President’s Letter: Spring is in the Air

Jennifer Tavares, CEcD, President and CEO

Spring is in the Air

Unseasonably warm days are a blessing and a curse in upstate New York. People are out seeking early season outdoor dining; the traffic downtown on the Commons has exponentially increased; and our daffodils are coming right up in the Chamber gardens. Yes, the daffodils are on their way—but my ski season, once again, has been cut short.

Well, we don’t have much time to worry about the weather, because there are a lot of great things happening at the Chamber & CVB! The following exciting projects are keeping our teams very busy:


  • Event attendance has been fantastic year to date—if you haven’t stopped by Business After Hours or Networking @ Noon lately, it’s time to pay us a visit!
  • CFCU Shop Local program relaunch—Email to change or submit your deals
  • Educational and professional development workshop series for 2017 being planned—send us the topics you find most interesting to
  • New Small Business and Women in Business Roundtables are coming soon—be on the lookout!
  • Economic Summit is right around the corner on March 30th, and planning is well underway
  • The CVB team is hard at work supporting agriculinary tourism development throughout Tompkins County
  • New outdoor recreation tourism opportunities are being explored by our team and several partner organizations, and the Gorges Ithaca Half Marathon is coming up on June 17th
  • We continue to explore the Heritage Education Center Project you have likely read about, and related opportunities in downtown Ithaca
  • We’re revisiting our space needs at East Shore Drive, and planning projects to reconfigure our offices to maximize efficiency and ensure our team has the space they need to do great work. We’ll be in touch soon about some specific projects you might be able to help support!

This team really accomplishes so much in a year, and I’m consistently impressed with how talented and hard-working they are. We are so excited that we’ve been able to welcome two new team members in the last couple of weeks. On the Chamber side, we are so excited that Steph Bailey is with us as our Event & Program Manager. She’s really hit the ground running on our annual event calendar. We introduced you to Steph in last month’s issue.

And on the CVB side—Jonathan Froehlich is on board as our new Meeting & Conference Sales Manager. He brings with him a wealth of tourism industry, event planning, sales, and organizational management knowledge.

Please visit us soon at an event, look for a new professional development or business training to meet your needs, and don’t forget—it doesn’t have to be an owner or manager that engages with the Chamber. Send along your rising stars, and make sure all of your team members are on our email list. Just give us a call or email to keep your organization in the loop on everything happening this spring!