Member Spotlight: Megan Baker, Founder, CEO & President of Baker Public Relations

To further promote women, minorities, and veterans who are leading the way in our community, we are featuring Chamber member businesses that fall under these categories.

This week, meet Megan Baker, Founder, President & CEO of Baker Public Relations. “Located in Albany, New York and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Baker Public Relations, a New York State Certified Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE), is committed to providing the highest level of personalized service to its clients since its inception in 2007.” Their creative public relations and marketing campaigns tackle the challenges of an ever-changing media and social landscape.

Megan herself has been a communicator for more than 20 years and specializes in developing and leading media training programs for high level CEOs and executives, using her skills honed as a reporter to prepare clients for live events and aggressive media questioning

When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?

“Self-care is most important. When I have 30 minutes of free time, which is usually early morning before my kids wake, I meditate outside in my backyard next to my Koi pond. The sound of the waterfalls soothes me and helps to set the tone for the day. During the winter months, I make use of my sunroom where I can sit and focus on breathing and do some light stretching.”

What do you love most about what you do?

“I am a people person. What I love most about being an entrepreneur and communications professional is nurturing and growing a team, working with organizations and brands to help meet business goals and objectives, building long-term relationships in the community and mentoring young women. I also enjoy supporting my team professionally and personally. When they’re happy and find what they do meaningful, it brings me great satisfaction. I also enjoy sharing individual stories and am happy to be doing this through a video podcast series we launched over a year ago at Baker Public Relations called InfluenceHER. It’s a platform for women in our local communities to share stories about success, failure, overcoming obstacles, etc.”

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

“What I would most like to tell myself at the age of 13 is to have confidence in who you are. I have four beautiful daughters and a son and I worry so much about what we/society are exposing them to at such a young age. In other words, don’t get wrapped up in what you look like, your shape or what you have, but build strong relationships and enjoy being a kid. Get dirty, feel the earth beneath your feet and don’t sweat the small stuff. Laugh and explore as much as possible.”

What is the best advice you have ever received?

“The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is to never take no for an answer. This advice came from my mom who spent years in sales in a male-dominated industry. It’s something that helped me as a young broadcast news reporter and anchor and translated to private business. Persistence is important and there’s always a way to reframe what you’re asking for. Sure, I’ve failed, but it made me work harder. Rejection happens and not everyone is going to cheer you on and that’s quite alright. It provides you a new opportunity to refocus on moving toward your goals.”

Member Spotlight: Jennifer Hendricks-Fogg of Aflac NY & the Logan Strong Foundation

To further promote women, minorities, and veterans who are leading the way in our community, we are featuring Chamber member businesses that fall under these categories.

This week, meet Jennifer Hendricks-Fogg, a Benefits Consultant at AFLAC NY and President of the Logan Strong Foundation, an organization with a mission to raise childhood cancer awareness and provide items of comfort and support for children and families while they are fighting cancer in and out of the hospital.

When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?

“Between working full time, having a special needs toddler, President of the Logan Strong Foundation and a Rotarian, I don’t get free time very often. So when I do, I like to do NOTHING! Sit on the couch or the deck with a nice glass of wine and just relax, or at least try to!”

What do you love most about what you do?

“Helping people! My entire life has been about helping people and paying it forward and now I get paid to do that. It’s a cliche but it’s true….do what you love and you will never work a day in your life. I LOVE my “job!” I get to meet new people all the time and help protect them from life’s mishaps!”

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

“The two biggest things I would tell my 13-year-old self is to worry about yourself and be kind! It sounds like a contradiction but if you think about it; it means to worry about what’s important to you and focus on your life AND be kind to others and respect and appreciate our differences.”

What have you gained from being a member of the Women’s Business Council?

“Mentors, friendships, support! Women helping women is AMAZING!!!”

What is the best advice you have ever received?

“‘Make a change or make a change!’ Basically, get out of your own way. If something isn’t working, change it….it’s not going to correct itself.”

Member Spotlight: Nicole Snow, Darn Good Yarn

To further promote women, minorities, and veterans who are leading the way in our community, we are featuring Chamber member businesses that fall under these categories.

This week, meet Nicole Snow, Founder & CEO of Darn Good Yarn. Nicole “founded Darn Good Yarn in 2008 when she wanted to combine her passion for creating, and her dedication to helping others. Nicole has brought Darn Good Yarn from being a company run out of a small basement in Maine, to #599 on Inc. Magazines Top 5,000 Fastest Growing Companies of 2017.” Darn Good Yarn serves the $44B craft market by providing beautiful, lustrous handmade yarns and clothing to the creative lifestyle community.

When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?

“I like to paint with my daughter or make massively awesome tents with her. I also have a little bit of an obsession with online art classes.”

What do you love most about what you do?

