Episode 215:

Kerri Green has been the President & CEO of Commerce Chenango since August 2019. She is a US Army Veteran and has a marketing degree from SUNY Delhi. Kerri has an extensive background in economic development, sales, and in administration. Her background includes a tenure at CDO Broadcasting as Sales Manager for over ten years, and five years in Higher Education working as the Senior Assistant to the President and Secretary to the Board of Trustees at Hartwick College as well as the Director of Admissions at USC (Oneonta). She has spent over twenty years working with various economic development agencies and Chambers of Commerce (all-volunteer) before taking the helm at Commerce Chenango.

Commerce Chenango houses the Chenango County Chamber of Commerce, operates at the Economic Development arm of Chenango County through the Development Chenango Corporation (DCC) as the Chenango County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) as well as the Chenango Foundation (501 C3).

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Green has been the lead contact for Chenango County through the Southern Tier Control Room as well as working closely with Empire State Development (ESD), serving on multiple workgroups and working on the 2021 Strategic Plan for the Southern Tier.

Green resides in Sidney with her husband and two daughters.

Destination on the Left is joined by Kerri Green, the President & CEO of Commerce Chenango. Her organization houses the Chenango County Chamber of Commerce and operates at the Economic Development arm of Chenango County. During our conversation, Kerri talks about the importance of aligning tourism and economic development. She explains what that synergy looks like in Chenango County and how she is redesigning Commerce Chenango’s business model to maximize it. Kerri also discusses the evolution of her newsletter, “Keep Calm and Kerri On.”

What You Will Learn:

  • The importance of aligning tourism and economic development
  • How Kerri is rebuilding Commerce Chenango’s business model from the ground up
  • The evolution of Kerri’s “Keep Calm and Kerri On” newsletter
  • How this year has taught us to be more resourceful and inquisitive about what our communities have to offer
  • The different collaborations Kerri has initiated in an effort to drive visitor traffic in Chenango
  • How Kerri is managing her own destination on top of building a regional support structure for other communities in the area

Commerce Chenango

Destination on the Left is joined by Kerri Green, the President & CEO of Commerce Chenango. Her organization houses the Chenango County Chamber of Commerce and operates at the Economic Development arm of Chenango County. During our conversation, Kerri talks about the importance of aligning tourism and economic development. She explains what that synergy looks like in Chenango County and how she is redesigning Commerce Chenango’s business model to maximize it. Kerri also discusses the evolution of her newsletter, “Keep Calm and Kerri On.”

Rebranding from the Ground Up

Whether you are trying to attract new residents/businesses or tourists, there is a lot of competition. It is important to differentiate your destination so it stands out from the crowd. Kerri has had a lot of success with this despite being thrown into the viper pit in the middle of a pandemic during her first year in charge. She has led the efforts of Commerce Chenango’s rebrand with a bottom-up approach. She has addressed their programs, initiatives, funding, and resources to make the greatest impact. Kerri also leveraged Chenango’s rural character to appeal to the shop local movement and attract people who are looking for a charming change of pace.

Creativity in the Face of Adversity

Adversity is no match for creativity, and one of the silver-linings of 2020 has been to watch creativity prevail in so many new ways. Aside from rebranding Commerce Chenango, Kerri has used creativity to engage the community in a bunch of other ways. Her team has produced a series of videos in-house to help people understand what is available in their community during the pandemic. They are also promoting safe events that are unique to Chenango County to drive visitor traffic going into 2021. This year has taught us to be more resourceful and more inquisitive about what our communities have to offer. Chenango is a great example of that.

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