Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce director wants to empower its members
By Stefan Yablonski
Sara Broadwell knows what it takes to be a successful small business owner. Her parents were small business owners and she married into a family of small business owners.
The executive director of the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce is using that experience in her new role to assist the local business community.
“I was raised in the Rochester area, and I attended Oswego State University. I met my husband Scott, an Oswego native, in college and settled here after,” she said. “It is exciting to know I have now lived in Oswego for over half of my life, and am raising my two boys, Parker and Easton, in this great community.”
January marked her sixth year with the Greater Oswego Fulton Chamber and CenterState CEO.
As the executive director, she leads the strategic vision and daily operations of the chamber.
“I am the primary point of contact for member engagement and recruitment, the development of strategic partners, advocacy within the community, management of staff and delivering the highest level of service to all of our stakeholders,” she said.
Over the past five years, she has developed strong relationships with Oswego County leaders, business owners and community members.
“I am very honored to serve in this capacity. It’s an unprecedented time in Central New York — the momentum and excitement are palpable. I am thrilled to have a seat at the table representing the business community of Oswego County,” she said.
In her previous role, Broadwell helped to establish several very successful community-based programs across Oswego County, including Oswego County Restaurant Week and helping to partner with Novelis on its employee discount key tag program. Both programs are “perfect models for the ecosystem of Oswego County business,” she said, adding “We are lucky to have employers like Eagle Beverage, Novelis, Universal Metal Works, Constellation and Oswego Health to name a few, supporting our community. They truly contribute to our local community in many ways including to our economy, other business owners and their employees.
“One of our jobs at the GOFCC is to amplify their engagement and create programs that benefit the business community as a whole. To do this we will continue to cultivate partnerships and programs.”
Taylor Davis is the chamber’s member engagement and operations coordinator.
“She manages the GOFCC ambassador program and is the key contact for our community focused programs, including Project Bloom, Oswego-Fulton farmers’ market and Oswego County Restaurant Week,” Broadwell explained. “Taylor brings a ton of energy, passion and ideas to all of our community facing events. I am looking forward to all that we will accomplish in 2023, together.”
“I think it is important for leaders to create a positive and comfortable environment that lends itself to open communication. Giving my team the tools and empowering them to make decisions will only enable this organization to advance its mission and create greater impact for our members. I’ve been extremely fortunate that the leadership at CenterState CEO has supported my personal and professional growth and I aim to pay that forward with my own team,” she said in describing her managerial philosophy.
The Greater Oswego Fulton Chamber is a fully integrated partner of CenterState CEO.
“This relationship enables us to more effectively and efficiently deliver the tools and business resources our members need. We are also able to work collaboratively to address the needs and challenges of the regional community and amplify the voice of this business community,” she said.
Growing up, her parents owned a small business. Additionally, she married into a family that for several generations has been business owners in Oswego County.
“This has enabled me to have a deeper appreciation of the energy and work that goes into operating a successful small business. I keep this experience in mind when I meet with business owners across the county, really listening to the needs they have and brainstorming new ways to support them,” she explained. “The feedback I get directly from them will result in new programming from the GOFCC. It also enables me to share with the rest of the team at CenterState CEO the needs of our members and advocate together for the policies and resources that are needed for them to thrive and drive progress.”
Broadwell also has an active life outside the chamber.
“Most days I’m chasing my boys from rink to rink, or field to field,” she said. “When I am not doing that, I am reading a book, cooking or in my garden. I’ve been an avid reader my entire life. I always have an audible book, a book in my bag and a house book. We have a standing Sunday family dinner that we host. I look forward to it each week. My younger son, Easton, loves to cook with me. Together we set the menu, pick whatever we can from the garden and make meals with a lot of love. We always have raving reviews! I’ve also been known to pop into local establishments and of course, dine Oswego County.”
She also serves on several boards, including The Children’s Museum of Oswego
The Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce is now at 34 E. Bridge St., Oswego.
Name: Sara Broadwell
Position: Executive director, Greater Oswego Fulton Chamber of Commerce
Birth Date: 1983
Birth Place: Rochester
Education: SUNY Oswego
Affiliations: Board of directors of Children’s Museum of Oswego and Buc Booster; Oswego Health gala committee; PTech Governance; Workforce Development Board, business development committee; Oswego County Micron steering committee.
Family: Husband, Scott. Sons, Parker and Easton. Dog, Bodin.
Hobbies: Gardening, cooking, reading, spending time with family, dining Oswego County