September 2020 Letter from our Executive Director

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Tracy Verrier
Tracy Verrier, Executive Director

Usually I start these quarterly updates/recaps with phrases like “As per usual” or “It was another ___ summer”. Something indicating a sense of normalcy despite all of the exciting things going on. This year is a bit different. There is nothing “usual” about 2020. We’ve done so much adjusting and transitioning this year, and our team has worked harder than ever to be a support and resource to our members and the community. From developing and maintaining a COVID resource page to videos and FAQs, we have been trying to keep everyone informed in an era of constantly changing scenarios. While there have been many challenges along the way, the creativity we’ve had to use to keep things going has also led to some new and interesting opportunities.

As much as we yearn to get back to in-person events, going virtual has allowed us to expand some of our offerings and think outside the box on how to offer programming. For instance, our normal State of the City and County luncheon became a series of online presentations this year. Without the same time restrictions of an in-person luncheon, we were able to offer additional presentations regarding schools and tourism. Expanding our use of technology has also allowed Amy and Jess to continue and increase the frequency of their weekly #GearUpCayuga series on social media, keeping you in the loop on what’s happening with members. We’re also still offering educational seminars, and the Leadership Cayuga Class of 2020 finished strong with virtual project presentations. As much as we’ve enjoyed skilling up in tech, we are also very excited to start moving towards face to face events again. Just last week, we were able to hold our 27th Annual Chamber Cup Golf Tournament. With some adjustments for social distancing and compliance, the day went off without a hitch. We had 19 teams play, and it was great to see everyone out on the course. Congratulations to COAST Physical Therapy for defending their title as holder of the Chamber Cup! We’ve also been excited to see new businesses and community spaces open up recently. So far in September we’ve had ribbon cuttings for the Living Willow Permaculture Park and Moonflower Macarons, with more in the works, including Café 108 at Auburn Public Theater and Octane Social House. Despite everything, our community has certainly stayed abuzz!

And there’s always more… Coming up next, FLGIC will be hosting another Sexual Harassment Training for Nonprofits on September 23 with Pinnacle HR. This online training will count for your nonprofit employees’ and board members’ annual state training requirement.  Then on September 29, the Chamber is hosting an educational webinar on Managing Change and Transition – Making the Most of Change with HelpPeople EAP. As for the elephant in the room, we are unfortunately not going to be able to hold an Annual Dinner in the normal fashion. However, we will be hosting a virtual auction and hope to organize some smaller activities around the time we’d usually have the dinner. Stay tuned for more details on that.

We recognize that the traditional sponsorships and opportunities may not be there this year, so we are open to hearing from you about how we can add new or additional value for your business or organization. We are also happy to discuss alternative options for membership dues. If you want to remain a member but can’t pay dues this year, please just reach out to us. We are happy to get creative, because we are looking forward to seeing you again soon!

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