VOICE Newsletter

January 2016

Optimism for the New Year

Written by Todd J. Tranum, President & CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce & Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier

While it may not be possible to predict the future, we look upon the year ahead with a sense of optimism and hope.  The beginning of a new year is a prime opportunity to take stock of our mission and vision, to reflect on where we have been and where we are going.
So as we begin 2016, we remind ourselves that as a business association we strive to be data driven, flexible, and strong, providing services and support that our essential to our members.  To do that we are driven by a set of principles:  working to reduce taxes and regulatory barriers that hamper the viability of our member businesses; seeking to develop a superior workforce in our region; developing and delivering innovative, high-quality, cost competitive health insurance products; developing services and sharing information that benefit our members; and working with a variety of partners to define and address the economic and tourism development needs of our businesses and helping businesses increase sales and reduce costs.

We remain a unified voice advocating for a business environment in the region where our businesses can thrive. A major part of our advocacy effort is focused on reducing taxes and we will continue to be a strong voice advocating for government efficiency, consolidation, shared services and growth of the tax base. In addition, we will remain a strong advocate for economic development projects that enhance our region and infrastructure investments that provide the necessary foundation for business growth.

A key component to the success of our region is our workforce. The Chamber and MAST have pro-actively addressed the challenges being faced by businesses that are struggling to find a skilled workforce to fill job openings. In the year ahead we will continue to expand on the successes of the Dream It Do It manufacturing career initiative communicating opportunities and training pathways that exist right here in our community. Through the Chautauqua County Education Coalition we are working to align resources and build capabilities to meet evolving workforce requirements in our community. Our collective focus through a broad group of community stakeholders is to benchmark and improve kindergarten readiness and identify and develop middle school to high school career pathways that connect to the health care and manufacturing economy. The Coalition has brought together over 80 organizations in the community around these common goals.

Access to cost competitive health insurance remains very important to our members. In serving them we are driven by mission, not commissions, therefore we work to identify the best health insurance options for our members and their employee needs. We were the first in Chautauqua County and in the region to deploy a private insurance exchange and today we can offer our members a variety of products through both the private and public exchange programs while also providing local customer service and support.

We will continue to help our members increase sales by creating opportunities for business to business contacts and business to consumer interactions. We will build upon the success of our networking events, expand our social media presence, and leverage our online presence as well as continued work through our community Chambers of Commerce to provide enhanced local events and opportunities.

By working in tandem with the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau and the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency we hope to expand local tourism and recreational opportunities.   We expect to work on growing our successful Restaurant Week, Small Business Saturday, and Chamber’s Gift check programs to help market our many locally owned small business members.

We are fortunate to live and work in a community where people are our most valuable resource. The Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturers Association are strong because of the energy of our more than 100 volunteers and the dedication of our staff.  Our member business owners and employees work hard every day to tackle challenges and improve the quality of life here in Chautauqua County.  If you are not already a Chamber member, we invite you to join us in 2016 to share in the positive energy of our business community.  You can learn more at www.chautauquachamber.org  or give us a call at 484-1101 or 366-6200.

We wish you a year of health, happiness, and prosperity ahead!


Chamber Annual Meeting Focuses on Economic Development

The Chief Executive Officer for the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency addressed 120 members of the countywide business community Friday during the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Annual meeting.  Kevin Sanvidge was appointed to the post eighteen months ago by County Executive Vince Horrigan.  Sanvidge discussed economic development plans in Chautauqua County.  Formerly with Cliffstar Corporation and Al Tech Specialty Steel, Sanvidge was also a member of the Boards of Directors of Lake Shore Savings Bank, ECR International, and the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce.

