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Chamber board of directors receives new mantra - ‘Show Up and Step Up’ in 2014

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MASSENA - Every time they take a sip of coffee, members of the Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors will be reminded of the new buzz phrase introduced to them on Thursday.

One side of a coffee mug carries the Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce logo, while the other side reads “2014 - Show Up and Step Up!”

“Our mantra is show up and step up. We have a lot to accomplish in 2014. As Kathy (Kelly-Ori, new chamber director) said, it’s a year of change. It means really getting involved,” board President Miriam S. Catapano said as she distributed mugs to board members during their meeting on Thursday.

It’s February, but the activities are just starting to get underway for the chamber under Ms. Kelly-Ori, their new director. They are now in the planning stages for the annual dinner April 3 at the Knights of Columbus, their annual Easter Egg Hunt on April 5 and their June 7 Heritage Festival at the Massena Arena.

It’s also a year with more of a focus on how the chamber can better help its membership, a task that Ms. Kelly-Ori said she has been working on since beginning her new duties three weeks ago.

And that means it’s time for everyone to step up and help out, Mrs. Catapano said.

“It is an important year to get out there and get involved. We want to show up and step up,” she said. “I don’t mean to preach to the choir, but we do have a lot to accomplish.”

Associate Director Penny Pullmain said one of their event focuses right now is getting nominations for awards that will be handed out during the chamber’s annual dinner, as well as items for live and silent auctions.

She noted that anyone on the board or in the community can send in nominations for awards, which include the Gert Jurkovich—Commitment to the Community Award and the Business Leadership Award.

The Gert Jurkovich Award, named in honor of the former chamber executive director, “is meant to recognize an individual, business or group that best exemplified Gert Jurkovich’s dedication and zeal for the community she worked so hard to promote.”

The Business Leadership Award recognizes a person who not only runs a successful business, but also “shows exceptional service to the community, respect for employees and dedication to customer service.”

Nominations must be received at the chamber by Feb. 28 and will be reviewed by the chamber board.

“If anyone has any nominations, they can get it to me or anyone on the annual dinner committee,” Ms. Pullmain said.

In the year of “Show Up and Step Up,” she also asked for board members’ help in soliciting for items that could be used for the annual dinner’s silent and live auctions. She provided board members with a listing of places that committee members had committed to contacting, as well as a list of other businesses that could be contacted.

“It’s a big help to us,” Mrs. Catapano said.

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