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A Backdrop of grief As Christmas Nears over shadows sales and profit

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Next Tuesday a major portion of the world will be celebrating a holiday based on peace, hope, love and promise. Typically as I travel the County and shop I hear talk of sales and profits. after all…Tis The Season,  but in the past few days those aren’t the words out of shop keepers mouths.  Words seem so inadequate to express the sadness we all feel in the wake of the horrific events in Newtown Connecticut, as an entire nation struggles to find an appropriate response to prevent such a travesty from ever happening again, if indeed it is possible.  For some, this is but the latest in a string of tragedies – after all many of our neighbors are still cleaning up from the ravages of Hurricane Sandy which struck 6 weeks ago.

 

Even though Sandy was responsible for over 53 deaths in New York alone, businesses and residents alike exhibited an admirable spirit in working together to repair the damage and provide necessities until order was restored to affected communities.  After Newtown, the mood is considerably more somber. I think the general feeling for all of us is helplessness. We cannot collect clothes and medical supplies or send cleaning crews with food to help this time. We are left only with sadness and confusion.  One has only to ponder the vision that Connecticut governor Dan Molloy must have had walking into that firehouse to try and comfort the families of 20 murdered children to understand that this was no ordinary crisis.  While Sandy destroyed so many miles of property the human cost almost seemed like collateral damage, in Newtown it was very clear what the main target was – 20 precious, harmless, helpless children.  Even as a parent I cannot fully imagine the horror that was bestowed upon these innocents as well as their parents.  I envision it as far as my mind will let me, and then recoil in horror.  Thankfully my babies are still here with me, but to 20 Connecticut families, their holiday gift is one of immeasurable emptiness and despair.

 

Please everyone, hug your children a little tighter, and for those who celebrate, be thankful you will see their smiles on Christmas morning.

 

-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce, Business Strategist/Associate Broker Keller Williams NY Realty

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And the Nominees are…….

The 40 Under 40 Nominees    

 

Here are the names of 56 nominees who made it through the first round of judging for Putnam’s first-ever “40 under 40” awards, to be presented January 25, 2013 at Villa Barone Hilltop Manor in Mahopac.  These individuals are friends and colleagues who have become prominent through involvement with our chambers of commerce. I am excited to also see names that I am unfamiliar with. I look forward to also getting to know those individuals.

  The nominees are:

 Ruth Ayala-Quezada, Carmel Taxi; Joe Bachmeier, New York State Senate; Greg Ball, 40th State Senate District; George Barbarossa, Rev Design, Inc.; Julie Barr, Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union; Rebecca Bertoldi, Modern Media Publishing/Eventful Magazine; Sue Boyd, Putnam Valley Elementary School; Dan Branda, 40th State Senate District Office; Mike and Tom Bucci, Bucci Brothers Deli; Faith Ann Butcher, Examiner Media; Matt, Camerino, The Chophouse Grill; Alicia Canfield, Kidz Country; Louis Cardillo, Keller Williams Realty; Nicky and John Crecco, Villa Barone Hilltop Manor; Nicholas D’Andrea, Park Ford; Joe DeBellis, Wireless Zone; Katie DeMarco, Putnam County Visitors Bureau; Neil Denaut, All-Out Fitness; Savanna DeStefano, Alesca Productions;

David Dretel, D & S Pump & Supply; Brett Freeman, Halston Media; Sidney Haitoff, Medical Management Corp of America; Eytan Hammerman, Temple Beth Shalom; Brittany Hyatt, Polhemus Construction Company; Jamie Imperati, Professional Women of Putnam; Michael Lee, Putnam Valley School District; Joseph Lucia, Joseph Lucia & Associates; Anthony Malvagno, Alesca Productions; Luigi Manente, Cartwright & Daughters; Michael McClay, Paychex, Inc.; Erin Meagher, Brewster Shipping Center; Paul Melella Jr, United Martial Arts Center; Angelina Mendes, George Fischer Middle School; Jessica Olson, Magic Mirror; Jason Pabon, Putnam Valley Pharmacy; James Pfeiffer, First Niagara Bank; Lauren Pistone, L J Strategies; Amber Polhemus, Meadowview Farm; Mike Reyes, First Niagara Bank; Katie Robertson, Putnam County Visitors Bureau; Jonathan Schneider, Schneider Financial Group;

