Skiing at Plattekill Mountain (photo taken on Feb. 18, 2019)
Roxbury, New York
This year the Greater Roxbury Business Association (GRBA) celebrates its seventh anniversary. The organization was founded in the summer of 2012 by a group of entrepreneurs who identified the need for the Town of Roxbury to have its own coherent business group to promote local businesses in a cohesive fashion to ensure the economic vibrancy of our communities.
The founding of the organization coincided with the implementation of the Town’s current Comprehensive Plan, which was adopted in May 2013. The Plan identified a number of positive as well as negative elements that characterized the local economic climate.
Small town atmosphere and friendliness;
Historic rural environment;
Attractive Main Street with distinguished historical architecture;
Outdoor recreation opportunities, including hiking, skiing and golfing;
Air and water quality.
Hamlets are disconnected;
Lack of cohesiveness and coordination;
Lack of a common marketing plan for tourism activity, lack of economic development, lack of Main Street businesses;
Lack of incentives for retail and restaurants;
Not enough hotels.
The Esopus / Delaware Study, which was conducted around the same time, also identified a series of challenges: lack of business training, lack of social media expertise, lack of customer service skills, limited social infrastructure for youth, not enough promotion of cultural activities.
Since its founding in 2012, GRBA has made its mission to capitalize on the Town’s assets while at the same time address some of the shortcomings identified both in the Town’s Comprehensive Plan as well as The Esopus / Delaware Study. The first organizational task we set to accomplish was to increase awareness of existing businesses in the community; afterwards, we worked tirelessly to improve coordination and communication across the board to create a focused agenda and spearhead economic vibrancy within our town and throughout the region.
The overall vision for Roxbury as outlined in The Town’s Comprehensive Plan has been to maintain its historic character, ambiance and quiet lifestyle while expanding economic opportunities and increasing local businesses, particularly those “oriented to tourism so that the town is known as a historical, recreational, and cultural destination.”
The Greater Roxbury Business Association has positioned itself as the Town’s marketing arm while launching Visit Roxbury campaign to promote the Town and support its economic development. Over the past seven years, GRBA has increased the Town’s visibility through a series of initiatives, has provided business training opportunities for local business owners, and has coordinated tourism-related activities that make Roxbury a destination.
As this year marks GRBA’s seventh anniversary, the organization has been awarded a tourism grant that will make possible the acquisition of a new logo, the design and distribution of a rack card with map included, and the production of two guidebooks with itineraries that will help visitors explore the area. These are exciting developments that will make us stronger as a business community.
None of us could imagine Roxbury today without the Greater Roxbury Business Association. We’re looking forward to many more years to come.
Learn more at visitroxbury.com.
GREATER ROXBURY BUSINESS ASSOCIATION (GRBA) ANNOUNCES ITS 2019 BUSINESS WORKSHOPS SCHEDULE SPONSORED BY MARGARETVILLE TELEPHONE COMPANY (MTC):
- Run Your Business Smarter Not Harder with Mercedes Gonzalez / January 29, 5:30 – 7 pm;
- Effective Website and SEO with Susan Aleksejczyk / February 26, 5:30 – 7 pm;
- How to Leverage Content Marketing to Boost Reputation and Sales with Simona David / March 26, 5:30 – 7 pm;
- Grant Writing with Peg Ellsworth / April 30, 5:30 – 7 pm;
- Social Media for Small Business with Becky Tyre / May 28, 5:30 – 7 pm;
All workshops are tailored to small business owners and entrepreneurs who seek to grow their businesses by learning new skills and gaining expertise from leading business professionals in our community.
I. Run Your Business Smarter Not Harder with Mercedes Gonzalez / January 29, 5:30 – 7 pm
You have a business now what? How do you scale, how do you grow and most importantly how can you balance life and work? One of the mantras Mercedes Gonzalez believes in is “how do you work as little as possible for the most amount of money.”
The hour plus workshop will help you put a plan of action together to help you work smarter and not harder.
Mercedes Gonzalez has been considered a retail industry leader for over 20 years – having founded her own strategy and brand developing agency, Global Purchasing Companies, in New York City in 1998. She has traveled to over 50 trade shows every year in eight countries since then, establishing plans and strategies for retailers and emerging designers across the globe. Her debut book, Chronicles of a Fashion Buyer, is currently the number ONE new release on Amazon for fashion and textiles, and it has already sold out four times in the few months since its release. Mercedes is a preferred speaker at a multitude of regional and international fashion events including Miami Fashion Week, Jamaica Fashion Week, Asia Fashion Summit, and the Istanbul Textile Conference thanks to her “no-nonsense” reputation. She owns Just Shop Boutique, a designer discount store located in Arkville, NY.
II. Effective Website and SEO with Susan Aleksejczyk / February 26, 5:30 – 7 pm
Susan Aleksejczyk, designer and content developer for Catskill Muse, will review the best search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to improve search engine results for both new or existing websites. Susan will discuss the best website design and hosting options as well as compatibility with top search engines to help you get high rankings based on relevant searches.
Susan Aleksejczyk has built her career in the advertising and marketing industry. She was previously employed at a NYC marketing firm whose clients included big brands. Susan is currently the Sales and Marketing Coordinator for MTC. Her vast experience in various industries has allowed her to provide her clients with a unique perspective on their marketing and website needs. As owner of Catskill Muse, she concentrates her business on website design best practices and the latest in SEO techniques.
III. How to Leverage Content Marketing to Boost Reputation and Sales with Simona David / March 26, 5:30 – 7 pm
This workshop will expose participants to the benefits of content marketing such as increasing brand awareness and name recognition, attracting new leads and prospects, increasing sales, and retaining and expanding customer base through a series of case studies and best examples from the industry. Rather than making a direct sales pitch, content marketing engages the audience through valuable creative content, and establishes an emotional connection with the followers, who, in the words of Seth Godin, will become your “tribe.” Examples of content marketing include: how to guides, white papers, newsletters, presentations, blog posts, social media posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, product descriptions, reviews, testimonials, and others.
Simona David is a media consultant with over a decade of experience in the publishing and marketing industry. Ms. David has worked with lobbyists, award-winning advertising executives, travel and tourism professionals, artists, writers, entrepreneurs, and non-profit organizations. Her website is simonadavid.com.
IV. Grant Writing with Peg Ellsworth / April 30, 5:30 – 7 pm
This workshop will help equip participants with the tools needed to search and solicit grants from State, Federal and Local sources. Peg Ellsworth will discuss the basic dos and don’ts in soliciting grants and best practices for developing successful applications. She will also cover resources available from NY State as part of the Consolidated Funding Application for both businesses and not-for-profit organizations.
Peg Ellsworth is the Executive Director of the MARK Project, whose mission is to provide resources and help build the capacity of individuals, organizations, businesses and municipalities in the towns of Andes, Bovina, Middletown, Roxbury and Shandaken, and the Villages of Fleischmanns and Margaretville.
V. Social Media for Small Business with Becky Tyre / May 28, 5:30 – 7 pm
In this workshop Becky Tyre will explain the differences in each social media platform and show you some tips to make Facebook and Instagram work for your small business. Specifically, she will address Facebook Events, Page Layout, Hashtags, how frequently to post, how to reach a broader audience and gain more followers.
Becky Tyre is a writer, retail consultant @RetailDetails, contributing editor at Gifts & Decorative Accessories magazine and a shop local advocate. She lives in Roxbury, NY.
All workshops will be held at the MTC Building, 61 Academy Street, Margaretville, NY. To register, go to https://www.visitroxbury.com/business-workshops. Class fee is $25 for GRBA’s members, and $35 for non-members. For more information, contact email@example.com.
Greater Roxbury Business Association (GRBA) for the Town of Roxbury, NY is a community / grassroots organization comprised of business owners and self-employed individuals working to increase awareness of existing businesses in the community, and to build a more cohesive and prosperous business environment, to serve the hamlets of Roxbury, Grand Gorge and Denver. The GRBA receives technical assistance from the MARK Project — a 501 ( c ) (3) not-for-profit community and economic development organization. For more information, visit roxburybusinessassociation.com.
Roxbury, an international destination in recent years given its wildly popular attractions The Roxbury Motel and Plattekill Mountain, is now home to a Writers’ Residency, newly opened by writer Annie DeWitt and photographer Jerome Jakubiec. The three-day residency program includes accommodations, meals, workshops and manuscript review by DeWitt, who teaches writing at Columbia University and is the author of White Nights in Split Town City, greatly reviewed by The New York Times.
The residency, which opened on July 11, hosted an inaugural Editors’ Panel on July 13, featuring Jonny Diamond, editor in chief of LitHub, and Tracy O’Neill, author of the acclaimed novel The Hopeful and editor of the literary journal Epiphany. Diamond and O’Neill talked about the submission process to literary journals.
Read full article in Chronogram to learn more about this marvelous retreat in the Catskill Mountains.
AMR (Andes – Margaretville – Roxbury) Open Studios Tour 2018 will take place Saturday and Sunday, July 28 – 29 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with close to thirty participating artists in the Central Catskill Mountains. Artists working in all media and artistic disciplines – painters, sculptors, photographers, printmakers, ceramicists, furniture designers and textile artists – will show their creative spaces, and demonstrate and talk about their work. Located in a bucolic scenery, all studios provide a unique experience for visitors to explore the area and learn directly from the artists.
Launched in 2012, AMR Open Art Studios Tour has grown into a major cultural attraction, as open art studio tours have become more and more common all over the country. Studio visits trigger questions that aren’t often asked in formal settings such as galleries and museums, and allow for a more intimate interaction with the art work. Building on a century-long tradition that started with the Hudson River School, contemporary artists continue to be inspired and moved by the region once known as America’s First Wilderness, and what we refer to today as the place where American art was born.
Participating artists this year include Adam Cohen, Amy Masters, Ted Sheridan, Alan Powell, Lisbeth Firmin, Ellen Wong, Peter Yamaoka, Gerda van Leeuwen, Frank Manzo, Helene Manzo, Tabitha Gilmore Barnes, Gary Mayer, Barbara Alyn, Oneida Hammond, Ken Hiratsuka, Roshan Houshmand, Agnes Freas, Esther de Jong, Lesley Powell, Rosamond Welchman, Robert Axelrod, Deborah Ruggerio, Gary Mead, Anthony Margiotta, Rebecca Andre, Patrice Lorenz, Sharon Suess and Gail Freund. All artists will show works in progress and finished works, sell, and give lectures and demonstrations. Art writer Simona David, author of “How Art Is Made: In the Catskills,” will be on site and talk about the tradition of making art in the Catskills, and highlight some of the current trends and accomplishments.
“The canvas is now my stage,” says multi-disciplinary artist Lesley A. Powell. After years of working as a choreographer, Powell found her fascination for movement transposed into color and lines whether be in watercolor, oil or collages and depicting both human body and natural environment. As a choreographer, Powell’s interest revolved around the dancer’s ability to change the performance space. As a visual artist, she focuses again on the human body, and on her love of nature. Dancers are often present in her paintings as are circus scenes and nudes.
Ellen Wong, who has participated in the AMR Open Art Studios Tour every year since its inception, was initially trained as an abstract painter, but fell in love with the Catskill Mountains scenery, and that changed everything. “To capture the sound, the movement of the water and the energy all around me, I found myself inventing new ways to move paint on the canvas, I had to keep moving, finding a fluidity in the paint and vitality in brush strokes that I had been striving for,” she says. This year during the Open Art Studios Tour, Wong will be showing recent works as well as some of her earlier landscapes depicting nature at the center of her creations as muse, teacher and guide.
