SPRINGVILLE — David Field is back at the helm of the Springville Area Chamber of Commerce with more ideas, more plans and more hope for the future than ever. The Springville businessman and current Orchard Park resident said that he is humbled and honored to have been chosen as SACC president, after the resignation of Ethan Waterman, several weeks ago.
“I was the president for about three and a half years and I resigned in May, because I felt disconnected from the area a little bit, after I moved to Orchard Park, a year and a half ago,” Field said. “When the president resigns, normally the vice president would take over, but there was none. The chamber needed leadership.”
The board nominated Field and Marilyn Werner, development and community relations coordinator at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital.
Field, who owns Kaleidoscope Komputer Services, operates his business regionally, although he maintains a P.O. box in Springville as his business address.
“I have a lot of business connections in Springville [and] use the pharmacy in Springville. I get my hair cut there, go to the meat shop,” Field said. “I’m not there every day, but I’m still around. It was easier when the kids played soccer in town, but people still see me around.”
Field said that he sees the SACC president position as providing leadership to the board and the staff, and, in turn, to the business community of the Springville area.
“The board has confidence that we can manage this change in leadership without much transition,” Field said. “In small towns, there’s always a struggle to do things the way we have always done them. It’s the same in Springville. Erika Thurkins, our new executive director, has a lot of great ideas. I think that the new leadership will really help us move forward.”
As chamber president, Field focuses on managing interpersonal relationships and providing support and service to the community, as well as acting as a liaison between government entities and businesspeople.
“We have developed excellent connections, within Springville and we have a good working relationship with both the village and the town [of Concord],” Field continued. “I’m confident that we can continue that communication, to serve all of our members.”
Some of that communication involves keeping the business community’s interests at the forefront of government action, including the New York State Department of Transportation’s plans to replace the South Cascade and Miller Road Bridge, beginning in 2015.
“That’s our next challenge, making sure that the DOT is in communication with us about what’s happening with the bridge [and] what their plans are,” Field said, adding that he was setting up meetings with local government officials, to ensure that Springville’s voices are heard.
“That bridge is a vital link. The old 219 is an economic engine that drives Springville, whether we like it or not. If that becomes a dead end, that affects both small businesses and big businesses,” he noted, referencing the 2012 temporary closing of that structure.
“We’re trying to get the DOT to hold meetings with us, to discuss their plans, We want to be involved, early in the process. The challenge, as a chamber, is not to always focus on our downtown area. A lot of our members are on the South Cascade strip, and we can’t forget about their interests, either.”
In addition to that issue, Field said he will continue to work with the Springville village government to drive economic development in the region.
“Not being from Springville, as an outsider, I take a more regional view,” Field said. “Springville needs to be connected to the greater Buffalo-Niagara region. I do lots of regional stuff and I’m always talking about Springville, when I do. It’s easier for me to do that, living where I do and working all over the area.”
As a leader, Field has always led by consensus, a strategy he said works well in Springville and with the SACC board.
“The chamber works to support each other and support all events that go on in the area, if they come to us for help,” he said, of the role the chamber plays in the community. “There’s always stuff going on around town. Being back as president, there’s a lot going on. I think there’s an excitement in Springville, a positivity that we haven’t had in a long time. We still have a lot of challenges in front of us, but I’m looking forward to moving forward, as a chamber and as a community.”
The Springville Area Chamber of Commerce office is located on Main Street and can also be found online at www.springvillechamber.com
or by phone at 592-4746.