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November 2, 2006

Council's new president and CEO reinforces organization's mission

The Business Council’s new president and CEO, Kenneth Adams, started his first day by telling the Council’s 60-member staff that he would work with them to reinvigorate the organization.

“This is a new beginning for all of us,” Adams told staff gathered at the Council’s Albany headquarters to greet him during a full staff meeting.

Adams, who started work on November 1, asked staff members to remember the Council’s first priority: members.

“When we take that dues check, we’re making a promise,” Adams told staff. “We need to ensure that what our members get for their dues dollars are value, action, and advocacy.”

Adams plans to spend about three days a week at the Council's Albany offices. He will also travel around the state to meet Council members.

He hopes his statewide travels will help him fulfill a promise made at the Council’s Annual Meeting in September.

“We have to make this into a stronger, more influential organization,” Adams told Council members at Sept. 20 meeting in Bolton Landing. “We must grow our membership and build a louder collective voice—and there are many ways we can do that.”

Adams, 46, was elected to his new role earlier that day by the Council’s Board of Directors, effective Nov. 1. The president of the Brooklyn Chamber since 1995, Adams will succeed Daniel B. Walsh.

Walsh, who has been the Council’s president and CEO since January of 1988, retired in late October.

Adams has built a reputation for his energetic efforts in business development and advocacy, not just in Brooklyn but across the state.

In 2003 and 2004, when he served as chairman of the Chamber Alliance of New York State (CANYS), he insisted on touring the state to visit local and regional chambers of commerce. He took the tour to hear first-hand about the competitive trials New York’s employers face and how business could fight for changes in Albany to ease those challenges.

Adams said that Council must develop “a short, focused list of practical objectives for 2007—a disciplined agenda that provides relief to the greatest number of our members while promoting economic development and increased competitiveness of the state.”

As part of this effort, he said, the Council will also work “to create effective relationships with our representatives in Albany,” including both legislative leaders and the new Governor.