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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.

What is your favorite summer attraction? Kate is excited for the first ever Troy Summer Square, a collaboration between The Arts Center of the Capital Region and the City of Troy, which will create a pedestrian plaza on a temporarily closed city block in front of Monument Square to create engagement on public art.

 

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.

What is your favorite summer attraction? You’ll find Nancy at the Troy Waterfront Farmer’s Market on a sunny Saturday stocking up on fresh, local finds.

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.

What is your favorite summer attraction? Stephanie enjoys taking in the views while driving through Rensselaer County on her way to Brown’s Brewing Wallomsac in Hoosick Falls on a nice summer day.

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. 

What is your favorite summer attraction? Val enjoys a movie under the stars at Hollywood Drive-In Movie Theatre, celebrating its 65th year!

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.

What is your favorite summer attraction? Going to a Tri-City ValleyCats game is a favorite of Maureen and her girls in the summer. They are very excited that this year the ValleyCats are hosting the New York Penn League’s All Star Game on August 15.

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.

What is your favorite summer attraction? Staci always looks forward to the Schaghticoke Fair in August. There’s so much to enjoy: antiques, baked goods, homemade crafts, food and all the family-friendly entertainment.

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.

What is your favorite summer attraction? Troy Night Out by the Downtown Troy BID is Gabie’s favorite summer activity. She loves to grab dinner downtown, shop in the boutiques and enjoy Troy in the evenings.

The National Union Bank of Kinderhook (“Kinderhook Bank”), announced today that it has received approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) to merge with Patriot Federal Bank (“Patriot”). As previously announced, Kinderhook Bank and Patriot agreed to merge in an all-stock transaction in which Patriot will merge with and…
This summer the Arts Center and the City of Troy will together present “Troy Summer Square” from—July 19th to August 5th—at Troy’s Monument Square. We will create a unique, beautiful pedestrian plaza on a temporarily closed city block where Broadway meets River Street, in front of the monument. Troy Summer Square will be an integrated public…
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the State University of New York today announced that the SUNY Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Havidán Rodríguez as the 20th president of the University at Albany. The appointment will take effect in mid-September. Rodríguez, 58, comes to UAlbany with 25 years of experience as a leader in higher education. He is the…
Jun
23
Join the Chamber’s 35th Annual Troy Victorian Stroll Committee and assist with one of the region’s most popular community events. We’ll discuss the…
8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
Jun
28
Designed for Chamber members looking to maximize their investment by getting engaged and connected with the business community. Whether you’re a new or…
7:30 a.m. Registration & Breakfast; 8 - 9 a.m. Program
Jul
12
Learn how to harness the power within, build your professional and personal networks and find inspiring mentors! We’re gathering top women professionals…
7:30 a.m. Registration & Breakfast; 8 - 9:30 a.m. Program