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Meet the Staff

Our Chamber prides itself on excellent customer service for all its members. Our knowledgeable team is here to answer your questions and serve your business needs.

Meet The Staff

Kate Ollier, President

As President, Kate is responsible for working with the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, community businesses and organizations, developing event and professional development programs.  She oversees the Chamber membership, marketing, member benefits, finance, strategic planning and government relations and coordinates activities for a staff of six. 

Kate joined the Chamber team in 2009, and has served our members in a variety of capacities – most recently as the Director of Member Engagement & Business Development.

Throughout her tenure at the Chamber, Kate has overseen the promotion of the Chamber’s brand and marketing efforts as well as the creation and production of the Chamber’s robust series of member programs and special events, including the Annual Dinner {with a twist} and Expo, Van Rensselaer Awards Dinner, Annual Golf Classic and Troy Victorian Stroll. In addition, she managed the Chamber’s award-wining Leadership Institute, a skills-based leadership program that utilizes a “learning from leaders” approach to strengthen and develop participants’ skill-sets as they advance professionally within their organizations.

A proud alum of Siena College, Kate holds a B.A. in English with a concentration in writing and philosophy. She is the 2013 recipient of the YWCA of the Greater Capital Region Resourceful Women’s Emerging Professional Award and a member of the Albany Business Review's 40 under 40 Class of 2017. Kate is an active member of the Community Hospice Associate Board and Troy Business Improvement District Board.

Which Chamber event do you look forward to the most? Our Annual dinner {with a twist} & Business Expo - it's a wonderful chance to celebrate our members!

 

Nancy Carmello, Membership Coordinator

Nancy Carmello is the Membership Coordinator at the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce.  The primary responsibilities of this position are to support the Membership Manager in recruiting and retention of new and current businesses, as well as working with the Ambassador Committee, and general office and staff assistance.

Nancy brings more than 20 years of Sales and Marketing experience to the Chamber.  She is a proud alumnus  of Siena College. She has worked in Marketing for a local lending institution assisting with new website design, editing, and maintaining their company social media.  She was an Employment Marketing Specialist for Northeast Career Planning and Placement - developing employment contracts and training opportunities for individuals with various disabilities. For many years, Nancy worked full time as an Associate Broker in residential real estate throughout the Capital Region and currently maintains her license.  In her spare time, Nancy enjoys reading, playing tennis and is in a Gourmet Cooking Club.

Nancy’s service and volunteer roles include serving on the Niskayuna Town’s Conservation Advisory Council since June 2014; Community Hospice Gala Committee for several years securing sponsorships and general fundraising; and Vice President/Socials Chair for Van Antwerp Middle School PTO.

Which Chamber event do you look forward to the most? Our NetworkingPlus Luncheons. I love being able to interact with our members and learn more about their businesses.

Stephanie Fitch, Controller

Stephanie Fitch is the Controller for the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce, a position she has held since November 2000. She is responsible for management of all internal financial operations of the Chamber including supervision of cash flow, audit of health insurance transactions, oversight of investments and preparation of the budget. Stephanie holds a B.S. in Finance from Siena College.

Which Chamber event do you look forward to the most? I enjoy meeting all the new members at our Member Benefits Breakfasts.

Valerie Lazzari, Executive Assistant & Office Manager

Valerie (Val) Lazzari is the executive assistant to the president and office manager. Her responsibilities include managing communications and planning for the Board and Executive Committees, supporting the president, managing our conference room schedule/maintenance, ordering office supplies and most importantly, making sure we never run out of coffee!

Prior to joining the Chamber, Val spent four years as an executive assistant and program administrator at Boston’s Harvard University’s Advising Programs Office where she worked to develop programing for first year students. Most recently, she spent some time in Seattle, Washington, supporting the CEO of a growing tech company, Smartsheet. Val graduated with a B.A. in Advertising and Communications in 2005 from Suffolk University. She is new to the Capital District and in her spare time enjoys exploring new places and hiking with her husband and two dogs. An avid photographer, you can usually find her photographing anything from events to landscapes to portraits. 

Which Chamber event do you look forward to the most? The Ask the Experts Series. We're lucky to have so many local, trusted sources for a variety of pertinent business information.

Maureen McGuinness, Membership Manager

Maureen McGuinness is the Chamber's membership manager. Maureen's responsibilities include recruiting and retaining new members while acting as a resource to existing members. She oversees advertising in Chamber print and electronic publications and on the website, as well as the Ambassador committee.

Maureen has spent 25 years in development and public relations in the Capital Region of New York. Prior to joining the Chamber, Maureen served as family service manager at the Albany Diocesan Cemeteries Office; director of recruitment and advancement at the former St. Helen's School in Niskayuna; director of development for the Catholic School Office of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany; and as a reporter. She received various awards from the New York State Press Association and the Catholic Press Association during her time as a reporter. Maureen is a graduate of Marist College in Poughkeepsie.

Which Chamber event do you look forward to the most? I enjoy our Meet the Legislators event. I follow local politics the way some people follow horse racing. When I was in high school I had political aspirations. We are fortunate in this county to have local elected officials that bring unique experience and passion to their office. I enjoy the banter they bring to this event. It’s also clear that they are listening to our members’ needs.

Staci O'Neill, Communications & Web Strategies Manager

Staci O'Neill is the Chamber's Communications & Web Strategies Manager. Her responsibilities include overseeing social media, e-newsletters, media releases, website maintenance, assisting with marketing and development of collateral, marketing for member businesses, co-editing monthly print newsletter and coordination of business ribbon cuttings, grand openings and milestone celebrations.

Prior to joining the Chamber, Staci worked for the Monroe County Sports Commission in Rochester, NY, where she was the Manager of Creative Marketing & Communications. A 2009 graduate of Marist College, Staci holds a B.A. of Communications with a public relations concentration and business minor. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, hiking with her husband and dog, cooking and taking day-trip adventures.

Which Chamber event do you look forward to the most? The Leadership Institute Graduation. Being a recent alum of this program, I enjoy celebrating the success of the region's newest leaders!

Gabrielle Polce, Events Manager

Gabrielle (Gabie) Polce is the Chamber’s Events Manager. Gabie coordinates all Chamber programs and special events including the Annual Dinner, Van Rensselaer Awards Dinner, Annual Golf Classic and Troy Victorian Stroll. She also oversees sponsorship sales and manages The Leadership Institute.

An alum of The College of Saint Rose, Gabie holds a B.A. in Communications with a public relations concentration and business administration minor. She was a two-time captain of the women’s basketball team and President of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. Prior to joining the Chamber, Gabie interned at The City of Albany Office of Special Events where she assisted in planning the Albany Tulip Festival and Alive at Five Concert Series. In her free time, Gabie enjoys singing, playing basketball for fun and spending time with family and friends.

Which Chamber event do you look forward to the most? Our Van Rensselaer Awards held in the fall.

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched Round VII of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative, officially kicking off the annual competition for more than $800 million in state economic development resources. The Consolidated Funding Application will open to applicants on Monday, May 1, 2017, enabling businesses, municipalities, not-…
May
03
Market, develop & connect at our must-attend event of the year! The Annual Dinner {with a twist} & Business Expo is the Chamber’s premier event of…
5:30 p.m.
May
09
Join us, The Record and the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce for an educational online marketing workshop with experts from Google and Adtaxi. Topics…
11:30 a.m. Registration; 12 - 1:30 p.m. Program
May
24
Join us for a discussion with the mayors of Cohoes, Rensselaer, Troy and Watervliet. Panelists will discuss timely issues facing our region and what the…
7:30 a.m. Registration & Breakfast; 8 - 9 a.m. Program