Painter Deborah Ruggiero will participate in the AMR Open Art Studios Tour for the first time this year. “Through a variety of media and techniques I hope to encourage the viewer to look a little more closely at nature’s intricate beauty at different times of the day, changing with the seasons to experience and savor the essence and beauty in nature,” she says. “Whether it’s in the solidarity of a rock formation or in the delicacy of the flower petals that bloom in the spring for only a short period of time, there’s a magnificent canvas to experience every day. All one has to do is take the time to look, see and experience,” she adds.
Textile artist Tabitha Gilmore-Barnes, who has participated in the AMR Open Art Studios Tour every year since 2012, loves talking about and demonstrating weaving in her Catskill Mountains studio where she operates an AVL DOBBY professional loom. “This tour brings friends and visitors to my studio where we discuss what weaving is all about, how I specifically source local wool and alpaca fleeces to use in my products and tapestries, and how the studio views of the Catskills offer constant inspiration for my choice of colors and art themes. This is a fun time to meet others, and also to be inspired by the works of my fellow tour members.”
Mark your calendar for AMR Open Art Studios Tour 2018, a self-driving tour experience through the region’s most scenic vistas. Detailed brochures will be made available at all area’s businesses.
The AMR – Andes, Roxbury, Margaretville – Open Studios Tour 2018 is funded by the Delaware County Department of Economic Development – Tourism Advisory Board and The Lindsay A. and Olive B. O’Connor Foundation, and by the 29 participating artists and their 35+ community business sponsors. Additional community support from the Longyear Gallery (Margaretville) and the MARK Project (Arkville).
Writers in the Mountains (WIM) invites you to Meet the Authors, the Second Annual Catskills Book Festival,on Sunday, April 12, 2015 from 12 noon to 4 p.m. at the Roxbury Arts Center, 5025 Vega Mountain Road, Roxbury, NY. Participants include award-winning writers Mermer Blakeslee, author of When You Live by a River, and Breena Clarke, author of River, Cross My Heart; Stand the Storm; and Angels Make Their Hope Here.
The daylong event welcomes all writers and readers, artists and audience, and community members from every walk to brave the mud and chill of early spring and enjoy a warm gathering of a range of successful and fascinating writers, illustrators, editors, educators, booksellers, and publishers from Cooperstown to New York City and points between and beyond. The venue is an intimate setting that allows for one-on-one introductions, focused dialogue, and a sharing of the love of literature, all in the spirit of local energy, inspiration, and support. Come by to shop for books directly from their authors, hear readings and peer-to-peer discussions, join in an enticing raffle (books are the prize, of course), and vote in the Best Book Cover contest.
The program includes a poetry reading at 12:30 featuring Sharon Israel, Mermer Blakeslee, Peg DiBenedetto, and Geoff Rogers. At 1:30 there will be a group discussion on the latest news and trends in publishing headed by author Jenny Milchman (see below), editor Robert Wyatt, and consultant Simona David.
At 2 p.m., Jenny Milchman (Ballantine / Penguin Random House) will deliver the keynote address, Two Roads Diverged: Publishing a Book in 2015 & Beyond. Jenny Milchman’s debut novel, Cover of Snow, earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, as well as praise from the New York Times, San Francisco Journal of Books, the AP, and other publications. It was an Indie Next List and Target pick, won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for best suspense novel, and was nominated for both the Macavity and Barry Awards for best first novel. Her second book Ruin Falls, also an Indie Next List pick, was published in 2014 to starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal, and chosen as a “10 Best of 2014” by Suspense Magazine. Jenny’s third novel, As Night Falls, will be published in June 2015.
At 2:30, illustrators Alix Travis and AnnDuBois will discuss the ins and outs of designing picture books, and cookbook editor Carrie Bradley Neves will talk about new ingredients in the cookbook scene during the “foodie” era.
At 3:30, a raffle with the prize of ten selected book titles will be awarded (come early, tickets are limited!), and the winner of the Best Cover contest will be announced.
Throughout the day, all participating authors will read from their works and share their stories with the audience. Admission is free. Parking is available on Main Street and in the municipal parking lot. For more information visit writersinthemountains.org, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOR FULL PROGRAM AND AUTHORS’ BIOS, GO TO http://writersinthemountains.org/book-festival/