Sitting on Boards

on October 23, 2012 at the Pub on 9 in Bolton Landing. Cocktail hour begins at 6, dinner at 7, meeting at 8. Call the Chamber office for further information: 518-644-3831. The public is invited to attend. The Chamber holds a members’ meeting once a month. The October membership meeting is special because proposed candidates for the Chamber’s Board of Directors will run for election. Any member in good standing of the Bolton Chamber of Commerce has a vote. The Board of Directors consists of a minimum of seven and a maximum of nine Directors, each Director serves for three years from their election. Any member in good standing of the Bolton Chamber of Commerce is eligible to run for a seat on the Board of Directors. Membership: “All persons, firms, organizations and corporations in good standing and dedicated to the Chamber’s mission shall be eligible for membership.” Applications are available on line at, or at the Chamber office in Rogers Park. Annual dues vary according to the different categories of membership. What exactly is a Chamber of Commerce, and what does it do? According to Wikipedia,”the first chamber of commerce was founded in 1599 in Marseille, France. And, “The world’s oldest English-speaking chamber of commerce is that of New York City, which was established in 1768.” The dictionary definition is: “a local association to promote and protect the interests of the business community in a particular area.” The Bolton Chamber of Commerce is actually much more than that – is the natural meeting place of the Town of Bolton with its concerns and responsibilities, the community and residents, and the business owners of this area. The Town of Bolton has a core of about 2,326 permanent residents; and many seasonal residents who own homes here but miss staying in them in the winter time. Visitors (over three times our population) who rent accommodations for days, weeks, or the entire season make up the rest of our fluctuating population. The Bolton Chamber maintains an office and a Visitor Center in Rogers Park which are open all year to serve visitors, community residents and members in person, by telephone, and on the internet.  The Visitor Center is a hub for information about the area, including the Town of Bolton events and programs as well as the different offerings of business members and Chamber special events. During the “season” the Center is open seven days a week, with brochures, maps, schedules, and personalized service to answer questions, offer suggestions and even make phone calls for what each visitor might be interested to see or do. The Chamber Visitor Center has an excellent and well deserved reputation for friendliness and service, and going the extra mile to help with a request. The Chamber also runs a web site and social media to keep ongoing contact with potential visitors, offering links to member websites and information on how to participate in yearly events. The Bolton Chamber’s philosophy is: “The Chamber is a not-for-profit, non-partisan and non-sectarian organization with its activities and operation in all cases not governed upon race, creed color, sex or national origin.” And, it is non-political: “The corporation shall take no part in or lend its influence or facilities, either directly or indirectly, to favor the nomination, election of appointment of any candidate for political office.” The Bolton Chamber has approximately 150 members in the categories of lodging, dining, realtors, retail stores, marinas, attractions, and individuals, including some trusts and corporations. The Bolton Chamber of Commerce “area” extends roughly from Lake George on the south, to Warrensburg on the west, and Ticonderoga on the north. Lake George itself takes up the eastern border. Some businesses outside this general area are also members, for example the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake and the Ausable Chasm. Some businesses have an outreach beyond this area, such as the Lake George Land Conservancy, which manages a great deal of land beyond our borders. Many business members run seasonal businesses, and follow the usual tourist calendar of May to October; and some are year around businesses that serve the community in all seasons, like the Grand Union grocery store and Stewarts. (Whatever would we do without Stewarts coffee and gasoline to keep us going?!) The Bolton Chamber of Commerce Mission is to: 1. Maintain and disseminate information on or about the area. 2. Promote business and community development by assuming the leadership in the economic health and growth of out area. 3. Support the efforts of the area organization. 4. Educate the community on the importance of business and its effect on the local economy. Exactly how that mission gets carried out in any given year is the responsibility of the Board of Directors of the Chamber and its officers to decide. Which is why serving as a Director or officer on the Board of the Chamber is such an important choice. Officers are elected by the Board of Directors through an internal election, and serve for terms of one year each: President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. The officers carry out the business of the Chamber itself, as well as oversee whatever the Board of Directors decides should be done in any given year to carry out the stated mission and lay groundwork for years to come – including choosing new Chamber sponsored events such as the French and Indian War reenactment, new Chamber supported endeavors such as the Farmers Market, and whatever updated interface changing media outlets require, such as the web site, social media, and print media including walking maps, rack cards and brochures. Have you ever served on a board? How was it? Please share – Penelope Jewell]]>