Barbara Franco, a 30-year Commack resident, has been the executive director for the Greater Smithtown Chamber of Commerce since 2006 and will be celebrating her fifth anniversary at the position this September. Franco, who has a marketing and corporate background, received an honorary PhD Award from the Smithtown High School Business for her dedication and commitment to the high school of business. Franco is also the wife to her husband Ken of 26 years and mother to Laura, 25, and Emily, 18.
Can you walk us through your day-to-day routine or activities?
Every day I have the unique opportunity to work closely with the most cooperative and resourceful Board of Directors and if it can’t get any better than that, I am surrounded by my loving, supportive family. Every day is different – that’s what makes it interesting. I could never accomplish the yearly agenda with the 350 plus membership of the chamber, if not for the 12 dedicated, talented and resourceful Board of Directors whose collaborative efforts guide and plan the yearly programs. And I couldn’t get through the day-to-day plans without my associate, Kerry Gallo, whose consistent support for the past for five years has made us the ‘Multi-Tasking-Looks-Easy Team.'
How does the Greater Smithtown Chamber of Commerce serve Smithtown?
The chamber’s focus is to bring together the many services, programs and projects within the Smithtown community, so we can all share in the benefits and cooperative spirit that only Smithtown offers.
What events does the Greater Smithtown Chamber of Commerce host?
The Smithtown chamber hosts several events throughout the year which include Restaurant Week in March, Festival Day in June, Golf Outing in August, The 5K Running of the Bull and Meet The Candidates in October, The Perfect Partnership Program with the HS Business School and Suffolk County National Bank in November and the Holiday Bright Lights and Banners Program in December.
What are your fondest memories as the chamber Executive Director?
There are so many memories that have happened with people in businesses, ribbon cutting ceremonies, events and partnerships and just being involved in so many things. One day, I’m talking with a senator, the next day, we’re planning something else – it’s amazing – it’s so diverse.
Outside of your role here with the chamber, what do you like to do with your time?
I occasionally play golf. I have recently done my first time jet skiing with my daughter on vacation at Myrtle Beach at a family reunion.