The Trenton Area Chamber of Commerce held it's Annual dinner, Tuesday, Jan. 26th at the Leon R. Roberts Post 161 American Legion in Holland Patent. Members and guests enjoyed an hour socializing with fellow members before setting down to family style dinner prepared and served by the volunteers of the American Legion.
After dinner, Geri Speich (Trenton Fire District) presented our new "Member Spotlight", which will feature two member businesses/organizations in each issue of the Rural Star for 2016. Debby Leiker (Adirondack Cheese Co.) launched the 2016 "Business Endowment Program", where one eligible member will win $1000 to be used towards enhancing their business/organization. The winner will be announced at the Business After Hours, to be hosted by Adirondack Barrel Cooperage.
The guest speaker for the evening was Caroline Williams, Cornell Cooperative Extension Rust to Green Utica Urban Studio Coordinator and the Oneida County Rural & Community Development Specialist. Caroline talked about the Rust to Green project, a participatory action-research and service-learning project facilitated through Cornell Cooperative Extension. Faculty and students work together with local community partners in Upstate NY to encourage sustainable urban development, of which Utica is one of the cities involved. Caroline is a graduate of Cornell University's Landscape Architecture Program. Her role with Cornell Cooperative Extension and R2G includes fostering new and existing partnerships necessary for the implementation of community development projects. She assists local governments, communities, agencies and citizens build capacity to achieve their project goals. Caroline resides in Remsen and is actively involved in community, having served on the Village of Remsen board and is currently the president of the Remsen Development Corp. The conversation was very interesting and thought provoking, possibly giving many ideas of how we could utilize available funding for projects in our area.