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Merger of chambers nets approval from state official

December 12, 2012
By LEVI PASCHER , The Leader Herald

GLOVERSVILLE - The merger of the Fulton County Regional Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce is nearing completion.

Mark Kilmer, the Fulton County chamber's interim president, said the chambers have received the consent for the merger from the state attorney general. The next step in the merger is for it to make its way to a local Supreme Court justice for an approval before being sent back to the state.

"It then has to go to the Secretary of State to authorize our corporate entity and the name change and such," Kilmer said.

Kilmer noted the chambers' merger will not be official until it has been approved by the state. The chambers have already filed it through the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, he said.

He said he hopes the merger will be done within the next couple of months.

"I have no doubts that this merger will go through," Kilmer said. "This is just a matter of the state following its process and doing its due diligence to make sure that everything is correct."

He said once the merger is complete it will look to find a satellite office in the western portion of Montgomery County, near Fort Plain or Canajoharie.

Board members from both chambers will serve on the board of the merged organization for two years. The groups also are establishing a search committee to find a permanent president.

Montgomery County Chamber President Peter Capobianco stepped down as president of that group in September.

"We are going to be a bigger and wider ranging chamber with more membership," Kilmer said. "This will give us more latitude when it comes to things like advocacy and more opportunity. We will have a bigger voice."

Kilmer said there will be several changes once the merger is complete, including the need to market a larger area.

The tourism marketing will remain separate for each county for the time being, he said.

Fulton County pays their county's chamber to promote tourism.

As a business advocate for the region, Kilmer said, the combined chambers will become a stronger force with about 1,100 to 1,200 members. The merger also will improve efficiency in operations and offer ways to save money.

Kilmer said there will be two separate websites for both chambers until the merger is complete. However, he said, once it is finished the new chamber will launch a new website. Both chambers' events already have started to be shown online together on each other's websites.

He said the chambers already have integrated, from a technology standpoint, through its informational software system - Chamber Master - which incorporates the finances, member information systems and communications systems.

He said the chamber had it in Fulton County already and just integrated it to include Montgomery County.

"Our technologies are all up to date now," Kilmer said.

Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be reached by email at gloversville@leaderherald.com.

 
 

 

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