I am pleased to welcome you to our 31st annual Forum issue of Strictly Business. This year’s event was different than any we have had before. Rather than gathering area leaders together, we met virtually to discuss what happened to their businesses in 2020 and look ahead to what they and the North Country might expect in the new year.

Guests included old friends and new. Attorney Bill Owens was part of our first Forum in 1990. We also welcomed the next generation from three family businesses that have changed leadership over the years. Deena Giltz McCullough participated, representing Northern Insuring. Her father, Rod Giltz was at our first Forum. Chuck Currier was also at our first. His daughter, Devi Momot, now president of Twinstate Technology, participated this year and Alex Barie of CDC Real Estate and daughter of early Forums guest, Mark Barie, was with us as well.

The COVID pandemic dominated the conversation at each Forum “table” but despite the seriousness of the issues before us you will find courage and hope in the comments of our participants.

And then, as he does for every issue of Strictly Business, North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas has the last word. This is the 28th time Garry offered his wrap-up at the SB Forum. We are grateful for his participation and, most of all, eternally grateful for his leadership through every crisis the area has faced over almost three decades.

This is an issue of Strictly Business that you need to read from cover to cover. Whatever your business has faced in 2020, or concerns you may have for the future, you will read the observations of others who know what you are experiencing. We are all in this together and together we will come out the other side.

…and that’s good for business.

From all of us at The Northeast Group we wish you and yours a
happy and prosperous new year.