The 2015 Pam Lydic Coalition Builder Award was presented to Dr. Susan McNamara, Assistant Professor of Management at Fredonia State University of New York.  This award, named in memory of the first President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, recognizes an individual or organization in that has worked to bring groups of people together around a common goal or objective and has helped move the region forward in a positive direction through collaboration and by building partnerships.  Dr. McNamara teaches Strategic Management, Organization Behavior and Entrepreneurship, and is also the adviser for the Fredonia Enactus team, which has grown substantially to now include students in 19 different majors.  130 local organizations have worked with business capstone students to solve strategic challenges or opportunities.

Chamber President and CEO Todd Tranum said, “Our board was especially impressed with Dr. McNamara’s work with Enactus.  We view Enactus as a way to bring together an array of student groups to work on current projects, while also developing leadership skills with a focus on service in a new generation of prospective business people.  It truly teaches community service and community building on a basic level, demonstrating that business and community go hand-in-hand.  Through her work connecting Fredonia students to local businesses and non-profits, Sue brings an experiential approach that allows students to apply their academic learning through critical thinking to deal with a community need or business challenge.”
The award includes a $500 contribution to a non-profit organization chosen by the winner.  Dr. McNamara has selected the Boys and Girls Club of Northern Chautauqua to receive the donation. 

“My choice was based on my long term passion for and investment in youth, the pipeline of our future,” Dr. McNamara said.  “Enactus also partners with the Boys and Girls Club of Northern Chautauqua, so this is a good fit.”

Elected to officer positions for 2016 officer position are as follows:  Chair, Curt Anderson, Small Business Development Center; Vice Chair, Brian Bugaj, Nestle Purina; Secretary, Neil Frederick, Bush Industries; Treasurer, Ann Abdella, Chautauqua County Health Network; Immediate Past Chair, James Pullan, Jr., Jamestown Mattress Company.  Board members at large are:  Virginia Horvath, State University of New York at Fredonia; Larry Ludemann, DFT Communications; and new members, Matthew Churchill, Water Street Brass; and Emily Reynolds, Cornell Cooperative Extension. The Chair of each Community Chamber Board also serves on the Chautauqua County Chamber Board.  Those representatives currently are:  Dunkirk, Michael Pease, The Chautauqua Center; Fredonia, David Dengler, Larson-Timko Funeral Home; Hanover, Kelly Borrello, Cabana Sam’s Sunset Bay Grill; Jamestown, Greg Lindquist, Jamestown Renaissance Corporation; Mayville-Chautauqua, Keen Shearer, Chautauqua Marina; and Westfield-Barcelona, Fred Johnson, Johnson Estate Winery.

The Chamber Annual Meeting was held at Moon Brook Country Club and sponsored by Cummins, Community Bank, DFT Communications, E. E. Austin & Son, Fredonia College Foundation, JAMA/UPMC Hamot, Jamestown Community College, OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, Star Media Group, and Univera Healthcare Southern Tier.

Doors Open Jamestown is January 16

Once again this year, attractions in the Jamestown area will open their doors for free, to give local people a chance to see for free what hundreds of tourists pay for each year.  Doors Open Jamestown is set for Saturday, January 16 from 10am-5pm.  Participating attractions are:  Busti Grist Mill, Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, Dykeman Young Vintage Emporium, Fenton History Center, Infinity Performing Arts Center, James Prendergast Library, Jamestown Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Jamestown Gateway Train Station, Jamestown Savings Bank Arena, Lucile M. Write Air Museum, Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Center and Museum, Lucille Ball Little Theater, Marshall Martz Observatory, Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, Robert H. Jackson Center, and the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History. 

In addition to the attractions, local restaurants will be open downtown and ready to serve you.  We hope you will take advantage of this tremendous opportunity, brought to you by the Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce and Jamestown Up Close. 

Chamber Congressional Lunch is January 29

Once again this year the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to provide an opportunity for local business people to meet with our Congressman.  Representative Tom Reed will participate in the annual Chamber Federal Congressional Lunch on Friday, January 29, at Shorewood Country Club, West Lake Road, Dunkirk.  The event will begin at noon, and we encourage our members to come with questions for the Congressman. 

