where Questa Lasagna is. Then we had a little stink and there was a bank right where Wendy’s is and we had a very short stint there and then came back to the end of Millennium Drive which is Mikala’s Quilting, we were in a back office there and then worked to get the land where we are now at Millennium Drive and they started the process to establish the building,” Lane said.
Lane says credit for the organization’s success is due to its early founders.
“It’s the result of great visionaries coming together in the early 1970s and really setting the framework for our success. It is also the result of five decades of boards, of boards that have come together and truly managed this organization and managed the needs of this community in a way that has set us up for continued success” , Lane said.
In those early days, she said there was no physical location. The Chamber only had its first CEO 30 years ago.
The Chamber has changed over the years, but one thing Lane said has remained the same is his commitment to the community.
“I think from day one, our focus on supporting the business community and helping them grow has helped establish the credibility that comes with the Chamber of Commerce.
A national study was done and showed that from a consumer perspective, 80% of consumers are more likely to shop or do business with a company that they know is a member of their chamber of commerce,” Lane said. .
Along the way, there have also been ups and downs with the business world and Lane undoubtedly said the pandemic was one of the toughest challenges.
“In my 20 years as (a) chamber of commerce director, I’ve been in three chambers now and COVID is one of those chapters in a book I might write one day. He would definitely have his own chapter, maybe two.
“This has been a significant impact for the business community, society as a whole and we are truly proud of the role the Chamber has been able to play during this time to help businesses navigate the ups and downs that have come with COVID. said Lane.
As for the future, Lane said no one knows what this holds, but one thing that will remain is the relationships they have with the local business community.
“Chambers are constantly evolving because our communities and businesses are constantly evolving and so to that end, we will evolve with them,” Lane said. “But I think the one thing that will always remain constant for our Chamber is that we are a connector. Our role of connecting businesses to who and what they need to be connected to will always be a constant as we evolve over the next 50 years.