The Wellsville Area Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization composed of local citizens and business professionals that exists to support and promote our greater community. We bring people and organizations together, promote education, nurture networking, and act as a resource for every age and every demographic.
We seek to enhance our community, accentuate local commerce, maintain economic stability and to make Wellsville a destination of choice.
The Wellsville Area Chamber of Commerce, Inc. Board of Directors is an elected constituency that serves our membership and our community. We volunteer our time and talents to promote a vibrant community and significant economic growth. Under our leadership and strategic initiatives, we contribute to the viability and stability of the region. In short, we make the greater Wellsville community a destination of choice for all and a great place to live and work.
Thomas to Lead Wellsville Area Chamber of Commerce, Inc.
The Board of Directors of the Wellsville Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Bruce Thomas has agreed to serve as the next Executive Director of the organization.
Thomas has been a long time Wellsville area resident since the early 1970’s. After graduating with a two-year degree from Alfred State College in ’73 and a 4-year degree from Geneseo State University in ’75, Bruce spent close to 15 years with the McDonald’s Corporation here in Wellsville and surrounding locations in the Southern Tier. Then, several years in the automotive industry in a managerial capacity, and finally a dozen years with our local Dresser-Rand Corp. before retiring in 2012.
Bruce and Janette, his wife of 41 years, are the parents of three grown children, Kristen, Lauren, and Steven.
We would like to welcome Karen Kania to our team here at the WACOC. Karen is our new Member Services Coordinator.
Karen worked for the US Postal Service for over 25 years, starting in Buffalo before relocating to Allegany County. After working several years at the Belmont Post Office, she moved on to the Scio Post Office, retiring as a Postmaster in 2012.
Karen and her husband Jim have 2 grown children and 1 granddaughter.
She is very happy to be able to serve the Wellsville Area Chamber community.
In 1909 businessmen in the village of Wellsville decided to band together to help promote local business by sharing ideas and forming a common voice when dealing with issues of the day. They called this organization the Wellsville Businessmen’s Association. This organization prospered and it was clear that this association was outgrowing its original mission.
In 1923 the members of the Businessmen’s Association felt the organization would better serve them and their community by becoming a Chamber of Commerce. They sought help from the General Organization Company, a Chicago enterprise that specialized in forming such organizations. A representative was dispatched by train and spent three weeks in Wellsville creating the Wellsville Chamber of Commerce. That organization was chartered in 1924.
As the Wellsville Chamber grew and the needs of business changed it was clear that not just Wellsville could benefit from its help. The Chamber found itself serving not only Wellsville, but much of Allegany County. At that time the name was amended to The Wellsville Area Chamber of Commerce, a name it retains to this day.
As the Wellsville Area Chamber of Commerce grew, the needs of its business partners also changed. Events were planned to create excitement and many, such as the Main Street Festival and Ridgewalk Run, Race, Ride have become perennial favorites. Businesses also found themselves needing affordable health insurance for their employees. Once again, the Chamber stepped up and secured a group of Chamber Association health insurance plans linking members to such well known health insurance players as Blue Cross, Univera and Independent Health.
As we moved into 2009, we found the Wellsville Area Chamber 100 years old and still evolving. The health insurance which began with 6 plans offered over 300 combinations for its members. Due to the many changes in the health insurance industry, it is no longer offered directly through the Chamber but through one of our members. The Ridgewalk Run, Race, Ride has grown from 54 friends on a hike in the woods to the premier family outdoor event each fall. The event grew to over 1000 participants enjoyimg a healthy autumn day in the forests of western New York. The Ridgewalk and Run has been taken over by Jones Memorial Hospital. The Chamber also began a very popular event called the Main Street Music Fest. Created in 2008, this event brought free music to the restaurants, outdoor stages and streets of Wellsville the second weekend in August. Our events have changed over the years with the Annual Golf Tournament and Clambake, Wine Walk and others added.
It is true that the Wellsville Area Chamber of Commerce is over 100 years old but it is clear that it is more alive and vibrant than it has ever been. People may say that to achieve 100 years is a real accomplishment. We, at the Chamber, say “This is what happens when motivated people band together for the good of all.”
Chamber Board of Directors
1st Vice President
2nd Vice President
Directions in Independent Living
The Arc Allegany-Steuben
ID Booth Inc
Northern Lights Candles
URMC/Jones Memorial Hospital
Maple City Physical Therapy
David A Howe Public Library
The Evans Agency
Chamber Executive Director