Bill Gaylor, owner of the Lyn Gift Shop, has been a member of the Lynbrook Chamber of Commerce for more than 25 years and has served as its president for nine non-consecutive years, most recently between 2008-12.
When the new year began, Denise Rogers, the branch manager of Astoria Federal Savings, took over as president, but Gaylor is still an active member of the Chamber. He has since taken on the role of vice president of government affairs, along with Jeff Greenfield, owner of the insurance company, NGL Group in Lynbrook. The Herald recently sat down with Gaylor to ask him about his time as Chamber president.
Why did you get involved in the Chamber?
I’ve always believed in the Chamber of Commerce. It’s the voice of the business community, so I wanted to get involved. The Chamber is a very self-serving organization — you join the chamber because you want to do the right thing for the community, you want to have some input legislatively with what’s going to effect you and you join it to network. You have to get to know other businesses and convince them to do business with you and you with them. Although, it’s self-serving, it’s also very good because what’s good for the Chamber is good for the village.
Why did you want to become Chamber president?
There was a need for some sort of strong leadership in the Chamber. I’ve always been the type of individual who likes to step forward and does what needs to be done. There’s always a leadership void in voluntary organizations. It’s a lot of work and not a lot of people are willing to do it.
What’s the biggest challenge as president?
Everybody in the Chamber is a volunteer; I’m not paying their salary. I have to convince them what needs to be done and I’m not paying them. Being the president is this simple: if it goes wrong it’s my fault, if it goes right you get credit for it. You have walk softly, be delicate and convince these people this needs to be done and they’re the right person do it, and hopefully they execute it.
What was your favorite part of the job?