MASSENA - It was a busy - and fruitful - year for the Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce in 2012, outgoing President Eric J. Gustafson told guests at the organizations annual luncheon.
Its been a wonderful year, he said, citing the success and quality of our events that were held last year.
The number of initiatives taken on by the chamber in 2012 filled two pages of the annual report booklet presented to guests during Thursdays luncheon.
They included the 2012 Massena Winter Carnival, their 80th annual dinner, the 33rd annual Heritage Festival, the 15th annual Block Dance and Car Show, the Summer Concert in the Park series and the fifth annual Harvest Festival.
Mingled in with those events were business after hours gatherings, keeping chamber members informed of the latest news and evens through bi-monthly email blasts, responding to requests for information about Massena and the surrounding area, and their office relocation from the Sunrise Plaza to 16 Church St., the former Adath Israel synagogue.
Two (events) stick out in my mind the most, Mr. Gustafson said.
One of those was what he said was another successful Winter Carnival.
What a great success thats become, Mr. Gustafson said.
He also applauded the chambers efforts for their annual dinner, which featured a presentation by Alcoa Primary Location Manager John Martin.
It was such a great success and a great time, he said, noting the event showcased support from the community.
The chambers move to its new home was also of the years highlights, Mr. Gustafson said.
Chamber officials had signed the paperwork in July that transferred ownership of the former synagogue to them for $1, and they began their move in October. They had been actively seeking another location for nearly three years. St. Lawrence County foreclosed on 50 Main St., where their office had been located for several years, in 2011, and asbestos abatement and roof issues plagued the structure.
Having a new permanent home that we can call our own is an asset not only for the chamber, but for the community, Mr. Gustafson said.
As he prepared to turn the presidents reins over to Susan E. Stiles, Mr. Gustafson said they had much to look forward to in 2013.
It was said to me once that our future is not limited by our past. I think that is particularly appropriate as I look out to what we have to look forward to 2013, he said.
The new year could bring change with it, but Mr. Gustafson said they should accept that.
My hope is rather than fear the change or fret about the change, we are going to embrace change and the possibilities it holds, he said.
Those changes, he said, could in turn make Massena a more successful, vibrant and happy place.
As the incoming president, Ms. Stiles said one of her goals would be to maintain and improve the business environment in Massena, as well as sustain and enhance membership in the chamber.