Future business leaders being developed here

Welcome to June, the month when there is much talk about graduations, acceptance letters from colleges and universities, and scholarships. You may not realize how the Chamber and The Chamber Foundation fit into this discussion and how it ties into the growth of our economy and development of our future leaders. 

Each June, The Chamber Foundation awards eight different scholarships to local students, this year to be given out at our Contact Breakfast on June 15. The Foundation also raises its own money through fundraisers, coordinating donors to scholarships, special event proceeds, sponsorships, asking for donations from individuals and businesses, and building relationships with those donors. Thanks goes out to the many people who are involved in this process – and congratulations to all the recipients! I also would like to give a special thank you and acknowledgement to Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley for their continued partnership in the Foundation’s scholarship program.

The Chamber Foundation is also celebrating the graduation of individuals from its three leadership programs – Youth Leadership, Leadership Dutchess and Executive Leadership. Youth Leadership is an innovative, leadership development program designed to develop the academic, social and life skills of area youth. Leadership Dutchess is the signature program of the Foundation, dedicated to educating citizens to serve in leadership roles within our community. The Executive Leadership Program is designed for mid- to senior-level managers, nonprofit administrators, and entrepreneurs seeking advanced leadership and communications skills to move their careers and organizations forward.

Through the Foundation’s leadership programs and scholarship awards, there are also many in the community who deserve recognition for investing in our scholars and professionals, by giving the gift of education. Without the dedication of individuals who make up the Chamber and Chamber Foundation’s board of directors, the Professional Development Programming Committee, and the Executive Leadership Curriculum Committee, these programs would not be possible.

Please note – the deadline for applications for the 2023 classes of Leadership Dutchess and Youth Leadership are due on June 30! Visit chamberfdn.org to find out how to Think Local First when it comes to your personal growth and career journey. 
Frank M. Castella, Jr. is the President and CEO of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce