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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 Manley, 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 part about the Annual Troy Victorian Stroll? Enjoying the more than 100  entertainers is always a favorite of mine. Whether you're having fun inside  or participating in a street performance, it's always family-friendly, free and FUN!

 

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 part about the Annual Troy Victorian Stroll? I love seeing all the holiday decorations! It puts me in the spirit of the season.

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 part about the Annual Troy Victorian Stroll? Each year I enjoy watching visitors be amazed by the beauty of Troy. The downtown area is rich in history and exquisite architecture that truly gets showcased during the Stroll festivities.

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 part about the Annual Troy Victorian Stroll? I enjoy stopping into all the local shops to see what specials are going on that day. I can always find great gifts for everyone on my list!

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 part about the Annual Troy Victorian Stroll? Seeing so many people walking on the streets of downtown Troy. People running into old friends, children being excited by the sights and sounds of the performers and the decorated windows. The friendly atmosphere makes me feel as if it really is the Victorian era.

Rachael Murray, Events Coordinator

Rachael Murray is the Chamber’s Events Coordinator. Her responsibilities include planning and coordinating all Chamber events and programs; registration intake; confirming dates; retaining locations, caterers, rentals, speakers and vendors; assisting in development of creative collateral; and acting as the staff liaison for a variety of Chamber committees.

Rachael, originally from Troy, is an Ithaca College alum, holding a B.S. in Communication Management and Design with a concentration in Corporate Communication. 

What is your favorite part about the Annual Troy Victorian Stroll? My favorite part is the beauty and magic of watching downtown Troy fill with thousands of visitors experiencing the best of what Troy has to offer!

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, co-editing the monthly print newsletter, coordination of business ribbon cuttings, grand openings and milestone celebrations and producing the Get To Know Our Member videos. Staci also manages The Leadership Institute, which she is a proud graduate of the Class of 2017.

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 part about the Annual Troy Victorian Stroll? Each year I enjoy dressing in Victorian garb and walking throughout downtown. I love seeing others dress in traditional garb as well - it transports me back to the Victorian Age of Troy!

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