Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

10 questions for Carole Voisey

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director
10 questions for Carole Voisey

Editor’s Note: The Peekskill Herald has started a column, “10 questions …”, for readers to know more about those who work in city government, own businesses, and support our city’s development. Today’s column features Carole Voisey, Executive Director of the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce.  

What is the Hudson Valley Gateway of Chamber of Commerce? 

The Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce provides consultative services to businesses, residents, and tourists. Whether you are looking for a place to live, a new career, or a business that provides products and services that meet your needs, we’re here to help.

We Advocate. We Educate. We foster the growth and well-being of our members and together work to enhance the quality of life in the communities we live in.

Carole Voisey at her desk at the Hudson Valley Chamber of Commerce office on S. Division Street. (Photo by Regina Clarkin)

What does it mean to be the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce? What are the main responsibilities?

I have been the Executive Director for about a year and a half now. It means always looking for ways to enhance, support and promote opportunities for the chamber’s members. We do this by exchanging ideas, educating and advocating on behalf of businesses in order to foster the growth and well-being of its members, which in turn improves the quality of life in the communities we serve.

What does a typical day at work look like for you?

There is no typical day at the Chamber. The day can be filled with event planning for any one of our upcoming events; Networking Breakfast, Business After Hours, Online Educational Courses or Series. It can also be filled with committee meetings, board meetings, ribbon cuttings, creating our directory and delivery. It also can be filled with visiting local businesses, making phone calls and in person visits to build relationships or to support events by our members and the communities we serve.

How does this role support Peekskill’s growth?

We advocate for promoting and supporting businesses of all types and sizes. We are a resource of information about tourism, local events, business education, and opportunities in our community. We advocate for the goals and aspirations of our constituencies before local, state and federal institutions and agencies. We are always looking for new ways to work with and alongside the businesses in Peekskill, working closely with the city and the BID [Business Improvement District].

What advantages does Peekskill offer businesses?

Peekskill has a lot of advantages for businesses. The people who live here and in the surrounding communities care about their city, they are invested in what is happening in Peekskill. I have found that Peekskill is a place where the community will support, rally around, and advocate for the businesses. The people in Peekskill will speak up for improvements in the city so that businesses will thrive. When we had the City of Peekskill present last year at one of our networking events, over a 100 people showed up because our community is invested in what is happening in Peekskill.

What challenges need to be addressed?

There is always room for improvement. The Chamber of Commerce started when a group of business owners wanted to unite to have their voices heard. To collaborate and support each other. The challenge in our community is to reach out and integrate with the whole community. Peekskill has a large Hispanic Community and bringing the whole community together means finding ways to allow everyone’s voice to be heard.

Artwork she created adorns the walls of her office. (Photo by Regina Clarkin)

Which projects stand out as the most significant ones you’ve worked on?

We have some projects at the Chamber which are run by our Foundation. Our Workforce Development project not only provides scholarships for adult students but also classes associated with SUNY Westchester Community College. We also have scholarships for graduating high school students and vocational scholarships as well.

Coming up on March 23, at The Dramatic Hall, we have an event “Celebrating Women in Business”, we have a panel of local women business leaders and entrepreneurs who will share their advice and experience of being a successful woman in business. I think these opportunities to learn from others are valuable and necessary. We will also have booths/tables of local women-owned businesses, so come by to encourage, learn or even shop! All are welcome.

How has this job surprised you?

People surprise me all the time. The people I have met and have worked with at the Chamber are incredible people who invest in our Chamber. They may be investing with their membership dues, sponsorship, or their time. Most of our Board of Directors are not only investing at the Chamber but also on other boards which are working to improve our city.

What would you like to say to Peekskill residents?

Come stop by the Chamber! Pick up a Directory! Subscribe to our chamber newsletter on our website. Become a chamber member. But most importantly, shop local, eat local. When we invest our time and money back into our community, we support our local businesses and improve our quality of life.

Chamber of Commerce 1 S. Division St. Peekskill, NY. (914) 737-3600.