This event is sponsored by Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Fredonia College Foundation, Fredonia Place, Jamestown Mattress Company, Lawley Insurance, Nestle Purina PetCare, OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, WCA Hospital, and WJTN/WWSE/WKSN/WHUG/WQFX.  The cost is just $18 for Chamber members or $21 for non-members.  To register, please call the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101, or visit our website at

2016 Winter Festival Features Medallion Treasure Hunt

The 2016 President’s Day Weekend Winter Festival will take place the weekend of February 12 – 14, 2016 at Lakeside Park in Mayville NY along the shores of Chautauqua Lake.  Many winter events, activities, and contests will take place, as well as including food and craft vendors, children’s activities, snowmobile rides, the annual Polar Plunge benefit being organized by Family Health Medical Services (held Saturday, Feb. 13th at noon), horse drawn carriage rides, and the Feb. 12th evening opening ceremonies.  The Medallion Treasure Hunt, sponsored by Northwest Savings Bank, will again take place in conjunction with this long-held annual winter event.  The medallion, especially created for the Festival by artist David Stutzman for the 2006 Winter Festival, will be hidden on accessible public property somewhere in Chautauqua County. 

Placed in a container or bag for its protection, the medallion will not be hidden below ground level and no higher than six feet above ground level.  It will also not be hidden on any body of water or in the water.  Treasure hunters seek the medallion at their own risk.  New rules will allow Treasure Hunt prize winners from the 2014 Winter Festival and all years previous to be eligible to participate again.     

Festival Committee members and last year’s 2015 Treasure Hunt winner are not eligible to participate.  Clues will begin to appear in the media beginning Monday, February 1st and continue each weekday only until Friday, February 12th.  The clues will appear in the daily newspapers Jamestown Post Journal and Dunkirk Observer, with a weekly review of clues in weekly newspapers Westfield Republican, Jamestown Gazette, and the Chautauqua Star, as well as clues announced daily on The Media One Group radio stations WJTN, SE93, THE FOX, WKSN, and WHUG.  This year all treasure hunters must be registered to be eligible to win the $250.00 cash prize.  Treasure Hunt registration forms will be available at the following Mayville businesses beginning January 11th:  Mayville, NY businesses Mayville Hardware, Webb’s Year-Round Resort Candy/Gift Shop, The Cottage Collection at Webb’s Year-Round Resort, Chautauqua Suites Meeting & Expo Center (register at desk), Lakeview Hotel, Crosby’s (Mayville), Chautauqua Harbor House, Chautauqua Miniatures, 3 Seas Recreation, Lighthouse Grocery, J & B Mayville Diner,  Village Restaurant (Dewittville), as well as Chautauqua County branches of M & T Bank and Northwest Savings Bank.  There is a $3.00 registration fee per entry and the deadline for registration is by Sunday, January 31, 2016.  Please note that no registrations will be taken once the clues begin appearing in the newspapers and on the radio February 1st.  So, beginning January 11th, don’t delay in registering for this annual treasure hunt.
Complete Treasure Hunt rules are outlined in the registration form.  The person or persons locating the medallion will be announced at the Festival’s Friday evening opening ceremonies on February 12th.  We would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous support of this upcoming annual winter event: 

Major Sponsors  Media One Group, Clark Patterson Lee Design Professionals, Village of Mayville, Town of Chautauqua, Operating Engineers Local 17-Apprenticeship Program; Platinum Sponsors 3 Seas Recreation, Lictus Oil and Propane, M & T Bank, Uncle Jack’s Saw Shop, Lakeview Hotel/The Docks Restaurant; Gold Sponsors Webb’s Year Round Resort (Webb’s Motel), Family Health Medical Services, Webb’s Captain’ Table Restaurant, Guppy’s Tavern, Chris Keefe Builders, Northwest Savings Bank, Digitell Inc.; and Silver Sponsors Maple Group Real Estate/Maple Inn, Chautauqua Abstract Company, Portage Hill Gallery, Empire Energy E & P, “A” Automotive, Lake Chautauqua Memorial VFW Post 8647, Irwin Bay Cottages & Vacation Rentals.

