After more than six years as executive director of the Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce, Michael Consuelo, CHME (certified hospitality marketing executive) is retiring.
Consuelo’s departure will be at the end of the Chamber’s fiscal year, Sept. 30.
The board of directors has launched a search for a new executive director.
“This has been a very difficult decision for me to make,” Consuelo said. “Leading the Chamber has been such a wonderful job. I am sorry I did not get involved in Chamber life a long time ago.”
Consuelo, who resides in Lake George, has worked in the hospitality industry–primarily in hotels and resorts–for most of his career. He has worked for companies such as Hyatt Hotels, Marriott, and the Walt Disney Company. Locally, he assisted in the opening of the Great Escape Lodge.
The local tourism industry is the second largest economic driver in Warren County, behind health care.
“The Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce & CVB, Warren County and New York State tourism have greatly benefited from Michael’s professionalism, industry knowledge and passion for our area,” said Chamber Board of Directors President Fred Vogel. “Michael’s years at the helm have positioned the chamber as a leader in the efforts to grow the hospitality economy in our area. I am personally grateful for the years of advice, guidance and leadership that he has provided me and our membership. The board of directors appreciates his cooperation and advice as we transition to a new executive director. Michael has clearly earned the opportunity to retire and work on lowering his handicap.”
Vogel’s company is Northern Hospitality, which operates Lodges at Cresthaven, Still Bay, The Quarters, Lake George Beach Cottages and the Boathouse Restaurant.
Consuelo began his time with the Chamber leading the Convention & Visitors Bureau as the special events and convention sales director in 2008.
After two years in this position, the Chamber began a search for a new executive director in 2010. Consuelo served as interim director during the search and was later asked by the board to officially take the position.
Under Consuelo’s leadership, membership and staff numbers have increased.
“We have been able to grow the Chamber’s membership from 300 to more than 400. We have also been able to increase our budget–again due to membership growth–allowing us to add a membership and advertising sales director, and a marketing director,” Consuelo said.
“This would not have been possible without the great leadership and direction that comes from our well-seasoned and well-respected board of directors, as well as the support given to us from the towns of Lake George and Queensbury, and the Warren County Board of Supervisors,” he said.
In addition to the his role as executive director, Consuelo oversees the daily activity of the Convention & Visitor Bureaus sales director, the position he first held when he joined the Chamber. He also directs management of the Chamber’s Information Centers.
The Chamber operates three centers: the main office building located on Route 9 in the town of Lake George, the Information Center on the corner of Beach Road and Canada Street and the Information Center on the Northway between exits 17 and 18.
Founded in 1952, the Chamber has about 400 members in various sectors of the business community. With a regional mindset, the chamber’s membership spans six counties in New York. The membership calendar year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, however businesses and non-profit organizations can join at any time.
Chamber staff and members attend several consumer travel shows throughout the year. The Chamber and its website serve as a resource for visitors looking to plan their vacation in the Lake George region. The chamber also produces an annual Travel Guide with a circulation of 70,000.
Its website is www.lakegeorgechamber.com.