Message from A.J. Baynes
While September signals the end of summer and children are returning to school, now is the time to jumpstart your focus on a more regimented schedule that you may have let loose over the past few summer months and reinvigorate the goals you may have ignored. While at the Chamber, we maintained a busy summer and have added another layer of focus as the third quarter is ending with reevaluating our strategic plan. At the end of 2019, the Chamber updated the strategic plan, but we all know what took place in 2020, and that is why the Chamber has recently engaged a diverse group of members to evaluate and update it. This group is dedicated to ensuring we maintain our "big picture" strategy and continue to deliver a first-in-class experience for our membership. We also want to ensure we are set on the right path for engaging Generation Z as they enter the workforce and maintain a meaningful impact in providing a voice on behalf of the business community regarding regional, state, and federal issues. As the year closes, I look forward to reporting to the membership on our strategic plan.
As we look ahead to what the Chamber will look like in the future, we have the Chamber of today, which has an array of events and networking opportunities! Monday, Oct 24, we will have our 2022 The EVENT - Celebrating Business Excellence. This is our most significant event of the year when we attract nearly 500 business and community leaders on one night, where we honor those who have truly raised the bar in our community. Nominations are through 9/15, and I hope you will consider an organization or individual for one of these many honors: The Event - Celebrating Business Excellence 10/24/22 - Oct 24, 2022 (
If anyone has recently attended Lunch Mob, they are sure to notice the uptick in new members and engagement from long-time members. Please join us this Thursday at Simply Pierogi at the Eastern Hills Mall for what is one of our more casual and relaxed networking opportunities. We encourage members to bring their colleagues or potential new members to Lunch Mob as it is a great way to introduce individuals to the Chamber community in a more informal setting.
Tuesday, September 20th, we are delighted that Evans Bank and their CEO David Nasca will be hosting our next Business After Hours at their new headquarters. Evans Bank has long been very supportive of the Chamber and their CEO David Nasca is a pillar of our community. We will tour their new offices and learn about a Work/Life Solutions that Evans Bank is doing in conjunction with United Way of Buffalo and Erie County. There will also be an opportunity to win a free catered office lunch from Fresh Catch Poke for those in attendance. I'd encourage everyone to stop by and join us.
The Chamber Benefits team is about to hit their busy season with open enrollment just around the corner. I'd encourage every member to learn more about how the Chamber can assist your business regarding health insurance, dental & vision, life insurance, or an Employee Assistance Program; the Chamber is here to assist you and your business. September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, where it is important to recognize that life insurance is intended to protect your loved one’s at a time of loss. Our brokers can assist you in quick and easy quotes which can be accessed in minutes on our website with the ”Quote & Apply Tool.” In addition, we continue to be the only Chamber in Western New York with an in-house brokerage team dedicated to helping you achieve your goals. READ MORE.
Lunch Mob at Lloyd's Taco
August 2022
The Event Nominations Open until 9/15
Upcoming Events
Evans Bank and David Nasca are opening their doors at their new corporate offices on Main St in Williamsville on Tuesday September 20th. Together with the United Way, they will be sharing a special presentation on Work/Life Solutions at 5pm. Doorprizes for attendees!
The Williamsville Education Foundation is proud to announce 10 new inductees to the Williamsville Wall of Fame. These individuals will be formally inducted at the Wall of Fame Induction Ceremony Awards Breakfast at the Country Club of Buffalo on November 10, 2022, at 8:00 a.m. The Williamsville Wall of Fame recognizes distinguished alumni of the Williamsville Central School District who serve as role models for today’s students, demonstrating the importance of school and the power of learning.