Tara Scozzafava-Baisley, Putnam Valley Florist; Richard Seidel, Millennium Printing; Bramdeo Singh, MD, Putnam Hospital Center; Heather Soss, Health & Harmony Wellness Center; Adrienne Spadaccini, Putnam County Law Department; Kelly Torres, NY Face & Body Art;

Scott Van Niekerk, Wholistic Physical Therapy; Lee & Christina Vataj, Countryside Kitchen;

Toni Vulaj, The Chophouse Grill; Nagi Wissa, Lake Mahopac Pharmacy & Surgical Supply; Andrew Zacotinsky, East Road Motors; Carmelo Zagari, Arturo’s Tavern.

 

Some people question why a 40 under 40 not a 60 under 60? Our thought was to find new blood, undiscovered talent that can be groomed to take on leadership roles in our  Chambers andcommunities. Some on this list have already done so and are a fine example for all of us.

 

-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce, Business Strategist/ Associate Broker Keller Williams NY Realty

 

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The Judges have met!!

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Recognizing Forty Under 40 In Putnam County Business     

 

The rising stars of local business are about to be recognized as the Putnam County Chambers’ first 40 under 40 awards program gets underway.  This honor will be bestowed on those young professionals who work full time within our county’s borders, showing financial acumen and superb leadership in their company and community.  The selection process began awhile ago with some 70 applications being received from various business and community leaders.  After removing duplicates, etc., some 54 final nominees remain, so it’s time for the panel of judges to get busy.  Business leaders from six separate communities within the Chamber will serve as judges for the awards, including: Geoffrey Reinwald (Brewster), Vincent Tamagna (Cold Spring), Henry Boyd (Kent), Laurie Ford (Mahopac), Bill Evans (Patterson), and Barbara O’Hare (Putnam Valley).  After meeting with the remaining candidates, the judges will narrow the field down to the 40 award winners who will be celebrated at an event to be held at Villa Barone Hilltop Manor in Mahopac on January 25, 2013.  Masters of Ceremonies for the event will be the Courier’s Eric Gross and Kacey from WHUD 100.7FM.  Various sponsorship levels are still available, ranging from $500-$5,000 .  Visit www.putnamchamberny.org for more details.

 

Although this is Putnam’s first-ever recognition of the younger generation of businesspeople, events such as these are commonplace throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond.  Every community needs to encourage its future leadership to dream big and excel at their chosen professions, and each year a new crop of leaders is given a chance to shine through these high profile events.   By publicly recognizing the feats of an already-distinguished group of under-40 professionals, Putnam County is letting the world know that our business and economic development efforts are in full swing.   This will result in a better future for all of us, so please plan on celebrating this coming January!

 

-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce

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Together we all achieve more

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Together We Always Achieve More

 

This past November 19th every town within Putnam County was represented at the 2nd combined meeting of the Town, Zoning and Planning boards, hosted by the Putnam County Chamber’s of Commerce. Each Town gave a report on projects they are currently working on, issues they are facing and their hopes for the future, and many commonalities were found amongst all the towns.  It comes as no surprise that DEP restrictions and lack of infrastructure were key points of concern as well as lack of high tech communication throughout the County.   The Industry cluster Task force also gave a summary of their findings as a result of meeting for the past 6 months.  The task force has identified Arts and Culture and Commercial Recreation as the first two areas to focus on. These genres align with the County’s focus to promote tourism within its borders. The task force is looking to first create the necessary support structure to be put into place and then will organize a marketing campaign to attract these businesses to our County.  The ultimate goal would be to fill any and all vacancies with the County and then to move on to shovel ready projects. EDC Chairman, Tom LePerch opined that there are plenty of shovel ready projects in the County, we just need to make the environment more attractive to prospective businesses. 

