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Chamber’s Porter retiring Dec. 31

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Greater Ogdensburg Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sandra M. Porter is retiring.

Ms. Porter said Monday she will step down Dec. 31 from the job she has held since September 2006.

“I love my job,” she said, adding that it was nevertheless time to step aside and let in new, fresh ideas with a successor. “I love Ogdensburg.”

The chamber has 285 business and individual members and a 25-member volunteer board of directors whose responsibilities are spread out over 19 committees, several of which were started by Mr. Porter.

It is a setup, she said, that has worked.

“I think that the chamber is a lot more involved in the community,” Ms. Porter said. “It’s certainly more visible.”

That visibility, Ms. Porter pointed out, has increased along with the number of events that the chamber has put on in recent years. Most notably, the 2009 launch of the annual two-day North Country Wine, Beer and Food Festival at the Richard G. Lockwood Civic Center has grown into a popular and profitable event that has made Ogdensburg an August tourism destination point for Northern New York.

“It’s my favorite,” Ms. Porter said. “But they’re all fun.” Over the years, she added, has become more successful, credible and accessible.

“Those were my goals,” Ms. Porter said.

Ms. Porter credited the board of directors for helping her to attain those goals.

“I had the most wonderful board to work with,” she said.

The sentiment was mutual, said C. Kevin McDonough, a current board member and the chamber’s 2007 president.

“She’s top notch,” he said. “You can go to her for all the answers.”

Ms. Porter, 73, plans to stay in Ogdensburg and remain active in the community.

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