Woman of the Year Irvington’s Chamber of Commerce President Betty Laurenson

Betty Laurenson of Irvington Chamber of Commerce“Betty Laurenson has worked tirelessly to continue traditions that bring shoppers to the downtown and create opportunities for the merchants to take advantage of new Village events and programs through marketing.  I was amazed when she taught herself Constant Contact so that the Chamber could communicate with the members on a monthly basis.  She organizes networking events and works with the Village and the Farmer’s Market to make sure the merchants have an opportunity to participate in the Farmers market. You can often find Betty walking up and down Main Street rallying the merchants to support various events and programs. Maintaining Chambers in small villages is a challenge.  Many Chambers have dissolved because of the volunteer time and commitment it takes to run it.  Betty has put in countless volunteer hours and her dedication and love for Irvington deserves the thanks from the many that benefit from her efforts.” – Joanne Murray (first recipient of Woman of the Year in 2010).­

“Betty, like myself, fell head over heels for our local Chamber of Commerce because we both are realtors and realized that giving back to the community is a no-brainer. After all, what is good for the business community is great for residential real estate.  Betty has worked tirelessly for the Irvington businesses and has stepped in when she was really needed.  She has tackled many a job, whether writing newsletters or organizing meetings, etc.  She is very reliable and has put in 125%.  It is always a pleasure working with her.” – John Sardy, Executive Director, Sleepy Hollow/Tarrytown Chamber of Commerce.

For the past four years and probably longer (because, quite frankly, she can’t remember exactly how long she has been working at it) Betty Laurenson (a realtor at  William Raveis Legends Realty Group) has been the President of the Irvington Chamber of Commerce. With approximately 75 active members and scores of inactive ones, Laurenson’s job has enabled her to meet and know every one of them on a first-name basis. “From the beginning I have always sought to understand what I could do for local businesses, and between 30-40% of my week has been spent in Chamber-related matters,” she said with a relaxed and friendly response that is her hallmark.

Laurenson has found that the difficulties with the national economy has made attracting new members to the Chamber more difficult, and yet, by her own admission, she is “always reaching out” to new businesses and to business owners who have decided not to renew their memberships. “It’s important to include everyone in the business community, and that’s what I do,” she said with a smile in her voice.

Born in Victoria, British Columbia and educated as a Registered Nurse in Calgary, Alberta, she married and moved to Toronto and then to Tucson, Arizona and again to Alabama. It was her time in Alabama as a hospice nurse that she recalls with much affection and meaningfulness. In fact, she remains in touch with the nurses of that program because, as she simply stated, “Hospice programs are unlike any others.”

When she moved to Westchester the real estate industry offered the most flexibility to manage her responsibilities as a mother. Her first position was with Janet Nold of Reno Rivertown Realtors. She has remained in the business and it is suited to her warm and engaging personality.

Irvington is fortunate to have Betty Laurenson in their community because she epitomizes all that is good in a small village. Her friendliness, cooperation, commitment to the betterment of the business community, and her tireless work ethic are commendable traits, and as 2012 rolls into its final days it’s the perfect time to acknowledge her personally and professionally.

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About the Author: Robert Bonvento