Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce seeking new Executive Director

Local News

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WETM) – The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce is accepting applications for a new Executive Director.

Michael Hardy, the chamber’s current executive director, tells 18 News that he is stepping aside in the fall due to family health issues.

“It was a difficult choice as I, my team, the board, and members have worked very hard to keep our community here in Watkins Glen/Schuyler County and Figer Lakes Wine Country not just surviving through the pandemic but actually thriving in spite and maybe a bit because of it,” said Hardy.

Hardy says he anticipates “an efficient and effective process” when it comes to finding the chamber’s next executive director.

Hardy has also 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.

The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce listed a description of the position on their website.

The Executive Director serves under the general direction of the Board of Directors (15) and is responsible for the operation and the general management of the Chamber’s activities and services.

The Executive Director’s major duties and responsibilities shall include the following:

– Responsible for the financial oversite of the Chamber.

– Serves as the spokesperson and liaison for the Chamber in all interactions with other groups, organizations and individuals, and the Board of Directors.

– Responsible for all reporting to the Board of Directors about development, implementation, and accomplishments of all activities conducted by the Chamber as per the programs and goals set by the Board of Directors.

– Responsible for the creation and management of the Strategic Planning Process.

– Responsible for the execution of all activities associated with the Chamber including staffing needs for all board-designated committee meetings, scheduling of meetings, development of agendas, and creation and delivery of any necessary meeting materials.

– Responsible for the management and leadership of all staff within the chamber including interviewing, staff selection, staff training, planning and directing of all staff activity, performance evaluations, performance improvement planning, administration of discipline, and answering all workplace complaints and resolution of problems.

– Responsible for scheduling and managing all visitor center volunteers.

– Responsible for managing all activities relative to staffing, logistics, and advertising opportunities at both visitor centers. Full-time staff of 4-5 and Part-time staff of 4-8 (Seasonal).

– Serves as ex-officio on the Finger Lakes Wine Country and Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development’s Board of Directors (SCOPED).

– Serves as the Schuyler County designated TPA (Tourism Promotion Agent) for county and New York State.

– Responsible for the completion of applications for and management of funding and reporting for all state grant applications (ILoveNY Matching, etc.)

– Responsible for managing the in-house Tourism Grant process (TAP).

– Responsible for the development of all partner relations as designated by the Board of Directors.

– Responsible for the oversite of all programs, contractual obligations, allocation of resources, and effectiveness and efficiencies in overall programing and strategy within the Chamber.


A Bachelor’s degree in Business or related field is preferred. Ideally, the ideal candidate will have a minimum of 3+ years of demonstrated success in a leadership position within a chamber, membership association, or convention and visitor’s bureau/Tourism Promotion Agency or Destination Marketing Organization. The ideal candidate will be highly regarded by their current business community as a leader, innovator, and team player.

The ideal candidate will excel at communicating (oral, written, and formal), public speaking, relationship building, strategic thinking, conflict management, tourism promotion, personnel management, general leadership and multi-tasking. The ideal candidate will also have a basic understanding of a how to read a financial statement and have experience with budget and finance. Knowledge of Simpleview (host to WGACC’s website and Membership data base) preferred, and/or other similar CMS and/or CRM software programs.

Compensation and Benefits:

The compensation package will include a competitive salary, determined in part by the successful candidate’s level of professional experience. The Chamber offers a benefit package which includes insurances, matching contributions to an IRA, life insurance, paid vacation, paid sick time and paid holidays, phone reimbursement, etc.

The successful candidate for the Executive Director of the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce will be required to live in Schuyler County or area once employed (approximately 30 miles/30-minute drive max.).

Interested Candidates for the Executive Director position are asked to submit the following:

  1. Resume
  2. Cover letter outlining interest in the position
  3. Salary requirements (within $80-90K range – based on qualifications and experience)

The application deadline is Sept. 3, 2021.

Email required items to:

Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce

Michael Hardy


-Or –

Mail required items to:

Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce Attn: Michael Hardy

214 N. Franklin Street Watkins Glen, NY 14891

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