President’s Letter: Reviewing 2016

Jennifer Tavares, CEcD, President and CEO

2016 was another great year for the Chamber and CVB.

Our team continues to demonstrate how creative, intelligent, resilient, and hard-working they are. Our annual work program is intense—and it only continues to grow as we strive to serve our stakeholders and the community. Our team has so much to be proud of, and I am so proud of them.

The Chamber continued our focus on issues of import to our member businesses, non-profit organizations, and the community at large. Whether the issue was related to housing, energy, tourism, economic development, workforce recruitment, or transportation infrastructure we were at the table learning, contributing, and advocating. New opportunities and partnerships emerged, and once again—we hosted and engaged more people and promoted more businesses while executing our annual event and program calendar than ever before.

The CVB team had another incredible year and managed a successful transition to a new leader. Our team and our Board are so happy to have Peggy Coleman with us, contributing her decades of tourism experience towards growing and promoting the Tompkins County tourism economy. Numerous successes have already been realized, and 2017 will bring a fresh Visitor Profile Study, new investments in agriculinary tourism promotion, and continued efforts in maximizing our higher education tourism opportunities.

We continue to focus on our highest priority: increasing and delivering real value to our member investors. In 2017, look for new affinity programs to help save your business money, more educational and workforce development opportunities for you and your team members, and continued advocacy in the areas that matter most to our businesses and non-profit employer base. We’ll also be updating our strategic plan, with your input.

One of my greatest pleasures since joining this organization has been working with the incredible people I’ve met in this community who give so generously of their time and precious resources. Thank you, thank you, thank you—for all you do for our Chamber and CVB, as well as for our community. We couldn’t accomplish everything we do in a year without a dedicated and supportive Board of Directors, committee volunteers, and sponsor-investors…and we know that our unique, resilient, thriving community wouldn’t be the same without you.

In the next several pages, I hope you’ll note not just the accomplishments and collaborations of the Chamber and CVB this year, but appreciate the member stories and successes we’ve shared. Enjoy!