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Chamber Members Honored with Stronger Together Award; Al Katz Receives Sapphire Award

Posted: 1/15/2021 - 2-minute Read

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Chamber Members Honored with Stronger Together Award; Al Katz Receives Sapphire Award

LAKE GEORGE, NY — In lieu of the traditional S.T.A.R. (Sustaining Tourism Around the Region) Award, the Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce & CVB chose to honor its entire membership with the 2020 Stronger Together Award in recognition of the dedication to safety and commitment to rethinking their organizations’ plans in the face of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

All of the members on the 2020 LGRCC&CVB Membership Roster received a certificate in the mail and letter announcing the award.

“Every Chamber member was selected for this year’s honor in recognition of their complete dedication, support, and commitment to the tourism industry in our region during the most challenging of times,” said LGRCC&CVB Executive Director Gina Mintzer.

“The members of the Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce & CVB came together as a collaborative group to ensure the safety and well-being of our associates, neighbors, community, and guests. They assisted in many ways small and great to ensure the health and vitality of our community!  It is with the support of organizations like these that tourism has continued to grow and be an economic driver for our municipalities around the region,” said LGRCC&CVB Board of Directors President Dennis Lafontaine, who owns Martha’s Dandee Crème in Queensbury.

 The decision to create the new award came from the Chamber’s Events Committee, which is open to Chamber members, staff and Board of Directors members.

Sapphire Award

al katz selling raffle tickets at a lake george regional chamber mixer

In addition to the new award, the Sapphire Award was given to longtime community volunteer Al Katz (pictured above at a LGRCC&CVB mixer in 2018.)

The Chamber wanted to recognize Al Katz for his many years of service to the Chamber and other organizations including Lake George Rotary Club, Glens Falls Hospital, and RSVP. He also worked at many local tourism-based businesses such as Six Flags Great Escape.

 “He was a beloved presence at Chamber mixers and usually sold 50/50 raffle tickets,” Mintzer said.

 The Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce & CVB Events Committee established the S.T.A.R. Award in 2006 (Supporting Tourism Around the Region) as the only honor locally developed solely to recognize excellence in travel and tourism, which is a major element of our local economy. The Events Committee established the Sapphire Award in 2017 on the Chamber’s Sapphire Anniversary — its 65th year — to recognize a “gem” in the community whose efforts directly benefit the hospitality industry.

Traditionally, the S.T.A.R. Award and Sapphire Award would be presented at the Chamber’s Annual Dinner in the fall.

This year members were invited to a virtual mixer via Zoom and asked to hold up their certificates in recognition of their outstanding work over the past year.

Al Katz was presented with his award safely in person at his home earlier in the year during a visit from the Lake George Rotary.

Celebrating Resilience

In addition, the Chamber launched a “Celebrating Resilience” blog and video series showcasing how businesses and organizations had to rethink their operations to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here for a link to the blog series.

Click here for a link to the Facebook video playlist for Celebrating Resilience.

Click here for a video montage about our Business Community’s Resilience.

About the Chamber: The Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce & CVB, Inc. strives to drive year-round tourism to the region while fostering a vibrant business community. Founded in 1952, the LGRCC is a member-driven, not-for-profit 501 C (6) corporation. The Chamber comprises more than 350 members in various sectors of the business community. With a regional mindset, membership spans six counties in New York. The Chamber produces an annual Travel Guide available digitally and in print with a 70,000 circulation. This guide is strategically distributed throughout the Northeast and Canada. The Chamber also produces an annual Community & Business Directory for people and businesses planning to move to the area. Chamber staff represent the region at travel shows throughout the Northeast and Canada. Chamber programs include the Adirondack Craft Beverage Trail and Lake George Chamber Women in Business. The Chamber staffs the Visitor Center on the corner of Beach Road and Canada Street in the Village of Lake George and the Taste NY section of the Adirondacks Welcome Center on the Northway between Exits 17 and 18. The Chamber's main office at 2176 Route 9 in Lake George also accommodates visitor inquiries. The Lake George Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau is a division of the Chamber. The LGRCVB works to bring weather-proof, year-round business to the area in the form of meetings, conventions, sports tournaments, weddings, and other events. For updates, connect with the Chamber on Facebook Twitter @VisitLakeGeorge and Instagram @lakegeorgechamber. 

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