 

For these clusters to grow and thrive, local governments must make changes,  such as more favorable zoning rules and marketing efforts which would include getting the information out to all Towns and available resources. Simultaneously we should be focusing on relieving unfunded mandates so we money can be invested in necessary infrastructure improvements. Public/private partnerships are much needed to accomplish these goals, and we’re excited to get to work!

 

 

-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce, Business Strategist/ Associate Broker Keller Williams NY Realty

 

The full version of the Task force report as well as video ( up next week) of the meeting is available on www.putnamchamberny.org

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Attendees: Jennifer Maher, John Molloy, Craig Paeprer, Louis Tartaro, Thomas Mcnulty, Michael Leonard, Mary Finger, Wendy Whetsel, Lynne Eckardt, Tom LaPerch, Steve Katz, Barbara Scuccimarra, Bob Zubrychi.

 

Planzone

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Small Business Saturday!

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Come out November 24th to support all the small businesses in Putnam County!

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What kind of Development do you want to see in Putnam County?? Take a survey please!

http://putnamchamberny.org/public-survey.html

http://putnamchamberny.org/business-owner-survey.html

 

Please click on the links above and have your ideas be a part of our up coming County Wide Zoning, Planning and Town board forum….

 

 

Jennifer Maher Chair Woman Putnam County Chambers of Commerce

Business Strategist/ Associate Broker Keller Williams NY Realty

Putnam & Westchester County’s Real Estate Resource Blog

Search for Putnam & Westchester County’s Real Estate Listings

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Citizens Should Exercise Their Right To Vote

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Elections are the main way that the citizens of our community get a chance to clearly impose their wishes on government, yet so often the percentage of people who show up at the polls is incredibly anemic.   Less than 10 percent of voters in Putnam County showed up at the September 13 primary.   That is a shame, because in most races the primary winner has the inside track on a November victory, either running unopposed or against a lesser known opponent.

 

It’s imperative not to get left out of the process, and this is one area where the influence of the Chamber of Commerce is rather limited.  We can share information and hold debates, but it’s up to the public to get out and register their votes.  We may all lead busy lives, but we can’t complain that politicians aren’t doing the will of the people if we don’t get out and tell them what our wishes are.

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Perhaps the malaise can be attributed to factors such as negative campaigning and other drama that takes please each election season.   Voters surely get turned off to all the inflammatory rhetoric.  Perhaps the Board of Elections can run public service announcements to remind voters of the importance of speaking their mind at the ballot box.  It seems odd that we should need such reminders, but anything that helps raise the percentage of ballots cast is a good thing.

 

The issues that we as Putnam residents and business owners face are very significant.  Decisions are being made at local, statewide and federal levels that will make a difference in the cost of running our business.  Government leaders decide the taxes we pay on our homes, on purchases, the regulations we must adhere to, and the fees for obtaining permits, etc.   It is vital that our voices be heard during this election season.

 

-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce

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Putnam County GENERAL ELECTION CANDIDATES’ DEBATE

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THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF PUTNAM COUNTY

THE PUTNAM COUNTY CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE

WILL CO-HOST

 

A GENERAL ELECTION CANDIDATES’ DEBATE

 

Date:       September 27, 2012

 

Time:      7:00 PM – 9:30 PM

 

Place:     Hudson Valley Cerebral Palsy Association Building,

                #15 Mt. Ebo Road, Brewster, NY

 

CANDIDATE PARTICIPANTS:

NYS Senate – 40th District (Carmel, Patterson, Southeast)

NYS Senate – 41st District (Kent, Philipstown, Putnam Valley)

NYS Assembly – 94th District (Carmel Paterson, Southeast, Putnam Valley)

 

Putnam County Legislature:

                District 1(Philipstown)

                District 4 (Paterson)

                District 6 (Southeast)

                District 7 (Mahopac, Croton Falls, Brewster and Parts of                                                        Southeast)

 

 

YOUR VOTE COUNTS! PLEASE ATTEND FOR AN INFORMED CHOICE ON ELECTION DAY.

