Message from the Chairman
It is my privilege to welcome you to Rome, on behalf of the Rome Chamber of Commerce's nearly 600 members!
As you look through the website, our members' continuing investment in our community and faith in business growth and development will become evident. The Rome Chamber is a key component in fostering this vibrant community.
The Rome Chamber of Commerce was established in 1912 to improve/develop the economic vitality of the community and to make Rome a desirable - the best- place to live and work. Today the Chamber continues to support those goals by offering programs to encourage business promotion, growth, advocacy, education and events that bring us together as a community. Our ability to provide a network of local businesses that promote business growth, economic development and provide programs to meet the evolving needs of the community is an essential component to our success.
I grew up in Rome, and raised my family here, and I am proud to call Rome my home. I am excited to see the new opportunities that are developing and will shape our future, and recognize that in order for our community to fully realize these opportunities, we need to work together. The Chamber's success depends on a strong and versatile volunteer base. I invite you to learn more about volunteer opportunities to support our community in partnership with the Chamber.
All of the Rome Chamber's initiatives are meant to promote business and community pride, two components essential for a vibrant community. A strong and engaged community is vital to sustaining, growing and recruiting Rome businesses.
Please support our members, participate in our community events and enjoy all that Rome has to offer!
Chairman of the Board of Directors
From the Rome Chamber of Commerce Certificate of Incorporation, February 12, 1912
“The particular purposes for which the corporation is to be formed are: To foster trade and commerce, or the interests of those having a common trade, business, financial or professional interest, to reform abuses relative thereto, to secure freedom from unjust or unlawful exactions, to diffuse accurate and reliable information as to the standing of merchants and other matters, to procure uniformity and certainty in the customs and usages of trade and commerce, and of those having a common trade, business, financial or professional interest; to settle differences between its members, and to promote a more enlarged and friendly association between business men.”
To this day, the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce is funded by businesses, professional firms, organizations, and individuals who recognize the importance of having a business advocacy and community promotion group in place to encourage economic growth in Rome. The Chamber is not a part of government. Its board of directors, committees, and many members volunteer their time, talent, and resources for the betterment of our community.
The Organization of the Organization
MEMBERS are the driving force behind the Chamber. Each year, with member input, the Chamber adopts a business plan to be carried out by nearly 400 members and the professional staff. Members choose to serve on the following committees and elect a Board of Directors.
Committees: The Planning & Action Level
● Professional Development Committee - Offers seminars on workforce development, management, and productivity. Recent programs included The Disney Keys to Excellence; Jack Canfield’s Success Principles; Jay Rifenbary “No Excuses”; Ritz-Carlton; Harry “The Fish Guy” Paul; Disney’s Approach to Business Excellence; Glenn Shepard; The John R. Wooden Pyramid of Success; Ralph Simone “Dynamic Team Performance”; chaired by Dean M. Shlotzhauer Jr., of Community Bank, N.A.
● Rome EXPO Committee - Plans, organizes and presents the show each year to encourage sales at participating exhibitors, helping those businesses to successfully promote their products and services to thousands of potential customers during one spring weekend.
● Government Affairs Committee - Studies and speaks out on legislative issues /concerns, keeping in mind the interests of the employer community to remain competitive, maintain/increase employment, and make a profit; co-sponsors educational forums with the Professional & Business Women of Rome and holds periodic meetings with elected officials to provide members with the opportunity to meet and establish a dialogue with their elected representatives; chaired by Tom Rahn.
● Griffiss/Rome Military Liaison Committee - Established to further advance the relationship between military personnel at Griffiss Park and the Rome business community. Informational and social activities are planned; chaired by Mike Manuele, AmeriCU Credit Union.
● Membership/Ambassadors Committee - Recruits and retains members through networking events such as Business After Hours, and recognition programs including “Member of the Month” award, ribbon cuttings, grand openings, and First Dollar of Profit award presentations; chaired by Sue McLoughlin of Berkshire Bank.
● Education Committee - Committed to young workforce development by creating and fostering connections between business and education communities. Encourages mentoring partnerships; chaired by Debbie Grogan of First Source Federal Credit Union.
● Honor America Days Committee - Organizes major events (Parade and Symphony Pops Concert the last Saturday in July). Publicizes and promotes a multitude of citywide events and activities during Rome’s annual Honor America Days Celebration, in the July-August time frame, which helps boost pride, promote patriotism, and generate business; chaired by Jackie Izzo.
● Silent Auction Committee - Plans, organizes and presents an event that is the major fund raiser for the Honor America Days Celebration that involves hundreds of area businesses, organizations and individuals who generously donate items for the auction; chaired by Ann Pohl of NBT Bank.
● Golf Committee - Organizes an annual golf outing to give members the opportunity to network with other members in a social setting. Recent outings have raised money for the Rome Community Foundation, Kennedy Arena, Rome Capitol Theatre, Rome Art and Community Center, Jervis Library, Rome Historical Society and the Henry P. Smith American Legion Post; chaired by Wes Cupp of Rome Country Club.
● In response to current issues, the Chamber Board of Directors also creates short-term ad hoc committees, as needed, to address concerns and opportunities that may have a direct bearing on the membership’s ability to conduct business.