How the Chautauqua County Chamber is essential to business and community, a new and different kind of potato chip and the opportunity to find out what Rotary is all about were topics recently for Westfield/Mayville Rotary Club members.
Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Member Development Director Greg Krauza told how the Northern and Jamestown chambers consolidated in 2000. In addition, each individual chamber retained its own club while still being a member of the consolidated entity.
Jon Wood of Mayville described how he and his brother, Curtis, started the business of making yummy Wood Chips, a new-fangled kind of potato chips. Testimony of the quality was Ann Weidman, Rotary PR/Publicity chair.
In 2007, the county chamber joined with the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier.
The primary objective of the chamber is to create a climate for growth and success in the county by representing business and agriculture statewide.
Krauza's primary responsibilities are to work with businesses on the Bright Choices Health Insurance Exchange, to grow membership in conjunction with the community chambers and to work on specific programs that benefit members and the community.
Jon Wood acquired the former Swanson Potato Chip Company in 2008, and today his new product, Wood Chips, is beginning to infiltrate many markets in New York and Pennsylvania. When first begun, he discovered those who were "cooking" the chips were throwing away the burnt ones. He soon put a stop to that because, he said, chips aficionados like them a little thicker, a little crispier and a little darker. Headquarters for cooking is Corry, Pa.
Wood, who is in business with his brother, Curtis, opened WoodCrest Golf Course in 1980 outside of Mayville and started WC Development, residential and commercial construction, in 2004. A graduate of Panama Central School, he graduated from Slippery Rock State College with a degree in commercial recreation and landscape design. As a matter of fact, he designed the first ice castle for Mayville's first Ice Castle Extravaganza.
Those looking for a taste of this yummy new product may head for Wegman's in Jamestown or Erie or in Mayville's Lighthouse Grocery. Soon, Wood Chips will be in Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Look for bright green bag.
Meet and greet
A few visitors recently found out what Rotary is all about, thanks to Membership Committee Chair Pete Bills. He talked about the beginnings of Rotary, which was begun in 1905 basically to serve business. In 1911, Rotary became international.
Worldwide Rotarians, numbering 1,230,000 in 166 countries, adhere to a "four-way test" - Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
As for the Westfield/Mayville Rotary Club, it serves five communities - Brocton, Mayville, Ripley, Sherman and Westfield.
Special guests were Russ Boisjoly from SUNY Fredonia and Linda Wolfe from ERA.
Anyone interested in learning more about Rotary are welcome to visit a luncheon meeting, which begins at noon every Tuesday in the United Methodist Church in Westfield.