The Class of 2022 Wall of Fame Inductees are:

Williamsville South
  • Eric Bodamer, Senior Designer for Adidas Hockey – Class of 1988
  • Rachel DiNunzio, Author/Illustrator and founder of Radish Lane – Class of 2007
  • Julie Gentner-Murphy, Financial Planner, L&M Financial – Class of 1999
  • Bradley Hahn, Founder/Executive Director, Explore Buffalo – Class of 2009
  • Brad Sprague, Chief, Main-Transit Fire Department – Class of 2004
  • Cindy Wyatt, Athlete/International Referee – Class of 1961
Williamsville North
  • Dave Henning, Colonel, United States Army – Class of 1996
  • Daniel Summers, Professional Chemical Engineer – Class of 1973
Williamsville East
  • David Flynn, Partner, Phillips Lytle LLP – Class of 1979
  • Rachelle Paul, Athletic Director, Saint Peter’s University – Class of 1999
Be in Buffalo College Carnival
September 28, 3pm - 7pm | Seneca One
Calling all WNY employers - Connect with our region’s College Students! Introduce your company. Share available internship opportunities, part time jobs and full-time roles. Talk about the latest industry trends. Discuss what you’re looking for in new graduates. We want you there! Show what Buffalo can offer an intern and why they should stay post-college. Bring your company opportunities, some energy, and your mentor hat. Limited Display Tables and other Sponsorship Opportunities are available. Register here!
Tip: Check in With Yourself. In this fast-paced world of nonstop work, family commitments, and the ever growing to do lists it’s easy to neglect ourselves and put our own self-care at the bottom of the list. Self-care means taking time to do things that keep you living well both physically and mentally. So, move yourself to the top of your “to do” list, and do something to honor and nurture yourself this month! Now is a great time to schedule your annual well visit, get physically active, find ways to manage stress and stay connected.
Work From Home Video
Body Scan & Meditation
This session will guide you through a self-body scan and stretch using mindful techniques to notice where our bodies may be holding tension, then working to gently release it.
Prevention & Lifetime Screenings
Prevention can come in many forms and have multiple definitions, making it confusing to know what is right. This quick presentation will break down the levels of prevention, how participants' lifestyle choices can make a difference and recommendations appropriate for their age and health status.
Ombudsmen Volunteers Needed to
Advocate for Long-Term Care Residents
Enroll in Next Training:
Assistance Needed in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua,
Erie and Niagara Counties
Certification training will be held this fall for people interested in advocating for residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara Counties.

The NYS Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, supported locally by People Inc., connects caring and effective advocates with older adults and people with disabilities who live in nursing homes, assisted living and other licensed adult care homes.

Volunteers, known as ombudsmen, visit residents to identify concerns. They investigate and resolve complaints to advocate for the rights of people living in long-term care facilities. Ombudsman volunteers assist with monitoring resident care and building conditions, while working with facility staff to correct problems, using a range of problem-resolution and advocacy skills.
“Ombudsmen volunteers are urgently needed to serve society’s most vulnerable population,” said Susan Fenster, regional director. “Our volunteers can make a tremendous difference in someone’s life.”

Upon successful completion of a 36-hour training program, Ombudsman volunteers are certified by the NY State Office for the Aging, work closely with their staff supervisor and are assigned to a facility in their area where they make weekly visits to meet with the facility residents. Schedules are flexible with a minimum of two hours per week.

The upcoming training will be provided virtually via Zoom on weekday evenings beginning in October. In-facility mentoring is also part of the curriculum.

Volunteer opportunities are available for those who work in professional fields, such as paralegals, human service staff, social workers and business professionals. Many volunteers are also recent retirees, ranging from those who have worked within education systems, administration or engineering fields.

For more information on volunteering, call 716-817-9222.

People Inc., a multispecialty non-profit health and human services agency, provides programs and services to more than 12,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, families and older adults throughout Western New York and the Greater Rochester region. Since 1970, People Inc. has assisted people to achieve greater degrees of independence and productivity. With nearly 4,000 employees, People Inc. is one of the region’s largest employers. To learn more, visit, follow People Inc. on Facebook or Twitter @PeopleIncNews.
Grassroots Gardens is hosting a Pie Raffle!

