Joyce Minard, president of the New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce, will step down from her current position on Dec. 31.
“She’s the heartbeat of the town,” said Tom Edwards, owner of Fox and Hound Wine & Spirits and member of the New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce board of directors.
Minard, who has been working for the New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce since 1978, plans to continue her presence there in a limited capacity.
She will stay on board as director of special projects, focusing on developing property for senior housing.
Edwards, who has been a member of the organization for four years and is part of the ongoing search committee for a new president, said that they are in the process of screening resumes for the next potential candidate and will begin interviewing within the next two weeks.
“We’re looking for someone with the same talent and commitment,” he said. “Somebody that has a good understanding of small business.”
Another board member, Walter Marquez, owner of the Water Street Market Antiques Barn and business partner of the New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce said that they’re “looking for someone with good leadership abilities.” He also noted that they would have “pretty big shoes to fill.”
“This chamber can run; our staff is phenomenal and it’s a well run machine,” Minard replied when asked what would happen if no suitable candidate is found in time.
“She always wants to have SUNY involved,” Marquez said of Minard, who has been largely attributed with bridging the divide between SUNY and the town of New Paltz.
In the attempts to resolve disputes, Minard formed the Town Gown Committee, bringing representatives from campus and town together to discuss issues that brought about conflict and “nasty letter writing” in a civilized manner.
“SUNY and the town didn’t talk to each other. There was constant bickering – family bickering,” Minard said.
Beyond the new role she will take on at the New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce, Minard has many plans for retirement, including work at other small town chambers of commerce, and sitting on a variety of local non-profits.
“We can make common goals in helping this community grow,” Minard said.