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Reflections On The Post-9/11 Business World

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Pivotal moments of time stand out in the memory of each American generation – Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy assassination, and of course, September 11, 2001.  The terror attacks impacted our communities in many different ways, with many different facets standing out in our minds.  From the perspective of a Chamber Chairwoman I sit here working from home on 9/11/2012 remembering how American business came to a grinding halt for more than a week, and the tremendous comeback we have made. In the wake of 9/11, many started over or rebuilt their business or career, leaving their job to build a new business that makes a significant contribution in this world. Entrepreneurship is at an all time high, and post-9/11 re-evaluation of priorities such as family and quality of life is a likely explanation.

 

September 11, 2001 made permanent changes to the small business landscape which affect us even today.  Some effects were felt right away, for example disruption in financial markets and interruption in public transportation.   Those immediate effects soon ebbed, but others remain.  For example, the price of fuel was destined to go up, and thanks to Mideast tensions it has nearly tripled.  That affects delivery and transportation costs for every business.  Security at airports was forever changed, and the time it takes to travel via air lengthened.  Roads were permanently closed, such as those near certain reservoirs.  This resulted in new bike trails but also longer commutes for some.  Our government became larger, more bureaucratic, and more wary, leading to substantially higher spending and a greater tax burden on American business.  Federal agents now monitor our waterways, roads, rails, bridges and airports looking for potential threats, and businesses are urged, “if you see something, say something.” All of which lead to a more tense atmosphere in daily business operations. I know as a Realtor I am looking forward to the upswing about to happen in the near distant future. I am certain many other industries feel the same way.

 

The post-9/11 world is indeed changed, but our can-do spirit rose above it all, and America still is the envy of the rest of the world.

 

-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce

Business Strategist/ Associate Broker Keller Williams NY Realty

 

Putnam & Westchester County’s Real Estate Resource Blog Search for Putnam & Westchester County’s Real Estate Listings

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Grooming a Generation of New Community Leaders

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I look around and see how much has changed in the past ten years and can’t help but notice that does not hold true for our leadership in Putnam County.  Year after year it seems the same people are running for office on both a Town, County and State level. I believe one way to get new people involved is to groom young business leaders into community leaders.

 

The 2010 census reported that  13 percent of the population in Putnam County is over the age of 65 and 23 percent of the population is under 18, while the New York State average was 13.7 percent of a population over 65 and 22 percent of the population under the age of 18.  Clearly there is a shift towards the younger generation in the workplace.  Its having an impact on chambers of commerce too – G. Daniel Hearn, President/CEO of the Catawba County, NC Chamber and Chairman of the US Chamber’s Institute for Organization Management, recently told a nationwide audience that in his 40 years of service he’s never seen a demographic so radically different than its predecessors.  Our youngest business owners expect clearly defined benefits and demonstrated value from the people they buy from, and that includes the chamber of commerce which represents their needs.  Therefore we as leaders need to adapt our strategies to reflect the needs and priorities of our up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

 

There are so many young professionals who are doing their part to make Putnam County a great place to work, live and raise a family that they deserve to be recognized.  The Putnam County Chambers of Commerce is initiating the “40 Under 40 Trailblazer Award” to celebrate our young people.  Applications along with nomination rules and information are available on the Chamber website, www.putnamchamberny.org, and must be received by November 16, 2012.  The awards themselves will be presented at Villa Barone on January 25, so get involved, and celebrate the youth movement in Putnam County business!

 

-Jennifer Maher,

Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce

Business Strategist Keller Williams NY Realty