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Recognizing a Community Leader , Entrepreneur and Family Man.

Each year, chambers of commerce throughout Putnam County recognize those among their community who have demonstrated a concern for their community and strong business sense  Thto be Richie D’Andrea of Park Ford in Mahopac.  
Park Lincoln-Mercury, of Yonkers, was founded in 1975 by Richie’s wife Donna’s father, Leonard Conora.  Richie went to work for the dealership in 1979 and met Donna during his tenure e Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce has chosen their 2012 Businessperson of the Year there.   He then left to work at Ford Motor Company for a few years before returning to Park in 1982.  Richie and Donna married in 1983, and the couple settled into a life of running the dealership and raising a family.
In 1996, the couple financed everything to buy out their business partner and relocate the franchise from south Yonkers to north Yonkers, then moved the business, now called Park Ford, to Mahopac just four years later. With the family working together and risking it all , Tlthe dealership has been very successful – even in a challenging economy their best-ever volume and profit was in 2011.  Now employing 38 people, the company has spent another $500,000 to expand in 2012 and plans an enhanced service department.  Richie and Donna have three sons, Richie (27), Nick (24) and Thomas (17).  Nick has followed in Dad’s footsteps to work in the automobile business at Park Ford. In Fact Nick recently helped me in my leasing of a Ford Focus ( I love my Focus!).
Of his award, Richie displays the usual low-key and humble demeanor that has made him so well respected in the community.  “This success is only through being an active member of the Chamber,” says Richie.  “It is to be shared with all the active members.”  A personal role model, friend and mentor, Richie helped lead the expansion of the Mahopac-Carmel Chamber in recent years, as him and I also co-directed the Shop Putnam Business and Home Expo for 3 years in a row.   The local business community is lucky to have the D’Andrea family be such active partners in leading us forward!
-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, Putnam County Chambers of Commerce

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ACTION!! Let’s attract cluster development to Putnam County!

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Bringing Industry Clusters to Putnam

As mentioned several times in my weekly column in the Putnam County Courrier, an industry task force is meeting and beginning to share its thoughts with us on possibilities for future industry development in Putnam County, aimed at providing good jobs, lower taxes and a higher quality of life for all.

Some ideas are pretty obvious – arts, culture, tourism and commercial recreation.   Cold Spring and Garrison’s famous homes, antique shops and artisans are a well-known attraction for people coming up from the City for a getaway.   Lake Mahopac is the closest lake to NYC for boat rentals.  Thunder Ridge offers local skiing opportunities, and Brewster Ice Arena has figure skating, hockey, a gym and on-premise restaurant.  Perhaps we can bring go-kart racing or indoor Grand Prix cars into the mix, plus other forms of recreation to create a year-round playground for visitors.  With the picturesque countryside making an ideal movie backdrop for many films, media outlets may find Putnam appealing as well.

More challenging concepts may provide broader opportunities: technology companies for example, given our close proximity to the great Tech Valley exploding to our north.  Companies like IBM straddle our borders, and other big names are moving into New York State.  Perhaps we can get a piece of the action.  Another idea is health care business support.  Medicine is big business these days, and our region is known as New York’s BioHud Valley.  Can we build around Health Quest’s expanding network, plus Hudson Valley Hospital Center and others, bringing biotech jobs to Putnam County?

If you are a member of any of the Chambers of Commerce in our county, especially in Brewster and Putnam Valley which don’t have task force members, please consider participating in this dialog.  Also, financial and education partners need to be assembled to implement this vision.  A lot of work needs to be done, but we are up to the challenge.

-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, Putnam County Chambers of Commerce

http://putnamchamberny.org/

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Mission Statement

Mission Statement

The Putnam County Chambers of Commerce is dedicated to serving as the primary advocate, voice, and resource for our business community, in order to promote our members, provide educational opportunities and to enhance individually viable commerce districts through out our country.