NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – The newest face of the New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce should be a familiar voice to many residents, as WVOX personality Bob Marrone was tabbed as the new executive director of the organization.
Marrone brings a versatile background to the Chamber of Commerce, having spent a decade on WVOX and 30 years consulting and managing in the private sector in Manhattan. He’s also spent time as an educator at the New York Institute of Finance over the past 15 years.
Although his term doesn’t begin until May 5, Marrone has hit the ground running as he seeks to build membership and make the Chamber a more visible presence in the city.
Marrone stressed that one of his first tasks will be to educate business owners on how the Chamber plans to work cohesively with them.
“New Rochelle is a city with so many different neighborhoods, with a diverse north and south end,” he said. “There are businesses of all sizes and shapes, and it’s our job to get them all under one roof in a way that can benefit everyone. We will make it clear to the city and members what the benefits are to being in the Chamber.”
Now that he is in charge, Marrone plans to lead a more active Chamber that will outwardly seek to benefit its members. Whether it’s through cross advertising city businesses or assisting business owners following a fire or flood, he said the Chamber would be pounding the pavement more to aid its members.
“The purpose of the Chamber is to serve the community, not just to exist for its own sake,” he said. “If I’m going to be a member of the Chamber, I want it to help me spread my business further.”
Business owners have said they are looking forward to Marrone’s proactive approach.
“It sounds like a good idea to me,” Sanju Kanam, who operates a beverage depot on Main Street, said. “I think all business owners can benefit if we help one another.”
Marrone praised his predecessor Eli Gordon, for helping salvage the Chamber. Now that the organization is more financially stable, he hopes that he can take the next step to move it forward.
“The people before me have done wondrous things. (Gordon) saved the Chamber, it had no money and couldn’t function, and he was good at raising funds,” he said. “Now we have a bit of a footing, and that’s why I’m excited. When I was with Merrill Lynch and on the radio, I loved building things. There’s nothing more fun in business than having a vision and delivering on it, and that’s what we’re going to do.”