Carroll will step down as director
WATKINS GLEN-The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce board accepted the resignation of its executive director Friday, Jan. 24. Rebekah Carroll was hired in 2008 as the chamber's chief financial officer and chief operations officer and was later named president and CEO in 2010. Her title was changed to executive director in 2019.
During Carroll's tenure as president and CEO/executive director, the chamber experienced a revenue increase from $531,000 to just under $1 million. Membership increased by 67 percent from 288 to 480 members. In 2012, the chamber relocated from its location at 100 N. Franklin to 214 N. Franklin St. in downtown Watkins Glen. In 2018, the chamber opened a second visitor center in partnership with the team at the Watkins Glen State Park. Additionally, the following events and programs have been added to the chamber's programing that support, promote, and educate its members - iLead: The Base for Workplace Success, the SPARK Leadership Summit, the Ambassador Program, Friday on Franklin, Coffee Connections, Thursday on Main Street, the Tourism Assistance Program, and the Members First / Members Strong Program. Additionally, in 2019, a new Tourism Promotion logo "Explore Watkins Glen" was crafted and branded and in April 2020 a new website will be launched. This new website will cater independently to visitor needs and to the needs of chamber members.
Carroll said she is most proud of her influence in securing a long-term contract with Schuyler County as its Tourism Promotion Agent, building the reputation of being one of the best chambers in the region, and fostering a strong chamber community that will continue to thrive and prosper. Carroll stated, "It has been an honor to serve the chamber over the course of the last 12 years, and I am looking forward to assisting with a smooth transition as a new executive director is selected. I am eager to pursue my dreams of opening an accounting and consulting business; and I am delighted to make the chamber one member stronger with the immediate addition of my new business, Statements Accounting and Consulting Services."
Current chairperson of the board of directors Amanda Smith-Socaris said, "We sincerely appreciate Rebekah's remarkable contributions to the chamber during her time as CEO and executive director. Under her leadership, unprecedented growth has been achieved, and she has positioned the organization ideally for future advancement. We offer her our heartfelt appreciation and a blessing for her entrepreneurial success."
Rebekah Carroll will continue on in her role as executive director until such time her replacement is selected and trained.