Sept 17th (2pm-4pm)

They'll be featuring pies from Foibles Coffee & Pie, BreadHive Bakery & Cafe, Five Points Bakery, Big Big Table, Massachusetts Avenue Project, ECC Culinary, ButterBlock&co, Eileen's Bakery & Cafe, and Paula's Donuts among others! Shop Local, Support Local. Shop 716.

Tickets are still available online until Wednesday and after that, they can be purchased at the door!
Join the excitement regarding PCA University™ which starts next week! They are teaming with Microsoft to provide complimentary virtual workshops and online trainings.
The first topic is, "Back To School With Microsoft Teams: Top 5 Features To Help You Collaborate" on September 21st at 11:00-11:45am (EST). In this session, you will learn about the most popular features that can help your team stay informed, organized, and connected — all in one place.
They encourage you to register for any of their upcoming trainings on their Events page or by clicking the button below.
Employer Guide To Tax Credits For Hiring Employees With Disabilities
Amid the ongoing workforce shortage, businesses are finding it more challenging than ever to hire talented workers. One source of talent employers should consider is people with disabilities. By recruiting, hiring, and retaining these individuals, businesses can give themselves a competitive edge and demonstrate their commitment to inclusion. 
Tax incentives: Businesses that make structural adaptations or other workplace accommodations for employees with disabilities may be eligible for certain tax incentives.
Go deeper: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Employer Guide To Tax Credits For Hiring Employees With Disabilities details three federal tax credits, and what employers need to know. Here is a brief overview: 

1. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC): is available to employers for hiring individuals from certain target groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment.
2. The Disabled Access Credit: provides a non-refundable credit of up to $5,000 for small businesses that incur expenditures for the purpose of providing access to persons with disabilities.
3. The Architectural Barrier Removal Tax Deduction: encourages businesses of any size to remove architectural and transportation barriers to the mobility of persons with disabilities and the elderly. Businesses may claim a deduction of up to $15,000 a year for qualified expenses for items that normally must be capitalized.
Independent Health Foundation:
30 years of making a difference in WNY
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Independent Health Foundation. Since its launch on September 30, 1992, the Foundation has provided Western New Yorkers with the services, tools, resources and education they need to improve their quality of life.
By partnering with countless community centers, schools, parks, businesses and organizations, the Foundation offers a variety of free or low-cost programs and events that reach more than 225,000 individuals each year. Among the Foundation’s signature programs and events include:
·       First Night Buffalo – Western New York’s largest drug- and alcohol-free New Year’s Eve celebration offers family-friendly activities for all ages, including magicians, jugglers, face painting, wild animals, costumed characters, and more.

·       Kids Run – Kids Run encourages families to exercise and stay active together through a 1.8-mile walk/run in Delaware Park, as well as a mini-dash for children ages 2 through 5.
·       Healthy Options Buffalo – For the past 18 years, the Healthy Options program has been helping people make informed decisions when eating at home and dining out. As part of the program, the Foundation collaborates with local restaurants, food trucks and festivals to offer healthy menu items.

·       Fitness for Kids Challenge – Introduced in 2008, this elementary school-based program is designed to motivate youngsters to increase their physical activity and make good nutrition choices. The top participating schools win grants to purchase fitness equipment or enhance health and wellness programming for their school.

·       Good for the Neighborhood – Throughout the year, Good for the Neighborhood brings free health screenings, farmer’s markets, nutrition classes, fitness programs and more to area neighborhoods where access to health care is limited.

·       Soccer for Success – Created by the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Soccer for Success uses soccer, along with nutrition education, as a way to engage kids in their health and reduce childhood obesity. Now in its 10th season, the program also guides youth away from negative influences by providing them with safe places to play during after-school hours.

You can keep up with all the latest Independent Health Foundation program and event information at
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Amherst Chamber of Commerce
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