December 18, 2014 at 09:52am
December 17, 2014
For starters I'm alive and have another day to love on people. Sometimes I take life for granted. After all it's a blessing. I'm learning to be present, instead of the alternative - on auto pilot. Have you noticed that sometimes you are really present, in the moment. I want to live like that all the time. I don't want to be that person that has a conversation with someone and never absorb what they said. Technology is creating robots, seriously. For instance, the kid or adult that crosses the road and don't even make sure that it's safe. They make sure that their facebook post or text goes through but do they know what color your car was when they crossed it? Anyhow, I'm not sure why I went on that rant.
I'm really grateful for the relationships that I have. I've developed a lot of them personally and through the Chamber. Like I've said in my first blog 'I love the Membership'. I went out to lunch today with Chamber Member, Michele Johnson, aka Michele's Team/Jones Group Realtors. Every time I get together with her I find that we are more and more alike. Well, that's pretty good because I like her lol. That must mean that I like myself. Our lives have a lot of similarities. We went to Mi Tierra in Hadley; I know, I went there yesterday too. That says a lot for them. Tip - go there early to get a seat. It looks like Salsa Dancing is in my future. Apparently, Mi Tierra is starting Saturday night Salsa Dancing. I can not go and make a fool out of myself alone so feel free to join me.
Yesterday I said how I was working on this Relocation Guide; still WORKING on it. I just really need it to get out of the office and in print. At least I'll have fun showing it off and dropping a box or two off at the area Hotels and Realtors.
Is it only Wednesday?
Ha! The boss man just asked what Frozen is. Yep, you can tell he don't have kids.
To follow my blog visit http://chacecorner.blogspot.com/By Alli
December 18, 2014 at 09:50am
December 16, 2014
Today I met with Brenda Lee, Hadley Farms Meeting House. Some of our conversation was about the upcoming Margarita Madness!!! This will be our first year hosting the event at Hadley Farms Meeting House. It's a great location - I'm sure you'll love. I got together with Brenda because of her position new at HFMH and I wanted to get to know her and keep her in the loop with Chamber Benefits. Brenda has a great personality and I'm sure that she's going to do great over there. After my meeting with her I went across the street to Mi Tierra...delicious. It was my first time having lunch at their new location on 48 Russell St., Hadley...Will not be my last. For starters they brought out fresh hot chips. Second, I had the Sopa de Tortilla, which has a cheesy mix at the bottom; what a nice surprise. Lastly, I devoured the Spicy Pork Burritto which was absolutely delicious! After lunch I spoke with the General Manager, Derek about Mi Tierra having a table at Margarita Madness. So it's official...Mi Tierra will be at Margarita Madness on March 26th 2015.
It's been a really great day today. I love when I get out and visit with members, they make my day!
Also, I've been working on the Relocation Guide today. It's going to be different in size this year...More user friendly.
To follow my blog visit http://chacecorner.blogspot.com/By Alli
December 18, 2014 at 09:48am
December 15, 2014
Since I started working at the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce my role has changed quite a bit. Starting off at first being Office Manager, then to Membership & Events Manager, and currently Marketing & Membership Director. Well cross pollinated if you ask me. But that's what's exciting about working for the Chamber. There is never the same day twice. Shortly after I started working at the Chamber I realized what a great membership we have. Everyone is so friendly and approachable. There were real relationships being built here. I quickly fell in love with the membership. One person that stuck out of the crowd was Youssef Fadel, New England Promotional Marketing. Youssef's involvement in the Chamber was so significant - Board of Director - Golf Tournament Committee -Taste of Amherst Committee - WinterFest Committee - Program Committee and giving referral after referral - whenever in conversation. His involvement is so intense that after remarking on his passion within the Chamber that conversation had lead him to becoming the MVP Award recipient aka (youssef fadel award) of the 2012 Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce's Annual Awards Dinner. Way to set the bar Youssef!
Through the years I've been trying to think of ways to add more benefits to being a member of the Chamber with little to no cost to its member. I noticed that we have had many businesses start-up in the Amherst Area so I started thinking how can we celebrate this milestone? That's when the Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies came to be. Since 2012 we have celebrated over 10 Ribbon Cuttings. Seeing as the Ribbon Cutting Celebrations proved to be successful I've started thinking whats next? Now I can focus on coming up with another benefit. Something the Chamber tried to launch in 2006, prior to my coming on board, was the Chamber Gift Card Program. I figured I'd take a crack at it. Kristine Cole, Manager of Operations, Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce and Larry Rubin, SwipeIt Technology came to mind. Kristin had already launched the Northampton Gift Card using SwipeIt Technology's services. Kristin was a huge help in this process. She's already done the hard work and passed on all the details to me. Larry was great too. I'm pretty sure I blew up his phone and email box. We ended up launching the the Amherst Area Gift Card just in time for the Holiday Season in 2012. Since then we have sold over $11,000 in gift card sales! Big win for our participants.
If you have a benefit in mind that you would like to see, I'm open to suggestions.
We have had a few transitions here at the Chamber and now things are starting to gel. Executive Director, Don Courtemanche and Administrative Assistant,Carrie Carbone feel like family and we are ready to bring in the 'New Year'. What's it going to bring? Health, prosperity, new friendships? Either way it's going to be new and exciting!