If you would like to become a sponsor of the 2016 Winter Festival, volunteer to help at the Festival, or would like more information about this upcoming event, call the Mayville/Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce at (716) 753-3113 or go to our web site at www.mayvillechautauqua.org.  Plan on coming to scenic Lakeside Park in Mayville, New York the weekend of February 12 – 14, 2016, for this long-held President’s Day Weekend Winter Festival for a weekend of fun for the entire family. 

Social Media Marketing Certificate Available

The Small Business Development Center, JCC Center for Continuing Education, Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier are proud to jointly present a special series of classes leading to a Certificate in Social Media Marketing.   Classes will be held Friday mornings, beginning February 5, and will be available on the Jamestown, Dunkirk, and Olean campuses. 

Each participant will be required to take the Social Media Marketing class, which provides a look at the foundations of your company’s internet marketing strategy, assesses social media presence, and helps you set goals and create valuable content.  In addition, participants will choose three platform classes to learn in-depth about marketing with a variety of social media tools including Facebook, Google+, Yelp, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. 

The objective in providing this certificate program is to help local businesses generate more visibility, traffic, and leads through social media marketing.  Tuition for the complete certificate program is $215, while platform classes can be taken individually for $39 each.  Chamber/MAST members get a 15% discount off the cost of classes taken at JCC, and the discount does apply to this series. 

To register for classes or to learn about dates and times on any of the JCC campuses, please visit www.sunyjcc.edu/social-media-certificate/registration

Johnson Foundation Awards Starflight Program $93,335 Grant

Foundations and community members alike are pulling together to support the local not-for-profit medevac program. On Monday December 21st, 2015 John and Carole Sellstrom of the Johnson Foundation arrived at the Starflight Hangar to present the flight team with a check for $93,335. The grant will be used to install a helicopter terrain awareness and warning system (HTAWS) in one of the helicopters. This system utilizes GPS and other state-of-the-art technology to prevent controlled flight into terrain incidents. “The system will also allow pilots and flight crews to safely respond to emergencies in conditions where weather can sometimes keep the helicopter grounded” says David Thomas, Executive Director W.C.A. Services Corporation.

The second bay at the Starflight Hangar will be named the “John A. and Oscar Johnson Memorial Hangar” in honor of the generous support the Johnson Foundation has shown the Starflight program.

Photo Caption:  Pictured left to right is Jim Hanson, Pilot Second in Command; Charlie Watkins, Pilot in Command; Bruce Brooker, Assistant Director of Maintenance; Howard Howlett Jr, Starflight Board Chairperson; Carole W. Sellstrom, Executive Director of the Johnson Foundation; John Sellstrom of the Johnson Foundation; Sara Couchman, Flight Nurse; David Baker, Flight Paramedic and Debbie Weaver, Chief Flight Nurse.


Opera House Presents Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s The Winter’s Tale

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House will present a captured live via satellite screening of London’s Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s (KBTC) production of The Winter’s Tale, starring Branagh and Judi Dench, on Sat., Jan. 9, at 1 p.m.  The production was filmed during live performance at London’s Garrick Theatre during December and transmitted via satellite to theatres around the globe.

This is the first season that the KBTC is making productions available via satellite transmission, notes Opera House Executive Director Rick Davis, “and we’re very excited to be able to present three of them as part of our programming in 2016.  The Winter’s Tale is the first.”

Davis notes that the other two productions being offered include Romeo & Juliet on Aug. 6, and The Entertainer on a date in December still to be announced.
The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare’s timeless tragicomedy of obsession and redemption, is reimagined in a new production co-directed by Rob Ashford and Branagh, following their triumphant staging of Macbeth in England and on Broadway.  In it, King Leontes appears to have everything:  power, wealth, a loving family and friends.  But sexual jealousy sets in motion a chain of events with tragic consequences.