“I love that I get to use my artistic creativity to solve complex problems that incorporate helping people and the environment while aiming for profitability. I also love tying systems together to create efficiencies or creative uses for them.”

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

“Save and invest your money like crazy. Do not try to fit in. Just aim to get great grades.”

What have you gained from being a member of the Women’s Business Council?

“Insight and commonality amongst members. Authenticity is critical and experience shares are vital for personal development!”

What is the best advice you have ever received?

“‘It’s going to be survival of the fittest’. Told to me by my CFO, it was a call back to basics. Trimming fat in the business and being much more tactical as we traverse into the future.”

Member Spotlight: Catherine Hover, Founder of Palette Cafe

To further promote women, minorities, and veterans who are leading the way in our community, we are featuring Chamber member businesses that fall under these categories.

This week, meet Catherine Hover, Founder of Palette Cafe. Palette Cafe is “more than a cafe. It’s a place that celebrates culture, shared ideas, and connections. Palette Cafe is a space where everyone in the community is welcome. It’s a hospitable place to grab a great cup of coffee, a quick lunch, or a cocktail. We aim to inspire everyone who joins us through our well-designed space and local artist gallery wall. It’s a comfortable place to get work done, escape from the challenges of home, or connect and meet with a group of friends.”

When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?

“When I have 30 minutes of free time, I love to call my girlfriends or mom back home in New Orleans and catch up on life, it’s so therapeutic. I also like to catch up on my reading. I’m currently reading The Upside of Being Down by Jen Gotch and I am getting some really good stuff from it!”

What do you love most about what you do?

“I love meeting new people who have different experiences under their belt. Hearing stories and helping business owners get out of their own way to ultimately reach their business and life goals and become the best version of themselves is what I love to see. That’s what Palette is about, after all, leveling up in life and in career!”

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

“I would tell myself that other people’s opinions of you are none of your business. Stay the course and keep doing what you feel is right and fun to do!”

What have you gained from being a member of the Women’s Business Council?

“I have learned so much about other women in business in the area. At Palette, we’re all about coming together and building a community of strong women leaders. The Women’s Business Council has opened my eyes to so many other kickass women in the region who I would love to get to know more.”

What is the best advice you have ever received?

“The best advice I have ever received, and something I often tell others, is to invest in yourself before you ever pour your time and energy into someone or something else. You are always your best work and should be valued and held as the highest priority in your life. Only then can you be of service to anyone else.”

Member Spotlight: Alex Jarvis, Co-Owner/Founder of Goldilocks Promos

Meet Alex Jarvis, Co-Owner/Founder of Goldilocks Promos.

Goldilocks Promos - Promotional Products, Awards, Engraving, and ...

To further promote women, minorities, and veterans who are leading the way in our community, we are featuring Chamber member businesses that fall under these categories.

When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?

“I’ll tell you what it should be: exercising. But usually, it’s more like 1. Eating 2. Reading Game of Thrones (so much better than the show, like most books are) 3. Watching mindless TV (such as anything on Bravo) 4. Browsing Instagram. I’m usually not one for social media but I’ve had so much fun with it with Goldilocks. We get to see what’s going on with every local business and we find so much inspiration from many talented people. We love posting pop culture references, engraving on food, and featuring our clients and the ways we have helped them.”

What do you love most about what you do?

“I get to be creative every day. Our job is making it fun and easy to order branded products while also making our clients look good. So what we do is never boring or stuffy. We love taking our client’s brands and running with them. We are also obsessed with playing with our laser engraver. It has so many applications and we love making custom and unique creations. Thinking of new things to engrave, personalize, or make from scratch is extremely fun.”

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

“Learn how to take criticism now and have fun before adulthood starts because the real world hits you fast. Work really hard, learn as much as you can from people and listen to everyone. Also, you should really think more about those student loans for college before you take them, especially majoring in an art degree.”

What is the best advice you have ever received?

“Never be afraid to reach out to people or use past connections. It’s amazing how people I haven’t seen in years have been so supportive of me starting my own business. Every connection you have made professionally will be of use to you in your new venture. Also, trust your gut and don’t be afraid to go outside your comfort zone.”

Virtually Network with the Capital Region Chamber

Even though most of us are still working remotely and in-person events are being held off for the foreseeable future – it doesn’t mean you can’t meet other business professionals in our community!

The Capital Region Chamber is still hosting its next Network by 9 – virtually. Meet people who are interested in meeting you and growing their business relationships in the Capital Region! Make new connections and expand your network of contacts in a fast, fun environment. Develop potential leads and build business relationships before the workday begins in a structured, fun environment. Who knows? You might have a new client before 9 a.m. Expand your network!

The next meeting takes place on Tuesday, June 2nd from 9:00am – 9:30am. June’s topic of discussion will be “3 Minute Moments.” “You will have the opportunity to share with a captive audience what your organization is thinking in regards to “opening back up for business. We know it’s not business as usual, but the Capital Region Chamber is here to help you make connections while social distancing.”

Registration is required! However, please limit your organization’s attendance to one session per month as spots are limited. You will receive a Zoom link the day before to join the event. Please contact Debbie Erck, Director, Signature Events at derck@capitalregionchamber.com with any questions.

Here are the other upcoming Network by 9 Events:

Thursday, June 4th from 9:00am – 9:30am

Tuesday, June 9th from 9:00am – 9:30am

Thursday, June 11th from 9:00am – 9:30am

Tuesday, June 16th from 9:00am – 9:30am

Tuesday, June 18th from 9:00am – 9:30am

Friday, June 26th from 9:00am – 9:30am

If you are unable to attend networking events first thing in the morning you are welcome to attend the Chamber’s Virtual Business After Hours on Wednesday, June 10th. You can register here.

COVID-19 Resources

Image may contain: possible text that says '0 COVID-19 INFO & RESOURCES AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE CAPITAL REGION CHAMBER Please check back frequently as we we are are updating the the page daily with new info, links etc.'

With the rapidly changing situation surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and, most specifically, its implications for business, the Capital Region Chamber is committed to keeping you informed, sharing resources for managing the situation and, as importantly, soliciting your ongoing feedback.

**Send us your best practices and/or tips to share with other members to membernews@capitalregionchamber.com.**

We also encourage you to visit our resource and information page, which is being updated daily with links to local, state and federal resources along with timely and relevant webinars being offered by our members. capitalregionchamber.com/coronavirus-covid-19-information-…/

Please share this post so as many people as possible have the information they need! #CapitalRegionUnited

Members of The Chamber of Southern Saratoga County Approve Affiliation with the Capital Region Chamber

Image result for southern saratoga chamber

The membership of The Chamber of Southern Saratoga County has voted to approve integrated affiliation with the Capital Region Chamber.

“Through affiliation, we are embracing the region as one economic marketplace with distinctive county needs,” said Matt Grattan, Chair of The Chamber of Southern Saratoga County Board. “The Chamber of Southern Saratoga County will retain its local influence and programing, and the Capital Region Chamber will connect our members and communities to the regional economy, expanded resources, stronger advocacy and a larger business network.”

In an effort to better serve their collective membership, the Boards of the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County and the Capital Region Chamber voted last spring to form a Task Force to explore potential affiliation. After conducting a membership survey, focus group and a comprehensive due diligence review, both Boards concluded in September that it would be in the best interest of each Chamber, its members and the communities they serve for the Chamber to affiliate.

Members of the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County had the opportunity to vote on the affiliation via proxy or in-person at a special meeting held earlier this evening at Bryant & Stratton College, Malta location. The Chamber of Southern Saratoga County received 148 votes with 87 percent in favor of the affiliation.

“We are excited to leverage the strengths of each Chamber to provide greater influence and opportunities for our members, individual communities and the region as a whole,” said Richard Sleasman, Chair of the Capital Region Chamber Board.

Integration of the Chambers will occur over the coming months. The plan is to begin publicly operating as an integrated entity as of January 1, 2020. The Capital Region Chamber will maintain offices in Clifton Park, Colonie and Schenectady.

As a Member of the WBC…

WBC event
A Past WBC Event

I have only been a member of the WBC for about three years.  When I started my new position three years ago, transitioning from an outside sales job where I traveled the state to a position that is Capital Region focused, I had literally no connections to speak of and no networking resources.

I knew my organization belonged to the Chamber of Commerce but was not sure if I could use our membership.  I did know that I needed to get to know people in the area and I felt like I needed to brush up on certain skills I did not possess or were at least rusty from disuse. So I just started out by signing myself up for events.  I was wondering if someone from my organization would say something to me about using the membership but no, no one did.  I have come to understand that our membership is here for employees to use and in my case, I can bring interns along too.

I have benefitted from volunteering for the WBC Communications Committee by meeting people who are experts in their fields.  I have taken advantage of networking at lunch and networking before 9.  I have taken classes at the Chamber that have been enriching and great for professional development.  I am even thinking about participating in Leadership Tech Valley and recently, a fellow Committee member and I reserved a room at the Chamber to work on a new project for the blog.

There are so many great resources at the Chamber and if your company or organization is a member, you can use the resources too.

Here is a link to a Maximize Your Membership meeting and Leadership Tech Valley.

http://capitalregionchamber.com/events/june-maximize-your-membership/

http://capitalregionchamber.com/business-resources/leadership-tech-valley/

Please let us know if there are any resources I have missed and that you can suggest by leaving a comment.  

And please don’t forget to sign up for the Women of Excellence event- Thursday, May 31st