He recalls his years of involvement with the chamber fondly.
“I’m proud to be part of this community and proud to be part of this chamber and what it is today,” Giltz said.
Krueger said that one recurring theme over the years has been the importance of our Canadian neighbors. There was an eventual realization that they were more than tourists but also business people who might be interested in opening a New York location.
In 1955, Canadians spent an estimated $15 million to $20 million in the community. That figure is now estimated at about $1.5 billion a year.
“Please be nice to these people,” Krueger implored.
The first female chair of the Chamber Board of Directors was Helen White in 1988. She was followed, in 1989, by Hope Coryer, who continues to be an active supporter of the chamber.
Coryer has been associated with three chamber leaders during her time. Ros Leahy, the first, was a prime mover behind a partnership between business and education. She was followed by Amy Whitehead and then by current North Country Chamber President Garry Douglas.
Coryer credits Douglas with carrying the chamber to heights never thought possible.
“The chamber is one of the best boards I think you can serve on,” she said.
Krueger said one of the toughest times was when Plattsburgh Air Force Base closed in 1995. The chamber is one of many groups and individuals in the community that have enabled the area to make the best of a bad situation, he said.
Other prominent achievements since 2000 include the Port of Excellence at the border with Quebec on Interstate 87 in Champlain, creation and growth of Plattsburgh International Airport and the new Tourism Destination Master Plan.
“The chamber continues to do great things for the North Country,” he said.
The chamber recognized two businesses that have been members since its beginning: Plattco and Brown Funeral Home.