WARRENSBURG - After a half-dozen years under one administrative team, there's been a change of the guard at the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce.
Lynn Smith and Dennis Martinez, chamber president and vice president respectively for six years, have stepped down.
The two left office primarily because of term limits imposed by the organization's bylaws. Smith and Martinez were directors for three consecutive three-year terms, the maximum allowed.
Taking their place are Cheryl Kenyon, president and Shawn Dempsey, first vice president. Also elected as officers were Daniel West, treasurer, Deborah Baker, second vice president; and Faith Buck, secretary.
Monday, Smith said she'd enjoyed her busy, lengthy tenure, including her supervision of the nationally-recognized World's Largest Garage Sale.
"It was a lot of work, but it was a lot of fun too," she said. "I learned a lot about dealing with personnel issues and various personalities."
Under her regime, the chamber expanded the office staffing to two part-timers, so it now is covered daily. Now, in inquiries for local information can be answered promptly throughout the year. Smith also noted that during her reign, a walking map of Warrensburg was created.
Martinez said he also enjoyed his years as vice president.
"It was fulfilling to do things that help the community as a volunteer - everyone benefits," he said.
Martinez recalled recent chamber accomplishments including landscaping the local Senior Center that houses the chamber offices, and re-establishing the Warrensburg Citizen of the Year award, which honors community volunteers. Also, holiday decorations of the town have been expanded, and the chamber made a significant donation to Richards Library's expansion campaign, Martinez said.
Martinez' and Smith's tenure had its formidable challenges.
In recent years, the chamber's income from the World's Largest Garage Sale has dwindled as more and more vendors have moved from chamber sites to private property.
Add that to the escalating costs of promotion, trash removal and public safety, and the chamber has seen a substantial profit squeeze.
Martinez and Smith, however, were able subsequently to secure municipal and county support for the event, which annually brings tens of thousands of people into the region.
Also, the two reportedly have gotten the organization of the event down to a science - a substantial accomplishment considering the size and scope of the event.
New to the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for 2010 are Daniel West of TD Bank, Deborah Baker of Glens Falls National Bank, James DiPasquale from the Gifford-DiPasquale law firm, Shawn Dempsey of Hickory Hill Ski Center, and Todd Trulli of George Henry's tavern. They join existing directors Faith Buck of Emerson House Bed & Breakfast, Diane Moon of Michael Moon Construction, Lucy Harris of the First Presbyterian Church, Jo Pierra from the 50-Plus Senior Citizens Club and Cheryl Kenyon of Adirondack Gold Maple Farm.
John Cleveland from Aloha Florist was also elected to the board, but he resigned soon after due to illness. Kathy Quintal from Oscar's Smoke House, also elected a director, resigned in the past several weeks.
Kenyon said she was looking forward to leading the chamber, and she and the board planned on updating the chamber website and boosting recruitment of new members.
"Hopefully the town will realize that we are here to work for them," she said. "We've go a really good crew."