Berleth Selected as Chamber President
On Friday, the Chamber’s Board of Directors selected Chris Berleth, the organization’s Vice President, to succeed Fred Gaffney in the role of President. Gaffney will be leaving the organization to pursue other opportunities. The two will be working together through a transition period to be completed by March, 31st. The process to fill the Vice President position will begin immediately.
“On behalf of the entire board, I extend our sincere thanks and best wishes to Fred Gaffney who has provided inspiring and tireless leadership for the Chamber, its members, and the community at large,” said Chris Stamatedes, Chairperson of the Chamber Board. “While we are sad to see Fred move on, we do consider ourselves fortunate that we have a depth of talent in our staff, allowing us to quickly fill this position with our current Vice President, Chris Berleth.”
Berleth joined The Columbia Montour Chamber in August of 2022. Previously, Chris was with the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber in Shamokin Dam for six years as Executive Director of Membership and Leadership. In his role with the Columbia Montour Chamber, Berleth has provided leadership in delivering a high return on investment to members through the development and coordination of communications, programs, and events of the Chamber and its Foundation. He is an Eagle Scout and a 2015 graduate of Leadership Susquehanna Valley, and holds a B.A. in Political Science and French from Gettysburg College. Chris, his wife Kali, and their two children, Remington, and Rutledge, reside in Pine Township, Columbia County.
“I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead the Chamber in the counties I call home,” said Berleth. “For more than twenty years, Fred Gaffney has served the business community and the chamber industry, positively impacted countless organizations and individuals, and served as a mentor to many in the profession. I will work hard to continue his good work, learn from his example, and match his energy so that we may continue to prosper together.
I look forward to working with the Chamber’s board, members, volunteers, and staff to grow the organization, promote an increasingly vibrant community, and ensure the vitality of organizations in the region.”
Gaffney was first hired by the Chamber in March of 2002 as Director of Marketing and Communications. He was later promoted to Vice President and left the Chamber in November 2006 to become the Executive Director of the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce in Seneca Falls, NY. Gaffney was rehired by The Columbia Montour Chamber in May of 2010 as president upon the retirement of his predecessor and mentor, Ed Edwards.
“It has been my privilege to serve the Chamber and its members over a nearly 21-year timespan in my various capacities,” said Gaffney. “With a dedicated board and staff in place and Chris’ leadership, I am excited for the future of The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce and offer my assistance whenever appropriate.”