OSWEGO, NY – Greg Mills has been executive director of the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce for a little more than seven months.
“It has been one of the most positive experiences I’ve had in my life. The job has many challenges. My opportunity to work with the mayor and the council, city chamberlain and DPW, and just about every department has been a great experience of collaboration and partnership,” he said. “Everyone I’ve dealt with, in their heart and soul, has had the best interest of this city. We’re moving forward to build a better city.”
A lot of this began coming to the surface with the farmers’ market, he pointed out. They’ve started seeing vendors coming in, more applications come in, he said.
With the support of the DPW, the police department and fire department, the farmers’ market has been a great success this year, Mills told the councilors.
For example, July 16 was a collaboration to present a water safety program, he said.
A cleanup event was held recently.
“It started with a conversation of a few people who said, ‘let’s walk down Bridge Street and pick up a few papers and make a representation of what we can do in a small way to make change and help the DPW make the city a cleaner place.’ What came out of that was 65 people showing up on a Sunday morning for two hours. There were 15 areas in the city where we all worked hand in hand to clean up things,” the chamber director said. “That’s now evolved into projects that will continue, such as painting the fountains in Civic Plaza.”
He also cited the Summer Concert Series. What was once a three-concert series is now an eight-concert series.
People have told him the Fourth of July Pararde “was one of the best I’ve seen in years.”
“What I saw going down Bridge Street was just people enjoying Oswego, people enjoying that event and coming together and having a good time,” he added.
The Paddlefest was another successful event this summer.
“There were more than 600 boats on the river (July 11) from Fulton to Oswego for Paddlefest. Around 3 in the afternoon there were still plenty of boats coming in,” he said. “This is a pretty cool place and I want to be a part of it. We move forward with collaboration and partnerships to make our city better. That’s the only way we can do it. We must work together and move forward; joining together and partnering with others.”
The chamber recognizes that it can’t do all these things on its own, he noted.
“We need help. We need people to work with us and the city has been a great partner as we move forward,” he said. “The momentum that’s been created through these events, through these collaborations, through these partnerships needs to continue so that we can again rebuild what we have and make things better not only for the people that live here but attract people that want to come here and be a part of our community.”