UTICA, NY – The Board of Directors of the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce has accepted the resignation of their Executive Director, Meghan Fraser McGrogan. She will remain in her role until the end of January.
In her resignation letter, Meghan writes, “This was not an easy decision for me, as I’m very passionate about the Chamber and our community. However, at this time, I feel this is the right decision to make for my family and our growing businesses. I love my job and the individuals I have the privilege of working with in this role. It has been an extreme pleasure serving this organization, and I’m very proud of the work we’ve been able to accomplish as a team in the past 6 years. I am certain the organization has a bright future serving the business community.”
Meghan will be stepping away to spend more time with her family and join forces with her husband, Ryan, to work at their growing business, McGrogan Design. With her background in Marketing and her role at the Chamber working with area businesses, she is looking forward to complementing Ryan’s graphic design talents, allowing for the expansion of their services. “It’s been inspiring to see Ryan’s business grow, especially since he’s utilized the Chamber as a resource to grow it!”, said Meghan. “He has supported the organization by sponsoring events and has utilized that to gain awareness for the business.” Meghan and Ryan are also chamber members with their new business, Commonworker, which features all-inclusive private offices for small businesses with shared common space. “We plan to remain active members of the Chamber with both of our businesses and look forward to positively contributing to the business community. It’s going to be an awesome opportunity moving from my position, implementing all of the tools and resources we provide to our chamber members, and using those to continue the growth of our family businesses.”
Meghan will remain involved with the Chamber as a special projects consultant, helping to aid in the development of a Regional Recruitment Tool the Chamber has been working on in partnership with the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida counties and other area partners.
“Meghan has made a tremendous impact to The Chamber over the last six (6) years,” said Daria Helmer, Chair of the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. We knew as a Board when she was hired that she would do great things, and she certainly exceeded expectations. She took our Chamber to the next level.”
Meghan was hired at the Chamber in November 2014 as the Director of Membership and Events and was later named the Executive Director in August of 2015. With her previous experience in marketing and public relations at the F.X. Matt Brewery, the timing was perfect for someone with her skills and vision to help grow the Chamber and enhance the benefits of their members.
During Meghan’s tenure as Executive Director, the Chamber has thrived. Meghan’s enthusiasm for the future of Utica and the surrounding areas brought new energy to the organization and helped strengthened partnerships with area businesses and organizations. In 2016, the Chamber moved its headquarters to the Landmarc Building, positioning itself in the center of development in Downtown Utica. With increased amenities including an education room and conference room, the Chamber created an inviting space for their members to utilize. With the move, the Chamber rebranded, unveiling a new logo and updated member communications. Special events like the Annual Meeting and Business Person of the Year were transformed to better highlight Chamber Members and their businesses.
In 2017, the Chamber began the process of re-accreditation with the United States Chamber of Commerce which involved a rigorous examination of every aspect of the organization’s operation and service offering to members. In this process, staffing was restructured, new events like the Small Business Series were launched, and traditional services like Ribbon Cuttings were updated to increase exposure for members by adding components that include live social media streaming and increased email promotion.
In 2018, the Chamber received their Accreditation from the United States Chamber of Commerce, this time with an addition of 3 stars, recognizing the organization for its sound policies, effective organizational procedures and positive impact on the community. This recognition put the Greater Utica Chamber in the top 3% of all chambers of commerce in the United States. The Chamber also launched their Chamber Supporter program, which enabled the support of additional networking events such as Leads & Lunch and Leads & Lattes.
In 2019, Meghan debuted a new and exciting way to share the stories behind our area businesses by launching a podcast for the Chamber called “Leveling Up”. The podcast, aired through Disruption Network on the Chamber’s social media, greateruticachamber.org and on podcast apps like Apple, Google, Stitcher and Spotify, has featured over 70 businesses through 75 episodes to date. It was even used to transform attendees of the 2019 Business of the Year Awards into a live studio audience! In 2019, the Chamber’s Catalyst Young Professionals Group also set a record volunteering in the community, well surpassing 300 hours by the end of the year.
In 2020, a new member dues structure was launched, allowing members the ultimate customization when deciding how to utilize their membership. The Chamber also received a Capacity Grant from the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties to oversee the development of a Regional Recruitment Tool in partnership with the Foundation, Mohawk Valley EDGE, Oneida County Tourism, the Genesis Group and the Rome and Herkimer Chambers of Commerce. Since the COVID-19 pandemic started hitting the Greater Utica Area, the Chamber launched many different initiatives and resources to aid and support the business community like Feed Our Frontline Families, Take Out the Virus and Oneida County Shop Small Business Week to name a few. Most recently the Chamber was a proud recipient of the Leading EDGE Award from Mohawk Valley EDGE, recognizing the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce for its efforts throughout the pandemic. As 2020 comes to a close, the Chamber looks forward to making history by airing a one-hour television special to celebrate their 2020 Business of the Year Awards on Tuesday December 15th from 7-8pm on CBS-Utica.
The Chamber has formed a Search Committee to begin recruitment for the Executive Director role. Information is expected to be posted in the coming week on the Chamber’s website at Greateruticachamber.org.