Business Beat: Commerce Chenango to host state legislators at roundtable – Oneonta Daily Star


Business Beat: Commerce Chenango to host state legislators at roundtable – Oneonta Daily Star

Commerce Chena

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Commerce Chenango will host its second annual Legislative Breakfast on Oct. 14 at The Silo Restaurant in Greene.

Guest speakers will be Ryan Silva, executive director of the New York State Economic Development Council, and Ken Pokalsky, vice president of The Business Council of New York State. Both share legislative updates and an overview of their work in regard to their respective organizations, according to a media release.

State legislators who have accepted an invitation to attend and be a part of the panel discussion include Sen. Fred Akshar, Assemblyman Joe Angelino, Assemblyman John Lemondes Jr. and Sen. Peter Oberacker. 

“I am so pleased to offer the Legislative Breakfast once again to the Commerce Chenango businesses and partners,” Commerce Chenango President and CEO Kerri Green said in the release. “Advocacy is a large part of the work that we do and providing the opportunity to dialogue with our elected officials, share our ideas and concerns is always time well spent.”

The Legislative Breakfast is open to both members and non-members; however, those attending must register by calling 607-334-1400 or by going online to before the event. Payment is required before the event or at the door. Attendees are encouraged to send their questions for the panel to by Oct. 12.

Local rancher recognized for Angus cattle herd

Mark D. Welytok of Richfield Springs ranked as second largest in registering the most Angus beef cattle in New York with the American Angus Association during fiscal year 2021, which ended Sept. 30, according to a media release from Mark McCully, the association’s chief executive officer.

Angus breeders across the nation in 2021 registered 313,138 head of Angus cattle, the release said. “Our Association members lead the industry in adopting new technology and breeding the most problem-free cattle for their customers,” McCully said. “Cattlemen across the country continue to find registered Angus seedstock are the most profitable option for their herd.”

The American Angus Association is the nation’s largest beef breed organization, serving nearly 25,000 members across the United States, Canada and several other countries, the release said. For more information, visit

Cooperstown chamber to meet

The 2021 Cooperstown Chamber Meeting of Members will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 21, at Brewery Ommegang. on st, from , for .

Lake ‘N Pines Motel will be honored as the 2020 Chamber Hall of Fame recipient and Lake View Motel will be honored as the 2021 Chamber Hall of Fame recipient.

Admission is $20.00 per person, payable in advance or on entry. A cash bar will be available. Registration is required. RSVP to the chamber by October 19.

The event will be held outdoors on the covered patio at Ommegang, at 656 County Highway 33, Cooperstown.

Preferred Mutual

names new leaders

Preferred Mutual Insurance Company recently announced it promoted R. Benedikt Sander to the role of president and chief executive officer and Jeffrey M. Lopata to chief operating officer and executive vice president, effective January 1, 2022. PMIC’s current CEO, Christopher P. Taft, will retire, but will become the chairman of the company’s board of directors, replacing Robert A. Wadsworth, who will continue to be a member of the board.

Sander, who joined PMIC in June 2019, has been serving as executive vice president of insurance operations, and has more than 20 years of leadership experience in the insurance industry. In his time at PMIC, “he has championed strategies to improve company growth and profitability as well as initiatives that foster strong relationships with employees, agents and business partners,” a media release said.

Lopata, who has been serving as EVP and chief strategy officer, “has been a driving force behind PMIC’s strategic planning initiatives and a visionary across several key areas of the company during his 17-year tenure, including information technology, enterprise project management and the development of many business strategies and services,” the release said.

“As we position PMIC for its next chapter, we’ve identified an opportunity to strengthen our corporate structure by promoting two individuals who will lead PMIC into the future,” Taft said in the release. “My new role as chairman of the board will allow me an opportunity to continue to focus on shaping the culture and strategic direction of PMIC in partnership with our leadership team.”