Meet the Team

Nigar HaleNigar Hale

Executive Director

NIgar joined the Chamber on November 1, 2021. Her career experience includes seven years as Vice President of Marketing and Membership for the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County, NY, where she was able to nurture her passion for creating collaborations to promote prosperity in the local economy. Her collaborations in the capital region include serving as President of a local community economic development organization that involved town governments, school districts, agriculture, and business leaders to create a strategic vision that would impact future development in southern Saratoga County. Hale’s experience also spans acquisitions, marketing, and sales management in the publishing realm for Wiley, Delmar Learning, and Thomson Publishers and included managing hospitality, culinary, and travel and tourism content portfolios.

 

Nigar moved from the capital region to the Finger Lakes in 2019 as founder and president of Blue Pepper Strategies, Inc., a marketing solutions provider for small business. At its core, Blue Pepper believes in the importance of driving the excellence of a brand experience throughout the customer journey, from discovery to fulfillment. She currently serves as Chair for the Board of Wharton Studio Museum where she helps to raise awareness of its mission and to celebrate Ithaca’s place in early cinema history. She is also the current President of the Finger Lakes chapter of PRSA (Public Relations Society of America).

 

Nigar earned her Executive MBA from the University at Albany and Institute of Organizational Management Certification by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for non-profit management. Her undergraduate degree was in American History and Sociology from the University at Albany. Hale resides with her husband in Ithaca, ideally located between her two adult children with careers in the Capital Region and Buffalo. She is inspired by the pursuit of lifelong learning and is a voracious reader.

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Abby LaneAbby Lane

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!”

 

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Katherine JackKatherine Jack

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.”

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Where Mother Nature Meets Main Streen

Waterfalls, gorges, trails, parks and more. Watkins Glen and Schuyler County offer endless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.

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