Meet the Team
Michael J. Hardy
Michael is a native of the Finger Lakes region. He was born in Rochester, NY but enjoyed an early childhood upbringing in Newport, RI (“America’s First Tourism Town”) to which he attributes his passion for hospitality.
Over his thirty-five year career he has had the pleasure and honor to serve as a Convention Sales Manager, Director of both Convention Services and Visitor Services for Visit Rochester (twice), sell and market to domestic and international groups for the Corning Museum of Glass, Top of The Rock at Rockefeller Center and as a VP for Group Sales Box Office/Broadway.com (both in NY, NY). His earliest accomplishments as a Patient Unit Secretary at Strong Hospital, Front Office Supervisor for Stouffer Hotels and Event Manager for Casa Larga Vineyards are where he believes his desire to serve, delight and exceed expectations for guests, people, peers and friends-alike was crafted.
Recently, Michael continued his two-decade long consulting business offerings to museums, attractions, municipalities, artists, and other family-owned and corporate clients as a resident in Chicago, IL. Just last year, in 2019, he went back to complete his Bachelor’s Degree from Rochester Institute of Technology finishing on the Deans List with 10 A’s for 5 in-class subjects and 5 on-line, a feat he is extremely proud of and happy to have finished (as were his mom and RIT friends, favorite faculty members and fellow alum).
Director, Communications and Marketing
Stephanie comes to the Chamber from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry where she served as the associate vice president of marketing and communications. She holds a Master of Science in integrated marketing communication from West Virginia University. Stephanie has 30 years’ experience in marketing and communications and will bring a breadth and depth of directly relevant experience to the Chamber’s marketing and communications needs. She also brings a life-long commitment to Schuyler County and the Finger Lakes.
Together with her husband, Alan, she is local business owner, and Stephanie enjoys walking the local trails, eating out, and enjoying our community. I look forward to working with Stephanie and leveraging her talents to raise the visibility of our community and to serve our members’ business needs.
Manager, Events and Membership Engagement
Abby will be responsible for planning and executing all Chamber events as well as managing membership and engagement.
Abby comes to Watkins Glen by way of Montauk, NY, the very tip of Long Island where she took on a number of jobs in the community, most notably singing in a band. She spent her childhood in Cooperstown, NY and has lived in a number of iconic locations throughout the state. She is proud to add Watkins Glen to the list. With family ties to the area, Abby has spent about two years in the region and is excited to get to know the community on a deeper level.
Abby has worked with The Arc of Chemung-Schuyler for the past two years as Gallery Coordinator for Franklin Street Gallery as well as Events Coordinator for the Public Relations team. Abby is looking forward to becoming more involved in the community, both on a personal level and through her role as Events and Membership Manager. She shares, “I am excited to start this new chapter with WGACC and can’t wait to use my knowledge and love of the area in this role. I approach any task with openness, humor, and positivity and I can’t wait to get to know you all!”
Visitor Center and Office Administrator
Katherine was born and raised in Schuyler County. Katherine then moved to Florida where she attended Orlando College and earned a B.S. in Accounting and an M.B.A. After graduating, Katherine moved to Hawaii for five years then back to Florida for ten more years. Katherine is joyful to have finally returned back home with her family, living happily with her rescue dog and cats.
Katherine is looking forward to once again being invested in our community, both on a personal level and through her role in the Visitor Center. She shares, “I am so happy to have been able to return to Schuyler County and apply my education, and professional experiences, to help my home region continue to grow and prosper.”