Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce names new Executive Director

Business

Watkins Glen, N.Y. (WETM) – Rochester native Michael Hardy has been named the new Executive Director of the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce.

Hardy’s official start date will be July 15, according to the Chamber’s Facebook page.

“Michael has a proven track record of visionary leadership in tourism and hospitality in markets across New York State,” said Chamber Board President Matthew Sharpe. “Our organization and our region are fortunate to be welcoming someone with his experience and skill.” 

Hardy has most recently served as an independent business development consultant and the Director of Convention & Visitor Services for Visit Rochester, the official tourism promotion agency for Monroe County, New York. His experience also includes sales and marketing positions in New York City and Corning.

Outgoing Executive Director Rebekah Carroll was first hired in 2008 as the Chamber’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operations Officer and was later named President and CEO on May 17, 2010.

In January 2020, Carroll announced plans to leave her role, but remained with the Chamber due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s affect on local businesses.

Carroll helped implement the FLX To Go program to help local businesses restricted due to COVID-19 and said in April that she hoped that once the pandemic began to slow down in the Southern Tier that people would help revitalize the businesses that were affected.

“We’re going to reopen stronger than some of the other regions just within, talk about New York state because we are that region that has lots of sprawling space and outdoor attractions and things that will feel safe for the consumer to come back to, so you can be sure that when we’re ready to go live we’re going to be going live with that message that we’re open we’re a safe place for you to come bring your family and to get away from other places that may not be as safe.”

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