Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

For Release — Sept. 7, 2011

The Business Council announces 2011 Chamber of the Year Award winners

ALBANY— The Business Council of New York State, Inc. is pleased to announce the 2011 winners of the Platinum, Gold and Silver Chamber of the Year Awards honoring outstanding chamber organizations and leadership teams. Recipients of the awards, in random order, are: the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce; North Country Chamber of Commerce; and CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CEO)/CenterState Chamber of Commerce.

These exceptional recipients will learn which award they have received during The Business Council's Annual Meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

“We are proud to include 63 Chambers of Commerce as members of our organization,” said Heather Briccetti, acting-President & CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “The three we chose as winners of the Chamber of the Year Awards — out of an abundance of nominations — have demonstrated a tremendous commitment to improving the business climate in their communities and in the Empire State.”

“As a chamber, we take advocacy on behalf of our members seriously,” said Charles S. North, President and CEO of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce. “But that's not all that we do. From educational seminars to informative monthly contact breakfasts to collaborating with other organizations hosting civic events, as well as representing our members through legislative action, we're committed to doing anything and everything to assist the Hudson Valley's regional business community. It is an honor to be receiving this award and the recognition of our efforts from The Business Council.”

“To receive this recognition from our partners at The Business Council is very gratifying indeed for our entire team and for all of our members,” said Garry Douglas, President and CEO of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. “The North Country business community is today more united than ever and is making a difference through the Chamber not only in our own region but as a meaningful partner in efforts to revitalize and reform our state. We will accept this as encouragement to continue our commitment to regionalization, strategic economic development, government action and international partnership. Onward and upward!”

“We are honored to receive this prestigious award from The Business Council, particularly because we were nominated by our members,” said Robert M. Simpson, president of CenterState CEO. “Our efforts over the past year have focused on evolving a new chamber model, combining critical business services with economic development. We strive to provide enhanced value for our members while benefitting the entire region. We're grateful for The Business Council's recognition of these efforts.”

The Chamber awards were created as part of The Business Council's Thirtieth Anniversary celebration in 2010. Nominations were accepted at the discretion of The Business Council and judged by an independently chosen panel. The winners chosen were those who: