Friday May 28, 2004

Oswego County Chamber of Commerce: When a Great Idea is Poorly Implemented

Business community divided over decision to change name from Fulton Chamber to Oswego County Chamber.
By Wagner Dotto

    The recent decision of the Greater Fulton Chamber of Commerce to change its name to Oswego County Chamber of Commerce has apparently backfired. Among other things, it has:

    ? alienated the largest and most important chamber of commerce in Oswego County, the Oswego chamber;

    ? generated strong opposition from other important chambers of commerce in the region, notably the Pulaski chamber;

    ? brought a lawsuit from The Valley News, Fulton?s hometown newspaper, which is challenging the legality of the name change and is trying to gather support to force the chamber?s leadership to reverse its decision;

    ? left the local business community somewhat divided.

    Regardless of what readers think of the creation of a countywide chamber of commerce, the way President Betsy Sherman-Saunders and the Fulton chamber leadership handled the implementation of their plan is disappointing.

    They didn?t gather enough support from key players in the community, they didn?t consult their own membership, couldn?t engage the participation of their hometown paper, which is now suing the chamber, and they have been unable to create the right conditions in which their plan could succeed.

    The result is a big mess and total lack of cooperation among those who represent the business community in Oswego County. Today, the county has we-don?t-know-how-many chambers of commerce, including Oswego County Chamber and Oswego County Chamber Alliance. Pulaski is not a member of the Oswego County Chamber; Fulton is not a member of the Oswego County Chamber Alliance; and Oswego only participates in the Alliance but not in the County Chamber. Confused? So are we and the hundreds of chamber members who care to follow the affair.

    How to get out of this mess is hard to say?our guess is that President Sherman-Saunders had better revisit her plans and go back to her membership and other county leaders and re-start the whole process the right way.

    In the meantime, it would be worthwhile for her and chamber leadership to check with the SUNY Oswego Business School. From time to time it offers a very helpful course? ?Consensus Building 101.?

Oswego County Business Magazine
Issue 164

Issue 164
October/November 2019

Cover Story

  • Cruse Control
  • Jeff Cruse takes over as top leader for Novelis’ Oswego Works


Linda Eagan

On The Job

What type of marketing do you find most effective?

Success Stories

The Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County

My Turn

Why President Trump Won’t Admit Mistakes


News Briefs on Local Businesses & Business People

Economic Trends

Oswego County IDA Recapitalizes Popular Loan Program

Last Page

Rodmon King