What's on the horizon ~ Membership outreach
To follow my blog please visit http://chacecorner.blogspot.com/
By Tony Maroulis
December 30, 2013 at 01:44pm
Monday December 30, 2013
Sunday January 5th “New Year, New Start!” Benefit Concert For Hadley Fire Relief
Amherst, Mass (December 30, 2013) - Northfire Recording Studio and the band Show of Cards, with support from the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce, are sponsoring a “New Year, New Start” benefit concert for the international food establishments impacted by the October 27, 2013 fire at 206 Russell Street in Hadley, MA: Banh Mi Strong, Casablanca Halal Market, International Market, Mi Tierra Restaurant and Wing Wong.
Karen Cardozo, one of the concert organizers, said: “coming from an immigrant family myself, I was heartbroken about all that these folks lost after so many years of hard work. Yet their hope and resilience are so inspiring – we are putting on this concert to honor that spirit and encourage their rebuilding efforts.”
The benefit will take place Sunday January 5th, 4-6PM at the Amherst Regional Middle School, where donations on a sliding scale will be accepted. Emceed by Tony Maroulis of the Amherst Chamber with sound support from Northfire, the concert features the diverse triple bill of Duo Fusion, The Joe Belmont Trio and Show of Cards. Classically-trained flutist Sarah Swersey and Viva Quetzal guitarist Joe Belmont will open with their unique blend that has been reviewed as “exquisite” (www.duo-fusion.com). The Joe Belmont Trio, featuring Rhees Williams on bass and Benny Woodard on drums, will deliver a second set of irresistible “jam-based” funk, R&B and jazz (www.joebelmont.com). Folk-rock band Show of Cards closes out the line-up with songs from their new release Something Better, hailed by The Greenfield Recorder for “subtle shifts in moods and sounds that carry listeners to a variety of different places,” from jazz-influenced to country-flavored to rock and world music vibes (www.showofcards.com ). Fronted by siblings Karen and Mike Cardozo on guitars and vocals, the band includes Garrett Sawyer of Gaslight Tinkers on bass and Joe Fitzpatrick of Trailer Park on drums.
Other upcoming benefits include Rebuild Mi Tierra Fiesta, an evening of food, music and live auction slated for Friday January 24, 7PM at the Look Park Garden House and Together We Dance/Bailamos Juntos, a variety program to be held Saturday January 25, 4-7PM at the Amherst Middle School. More information is at the Hadley Fire Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Rt9HadleyFire), at the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce website (www.amherstarea.com) and on the Chamber’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/amherstareachamber ofcommerce).
Karen Cardozo, firstname.lastname@example.org (413) 695-4812
Tony Maroulis, email@example.com (413) 687-2757By Tony Maroulis
November 18, 2013 at 09:45am
On the evening of October 27, the businesses of 206 Russell Street were changed forever as a fire engulfed their building which housed 12 small independent shops and 2 residences. While no one was hurt, all of the businesses suffered complete losses and were forced to consider rebuilding or moving on from their dreams.
Within days, hundreds of people began following a Facebook page dedicated to helping the victims of the fire. We immediately offered our support and help to Hadley Town Administrator David Nixon. A call went out for a group to house a fund for the victims. The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors determined that we needed to help. The board extended free memberships to all the affected businesses so that they might be able to avail themselves of the Chamber's resources, and allowed us to act as the repository for the Hadley Fire Fund, which opened on October 30.
The Chamber was joined in coordinating a response effort by the United Way of Hampshire County. Its executive director, Jim Ayres has been an invaluable resource for the Chamber as we manage the fund. Many, many thanks to Shardool and Kishore Parmar of Pioneer Valley Hotel Group and the staff of the Hadley Farms Meeting House, who have been generous with their meeting rooms over the past month.
So what's happened over the past few weeks -
1. There have been 3 meetings of the affected businesses, with 8-9 businesses in attendance. The first two meetings were about support and needs assessments. We had a resource fair last Thursday to connect people to agencies and capital.
2. The Chamber and the United way have met with the Red Cross, Center for New Americans, Greater Northampton Chamber, Franklin Hampshire Career Center, and Community Action! to garner support services and create a plan of action for support of the businesses
3. The fund, which has collected nearly $23,000 as of this writing, has a goal of $65,000. The fund will be distributed equally among the businesses affected by the fire. The fund will retire in mid-December.
4. We will continue to provide support and resources to the businesses after the fund is retired.
5. Easthampton Savings Bank has offered the businesses a no-money down loan on 100% of replacement purchases for equipment at a rate of 3.75% for 7 years.
6. Businesses have filled out necessary paperwork with Massachusetts Emergency Management Association to meet eligibility requirement for Small Business Administration assistance. If more than 5 businesses are uninsured or underinsured, the entire complex is eligible for SBA loans.
7.Our local federal and state legislative delegation has offered considerable support to relief efforts. Many thanks to Congressman McGovern, Sen Rosenberg, and Rep. Scibek for their support.
There is much more to do over the next few weeks and months as businesses continue to reestablish themselves in Hadley or the surrounding area. The Chamber, United Way, and Hadley Town Government will be there to assist as we can with the help of our partners. We will continue to update you all in our Chamber newsletter and on the blog.