Welcome to the Schoharie County Chamber of Commerce, celebrating 30 years of supporting our residents and the business community in Schoharie County. At the heart of every local economy and the backbone of the nation’s economy, you will find a Chamber of Commerce. The Schoharie County Chamber of Commerce focuses on a broad range of events and programs that provide Advocacy,Education and Economic Growth to support its businesses and the community. When you are looking for information or a way to be connected in Schoharie County, look no further, because the Chamber has something for everyone. Together we can continue to make Schoharie County the best place to live, work and play!
The Schoharie County Chamber of Commerce is an organization of business people and other leaders working together to advance the general welfare and prosperity of our community through our endeavors with business, including agriculture, education, government, and tourism.
Board of Directors:
John Goldswer, President
Schoharie County ARC
John Goldswer II joins the Schoharie County Chamber of Commerce in January of 2018 bringing with him extensive business experience in multiple fields including the advertising, marketing, print media, sales, customer service and management.
John joins us from the Schoharie County ARC as their Assistant Director of New Pathways Employment Services. He is responsible for the overall operations of Employment and Vocational Services. He acts as point of contact for ARC/Employment Services including by not limited to areas such as program admissions, program development and work site evaluation.
John leads the department by • Assisting in the development of employment strategies • Business, school and community relations • Interviewing, retention and overall work place culture of the department staff
John, a graduate of Richmondville Central School and Cazenovia College, looks forward to being involved with the growth of the Schoharie County business community.
Jamie Casterlin, Vice President
Executive Committee, Economic Advancement, Events Committee, Membership Committee
National Bank of Coxsackie
Jamie Casterlin is a business development officer with National Bank of Coxsackie. Jamie has 15 plus years’ experience in residential and commercial lending throughout Capital Region NY. Jamie is also a member of various community organizations including the Middleburgh Area Business Association, West Fulton Arts and Albany County Rural Housing Association.
Georgia Van Dyke, 2nd Vice President
Executive Committee, Events, Economic Advancement, Business, Economic Development Liaison and Education Committee
Gobbler’s Knob Family Fun Park
Georgia relocated to Schoharie County from North Babylon, LI in 1986 when she worked for the New York State Nurses Association. She continued to work for the Association as a Nursing Representative and Organizer for 21 years. Lions Club President 2020. Georgia retired in 2004. In March of 2005 SUNY Cobleskill recognized Georgia as one of six “Notable Women of Schoharie County”. Georgia is also active in the Town of Wright, Schoharie Valley Lions Club – President 2015, SALT – Co-chair, and Chair of Unmet Needs Roundtable.
In 2003 Georgia established “The Darryl West Van Dyke Memorial Fund” through the Community Foundation of the Capital District. This fund supplies AED’s (portable defibrillators) to businesses and churches throughout Schoharie County. To date the fund has donated 15 defibrillators through out Schoharie County and private special education schools in Schenectady.
Since 2002 Georgia has been president of Van Dyke Enterprises Inc. which, oversees “Gobbler’s Knob Family Fun Park”. Gobbler’s Knob opened in 2001 with a Driving Range and Club house. By 2006 the family business had expanded to and 18-hole lighted miniature golf featuring “Schoharie County Landmarks”. Additionally in 2006 the Ice Cream Parlor/Snack Bar opened and Robert Strong opened the “Muscle Motors Speedway” Go-cart Track.
2009 brought a nine-hole Par 3 course named “D’s Tees” in memory of Darryl Van Dyke. 2011 brought a Bungee Trampoline. The trampoline was replaced by a “Bounce House” in 2014.
In 2009 the County reclaimed Tourism from the Chamber. Shortly after that in early 2010 the Chamber experienced many internal changes. The Chamber’s Executive Director left unexpectedly, thus as Chamber Board President, Georgia stepped into that role for the next three years. At the end of Georgia’s term as Board President, she was then hired as part-time Executive Director in 2014. During this time period the Chamber membership grew with 40 new members, a new more user friendly website, a revitalized Business EXPO.
Georgia looks forward to supporting businesses in Schoharie County and the continued growth of the Chamber.
Eric Efthimiou – Treasurer
Agricultural Business Representative
Farm Family Insurance
Eric- is an insurance agent for Farm Family Insurance and American National Insurance. With an office in Oneonta, NY the core of his business is in Schoharie County, meeting the business and personal insurance needs of his clients. He has a passion and appreciation for agriculture and small business and the people who run them.
A Graduate of Cornell University, Eric’s career has included executive positions with Tioga State Bank and the Delaware National Bank of Delhi. He has held board positions with Tioga State Bank, Cooperative Extension of Tioga County, The Executive Service Corps of Delaware and Otsego County, and with Athelas Therapeutic Riding Inc. in Otego, NY. He is also a member of Schoharie County Farm Bureau. His wife “Lolly”, and Eric live in Delhi, NY.
