At its monthly Virtual Coffee Chat on Wednesday, December 16, the Roxbury Area Chamber of Commerce awarded The Earl J. Chrystal Memorial Business Person of the Year Award not to a business owner, but to the Program Coordinator for adults at the Roxbury Public Library, Karen Cerreta.
In a year when business as usual has been turned on its head, the Roxbury Area Chamber of Commerce found a way to connect, educate and network virtually through its Business Beyond Basics series in collaboration with the Roxbury Public Library, begun by Cerreta in January 2020, shortly after joining the Chamber’s Board of Directors. Business Beyond Basics offers monthly professional development workshops to help small business owners and entrepreneurs.
“The Chamber is so grateful to Karen for helping us navigate this unprecedented year by curating and virtually hosting engaging programs for our businesses.” said Bruce Bristol of Northeast Financial Network and current President of the Roxbury Area Chamber of Commerce. “Karen is sensitive to the challenges of businesses and individuals, and selects topics that help small businesses and professionals grow.”
The timing of launching Business Beyond Basics almost mirrored the onset of the coronavirus, with the first two sessions in January and February being hosted by the Chamber and Roxbury Library at the library, then the series quickly morphed to meeting virtually.
During the course of the year, Business Beyond Basics featured events pertaining to medical marijuana and the workplace, Reference Solutions (database on businesses and residents), Google G-Suite, My Business and Crisis Management, How to Get Hired in the 21st Century, The Million-Dollar One-Person Business, Leveraging LinkedIn for Your Job Search, Power Your Job Search with Google Tools, 6 Principles for SEO Success, How to Network in a Pandemic, and Email Marketing Trends for Success.
“Libraries are treasure chests for our communities, and I am honored to represent Roxbury Public Library in receiving this honor,” said Cerreta. “The Business Beyond Basics partnership with the chamber has been such a positive way for the Library to serve small businesses, professionals and entrepreneurs.”
Business Beyond Basics will continue in 2021, with “Working with Multi-Generations: How to Survive and Thrive” on Wednesday, January 20 at 9am where professionals from SKC & Co. CPAs, L.L.C. and M & T Bank will discuss the benefits and challenges of five generations in the workplace and how to be best prepared to successfully navigate this in the workplace. In February, a professional from MARS will speak about sustainability.
“Karen’s vision for programming at the library truly engages all our community members. We are grateful for her expertise and perspective on what people want and need, especially during this pandemic,” added Roxbury Library Director Radwa Ali.
Since 2019, Karen Cerreta has been Program Coordinator for Adults with the Roxbury Public Library, and she also consults for several businesses. With a career centered in non-profit and performing arts management, she has previously worked in fundraising and operations positions with the Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey, American Heart Association, International Society for the Performing Arts, American Classical Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony and New York City Opera. Karen has a BA in English and Music from Lake Forest College (IL), and still dreams of pursuing a graduate degree when time allows, perhaps when she retires. Karen volunteers at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Mendham, is on the board of the Roxbury Area Chamber of Commerce, and is a Girl Scout leader for her daughter’s freshman troop. When not in quarantine, she likes to travel, attend performances and, of course, read. She lives in Chester with husband, Tom Adinolfi, teens JT and Maddie Adinolfi, mother Lois Cerreta, and their Covid-19 cavapoo puppy, Spike.
The Roxbury Public Library is our community crossroads for learning and discovery. Each year, Roxbury Public Library serves more than 23,000 residents and neighbors with more than 200,000 check-outs and engagements through offerings of educational and enriching programs, concerts, lending books and audiovisual materials, and offering a wide array of digital content that allows our community members to access a vast array of books, audio-books, music, and film on their personal devices via their library card. Since March, the Roxbury Public Library has been offering digital services, virtual programs, and now visits to the library and curbside service by appointment at www.roxburylibrary.org.
The Roxbury Area Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to serving the citizens of Roxbury by providing a forum for local businesses to exchange ideas and information as well as creating a voice for business owners in the local community. Chamber initiatives and programs contribute to the economic success of our community. A not-for-profit organization, the Roxbury Area Chamber of Commerce’s goal is to create a flourishing economic environment for local businesses. Our purpose is to build a relationship between the town and businesses and our success is measured in the success of our members and affiliates. Our mission is to create business opportunities, lead economic development, and provide an environment in which local businesses can network.