The production stars a remarkable group of actors including Dench as Paulina, Branagh as Leontes, Jessie Buckley as Perdita and Hadley Fraser as Polixenes.  The production runs three hours, 30 minutes with intermission.

Tickets to The Winter’s Tale are $15 ($10 Students) and may be purchased in person at the Opera House Box Office or by phone at 716-679-1891, Tuesday through Friday, 1-5 p.m.   They also may be purchased online any time at ww.fredopera.org.  In addition, Live in HD Series Flex Subscription tickets ($116 for eight tickets) can be used at any of the KBTC productions.

The Opera House is equipped with assistive listening headsets for the hearing-impaired.  Simply request one from any usher or Opera House staff member.  Headset funding provided by Robert & Marilyn Maytum, the Dunkirk-Fredonia Lions Club, and by a grant from Theatre Development Fund’s TAP Plus program in partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts.

This program is made possible by Dr. James M. and Marcia Merrins, who funded the purchase of the satellite transmission and projection equipment used in the screening.  Support also comes from the United Arts Appeal of Chautauqua County, the Arts Services Initiative of WNY Inc., and the Give for Greatness program. 

Photo Caption:  The 1891 Fredonia Opera House will present a captured live via satellite screening of London’s Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s (KBTC) production of The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare’s timeless tragicomedy of obsession and redemption, on Sat., Jan. 9, at 1 p.m.   The production stars a remarkable group of actors including Dame Judi Dench as Paulina and Branagh as Leontes



Opera House Cinema Series to Screen “Suffragette”

The next feature film in the Opera House Cinema Series is historical drama, “Suffragette,” starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham-Carter and Meryl Streep.    It will be screened on Sat., Jan. 9, and Tues., Jan. 12, at 7:30 p.m.

Set in the UK, “Suffragette” tracks the story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State. These women were not primarily from the genteel educated classes, they were working women who had seen peaceful protests achieve nothing. Radicalized and turning to violence as the only route to change, they were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality – their jobs, their homes, their children and their lives.  Maud (Mulligan) was one such foot soldier. The story of her fight for dignity is as gripping and visceral as any thriller; it is also heart-breaking and inspirational.

Connie Ogle, in the Miami Herald, calls the film “inspiring, buoyed by a fine cast, a pointed, important examination of the price paid for a shot at equality.”  Ann Hornaday, in the Washington Post, calls it “an absorbing, ultimately moving portrait of thwarted ideals that rings all too true today.”  A.O. Scott, in The New York Times, calls it “stirring and clear-eyed – the best kind of history lesson.”  Ty Burr, in the Boston Globe, says the film “riles you up and at times may move you to tears of rage.”    Rated PG-13 for some intense violence, thematic elements, brief strong language and partial nudity, “Suffragette” runs one hour, 46 minutes.

The Opera House Cinema Series is sponsored by Lake Shore Savings Bank.  Additional support comes from the United Arts Appeal of Chautauqua County, the Arts Services Initiative of WNY Inc., and the Give for Greatness program.  Tickets are available at the door for $7 (adults), $6.50 (seniors & Opera House members) and $5 (students) the night of each screening.   A book of 10 movie passes is available for $60 at the door or online at www.fredopera.org.  For more information, call the Opera House Box Office at 716-679-1891.

The Opera House is equipped with individualized closed captioning headsets for the deaf as well as with assistive listening headsets for the hearing-impaired.  Simply request one from any usher or Opera House staff member.  Headset funding provided by Robert & Marilyn Maytum, the John Ben Snow Memorial Trust, the Dunkirk-Fredonia Lions Club, and by a grant from Theatre Development Fund’s TAP Plus program in partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts.
The 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit performing arts center located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia.  For a complete schedule of events, visit