Shannon Almy – Secretary
Fenimore Asset Management
Shannon Almy was raised in Schoharie County and currently resides in Sharon Springs with her husband, Keith. She enjoys volunteering, and is actively involved in her local church. Shannon graduated from Cobleskill Central School and SUNY Cobleskill, and earned her MBA from the University at Albany. Shannon is a Client Relationship Manager.
New York Power Authority
Jessica Kirby is the Community Relations Supervisor for the NY Power Authority Blenheim- Gilboa Visitors Center and Lansing Manor. From 2012 to 2019, she was the Managing Director of Apple Barrel Country Store & Café. Prior to that, Jessica has been a Cruise Sales Consultant at Cruise.co.uk and Banking Advisor for Halifax Bank in Redditch, England.
Jessica was born and raised in Schoharie County. She is a 2000 graduate of Schoharie High School and attended Keuka College in the Finger Lakes. She has spent 10 years living in California and England before returning to Schoharie in 2012. She is a dual British American citizen.
Community involvement is extremely important to Jessica. Besides being on the Schoharie County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors she is also on the Board of Directors for Schoharie Valley Association and President of the Reflections Memorial Foundation. Jessica has previously been a committee member for NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program, and member of the SALT PR & Marketing Committee, Schoharie Alliance, and Schoharie County Business Generators Group, as well as, an EMT Aide for Scho- Wright Ambulance.
LeeAnn is a Branch Manager for NBT Bank. With 19 years of banking experience, starting her career as a teller with Central National Bank in 1998. She is a lifelong resident of Schoharie County and serves on several boards in the Schoharie Area, including the Schoharie Community Development and the Schoharie County ARC Foundation.
Business & Education Committee
SUNY Cobleskill Liberty Partnerships Program
Deborah Veith is the Director of the SUNY Cobleskill Liberty Partnerships Program, a New York State Education Department grant-funded dropout prevention program for area middle- and high-school-aged students. Deborah grew up in the hilltowns of Albany County, graduating from the Berne-Knox-Westerlo High School. She has spent the last 25 years serving youth and families in Schoharie County, where she raised two children with her husband, Sherwood Veith. Deborah has an A.A. from SUNY Cobleskill, a B.S. from SUNY Empire State College, and a M.S. from The Sage Colleges. She has served on the Boards of the Schoharie County Community Action Program and the Schoharie County Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse.
Bobbi is a fifth-generation resident of Schoharie County and graduated from Middleburgh Central School. As a marketing and advertising specialist with more than 15 years of experience, Bobbi is a Real Estate Agent who represents buyers and sellers in all types of real estate transactions. She has extensive, practiced knowledge of internet advertising and a network of relationships spanning both business owners and community members due to her volunteer work and event organizing (as well as raising five children). In 2019, Bobbi joined the board of the Kindness Is Foundation and is a proud member of the Middleburgh Area Business Association.
Trish Bergan served as an assistant to chairman and the research team at Fenimore Asset Management for ten years and is currently working as an administrative associate for the Schoharie Economic Enterprise Corporation (SEEC).
In addition to her duties at SEEC, Ms. Bergan is the director of operations at the Dr. Best House & Medical Museum, past president of the Middleburgh Area Business Association and a member of Middleburgh Rotary and the Middleburgh Century Club. She also serves on the Schoharie County Occupancy Tax Board and spent three years as a trustee for the Village of Middleburgh before becoming mayor in April of 2020.
A graduate of the College of Saint Elizabeth, Ms. Bergan holds a B.S. degree in Consumer and Family Sciences.
Melinda McTaggart is a long time area resident, with family roots in Schoharie and Otsego Counties reaching back to the early 1700s. She has a Master’s Degree in Education from SUNY Oneonta and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies from West Virginia University.
During her career as an educator, Melinda has taught at all academic levels and in a variety of locations, including SUNY Oneonta, Job Corps and for the New York State Department of Correctional Services. Able to combine her love of history and teaching, Melinda joined the Schoharie County Historical Society/Old Stone Fort Museum in 2017 first as the Director of Educational Outreach and in 2019 as the Director and Business Manager.
Melinda is a graduate of the inaugural class of Leadership Otsego and the Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Program Leadership Development Cohort. Melinda also serves on the boards of several organizations including Hero Fund America, Animal Shelter of Schoharie Valley, the Daughters of the American Revolution and Daughters of Founders and Patriots.
Dr. Susan Zimmerman
SUNY Cobleskill Provost