Message from the Chairman
On behalf of the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce, welcome to our community!
For more than 106 years the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce has led the way as our city has developed and responded to an ever changing world. First as a wilderness fort, then a transportation hub, a manufacturing hotspot, and finally the technological trailblazer it is today, Rome’s business sector has continued to adapt. We at the Chamber are here to welcome new partners, support growth, and encourage leadership through a network that provides a comprehensive range of services from advocacy to promotion. This collaborative and supportive environment makes Rome the perfect place to foster a thriving business sector as we evolve as a community.
Through a strong spirit of volunteerism and solidarity, Rome has consistently proven itself to be a welcoming community as a place to live, learn, and play. Culturally, the city offers diverse events and recreational opportunities, while the region’s four seasons offer outstanding outdoor sports and discovery of our parks and natural heritage. In every part of Rome, you can find the influence of the Chamber of Commerce as diverse agencies, businesses, and individuals have joined forces to build an economically-sound and vibrant city.
From the enduring strength of Fort Stanwix to the technological revolution that Rome leads today, our community has maintained its position at the forefront of progress. Our investment, economic development, and advocacy efforts over the past 106 years have built an outstanding foundation to ensure our community’s future progress. At the Chamber of Commerce, we are excited to guide our community forward.
Join us at the Chamber as we work, play, and celebrate our community. Let us show you why Rome is where the heart is.
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Rome Country Club
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 over 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”; Dr. Bob Nelson "Ways to Motivate Reward & Energize Employees": chaired by Dean M. Shlotzhauer Jr., of Community Bank, N.A.
● Rome Home 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; chaired by Elliott Friedman, Lincoln Investment.
● 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.
● 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 Jennifer Beach Brillante of C & D Advertising.
● 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.