JSBA holds Fundraiser for New Zamboni

Want to ride a Zamboni? Well now’s your chance to check that off your bucket list! The Jamestown Savings Bank Arena will be offering Zamboni rides during scheduled ice cuts to anyone who donates $10 or more to the New Zamboni Fundraiser.
The JSBA currently owns two Zambonis. One, sponsored by the Southern Tier Brewing Company, is 10 years old and one sponsored by the Shults Auto Group, known as “Shultsy,” is nearing 22 years. Shultsy has been around since the Allen Park Ice Rink and has been through a lot of wear and tear. Ice cuts aren’t as crisp as they once were, especially when you consider the typical lifespan of a Zamboni is 20 years.
Being a 5013c nonprofit entity and a center for the community, the JSBA is looking to toward its patrons, community, and foundations to aid in funding such an expensive, but necessary piece of rink equipment. Zambonis cost roughly $125,000 and require 8 months to produce since each is built to order. Zambonis are integral to the maintenance of an ice arena.
All donations are accepted, but a donation of $10 or more gets you or someone of your choice a ride on the Zamboni.
All it takes is $10 and you can reserve your time today! Visit the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena’s front desk to donate or reserve your time. For more information call 716.484.2624 or visit


“The Cleveland Guy” to Headline Stand-Up Comedy at JSBA

Wits & Giggles Stand-Up Comedy brought to you by Bud Light returns to the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena Saturday, January 9 at 7:30 p.m. The night features headliner, Jeff Blanchard; feature, Sharon Daly; and host Robb Will.
Headliner, Jeff Blanchard came highly recommended. A native of Cleveland, Blanchard has been performing for over 25 years at clubs and colleges all over the USA, including Jamaica. He co-founded Cleveland’s longest running improv comedy troupe and theater the Cabaret Dada Improvisational Theater and the Something Dada Improvisational Comedy Co.
Blanchard’s act has exploded beyond the stage finding popularity in television, film, radio, and on YouTube. Blanchard has performed on Saturday Night at The Funny Farm, The Babe Ruth Story, Fox Unplugged, 90 Degrees South, The Science of Cooking, The Quiz Bus, The Something Dada Show, Striking Point, My Summer Story, Counterforce, Apres Film, and Facebook Faux Pas. You may recognize him as The Cleveland Guy where he received 2 Emmy Awards and a Telly Award. Blanchard’s YouTube web-series Man in the Box has over 200 episodes and garnered over 60k subscribers.
Blanchard has been called, “the funniest man in Cleveland,” an “opinionated slob,” and a “pure entertainer.” Paul Mooney remarked on Blanchard by saying, “He reminds me of a young Sam Kinison. He has the same crazy genius onstage.”
Opening for Blanchard is Sharon Daly. Daly’s comedy career started as a dare and evolved into a profession. She has performed all over New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio at clubs ranging from Carolines on Broadway and The Funny Bone. In the end, if everyone else is thinking it, Daly just goes ahead and says it.
Returning as the host of Wits ‘n Giggles is Robb Will, Jamestown, New York’s self-proclaimed 67th Funniest Comedian. Will has performed in Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and Southern Indiana where he draws from his life experiences and gives you reasons to laugh at them. Will has famously remarked, “I got into comedy because I needed to laugh, I am staying because you need to laugh.”
Opening for Wits ‘n Giggles is the SOLD OUT 1st Annual Grapes & Hops Festival from 1-5pm on the Shults Auto Group Rink and an NA3HL game between the Southern Tier Xpress and Toledo Cherokee. The game begins at 5 p.m. on DFT Communications Rink. Tickets to the game are only $5.
Wits ‘n Giggles is held in the Bud Light Arena Club located on the top floor of the JSBA. Tickets for the event are $10 presale, $12 day of show, and $5 for students. Must be 18 years of age and up to attend. Get your tickets today by calling 716.484.2624, visiting
www.jamestownarena.com, or at the JSBA’s Landmark Chevrolet Box Office. Don’t forget to follow the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena on Facebook and Twitter for updates and information on upcoming events.



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