MASSENA - The president of the Greater Massena Chamber of Commerces Board of Directors says they expect to begin their search soon for a new director and hope to have someone on board for the new year.
We plan to revise our job description some and put out an advertisement for a director within the next couple of weeks, Miriam S. Catapano said.
The chamber has been without a director Michael J. Gleason since was fired in July. Mr. Gleason had served as executive director since Oct. 15, 2007. Prior to that, he was a member of the chamber board, but he had resigned his position on the board prior to his appointment. He had previously served as an account executive for Martz Communication Group.
Associate Director Penny Pullmain has been handling the day-to-day operations at the chamber office since July, with assistance from chamber board members.
Mrs. Catapano said board members met last week to discuss the vacancy.
We looked at where we wanted the chamber to go over the next few years, what type of chamber we envisioned ourself to be for our membership and what we would be looking for in a director, she said. We had a great meeting. It was a very positive. Everybody was on board. Our board really stepped forward and was involved in the process, which is just wonderful.
She said they plan to revise the job description before soliciting candidates.
We want to make sure that we understand what were looking for. The individual has a specific job to do and that is to market the chamber and Massena and to enhance our relationship with our members. Our membership is number one. We really have to build upon our relationship with our membership, Mrs. Catapano said.
The person would also be responsible for promoting tourism, an effort that would also involve the Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena, she said.
Their goal is to have a new director on board for the start of 2014.
Hopefully it would be by the first of the year to have somebody on board, Mrs. Catapano said, noting that they still need to work on the job description and prepare an advertisement for publication.
In the meantime, she said, Ms. Pullmain has been managing the office well in the absence of a director and an events coordinator that they lost earlier this year because of budget cutbacks.
We had a cutback in personnel for budgetary constraints at the beginning of the year. Shes filling in on both ends. She has done an outstanding job of really filling in on both sides, she said.
Its just been an interesting couple of months, Mrs. Catapano said. Its given us time to look in the mirror and really see what we want to be and where we want to be.
The chamber continues to participate in and plan events in the absence of a director, according to the board president. They recently held their annual Harvest Festival, and theyll be at Hawkins Point on Saturday for the New York Power Authoritys Wildlife Festival.
Well be out at the Wildlife Festival and doing our food booth. We thank NYPA for the opportunity to do that, she said.
Planning for the 2014 Winter Carnival will begin in October. The Winter Carnival will be staged a week earlier next year so it doesnt fall on Super Bowl Sunday.
Its going to fall in January next year so it will not fall on Super Bowl weekend. It will fall on the weekend of the 24th, 25th and 26th (of January), Mrs. Catapano said.
They need to begin planning now to make it another success, she said.
Its moving up on us and the way the holidays fall this year, everything is kind of a little bit quicker, she said.
Theyll be looking for input from the community.
Starting in October, if people in the community have an idea for a theme, we would be thrilled to hear them. Weve already been approached by one group with an idea for a different event than weve done. People are obviously thinking about it. Its been a good event for the past four years, Mrs. Catapano said.