As chairman of the Alive After Five committee, James Skidmore helped attendance at Patchogue’s summer street festivals rise to levels never before heard of.

Now he’s been elevated to the position of president of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce.

Skidmore was sworn-in last Wednesday night during the chamber’s annual installation dinner at Mediterranean Manor. His term runs for two years.

One of this first agenda items, he says, is to establish a chamber tourism committee, especially with the possible coming of a hotel, and the expected move of the Blue Point Brewery to a 110,000-square-foot building on West Main Street, where Briarcliffe College is now.

Skidmore is the GM at Toast Coffeehouse in Patchogue, and an owner and co-founder of Fathom Clothing, an alternative clothing company whose slogan is “Be Your Own Revolution.”

Below is this prepared statement, which was delivered after he was sworn in last week.

It is with much excitement and eagerness that I welcome you as the new Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce president. I couldn’t be more thrilled with the new position, its role in our community and the infinite possibilities.

The Chamber has offered me many opportunities to build community and create something unique to Patchogue. Our new tagline, “Building Community through Commerce” will be a true reflection of the tone and commitment that our Chamber provides for its members and its community alike.

I have many ideas that I would like to implement and many others that I would like to further research. Business as usual will be quite different in the coming years.

I would like our Chamber to take the lead in developing new and creative ways to profit as we build a solid foundation for a rapidly changing business environment. We are always on a learning curve with new technology and we are often being challenged with new laws and business developments.

Wouldn’t it be great to set the pace and take the lead rather than “catching up?”

I envision a Chamber that can conduct business with respect for the individual and respect for our planet. Are we up to the challenge to develop a Chamber that can embrace sustainability, expansion and possibly nurture social change?

It is important that we profit. It is more important that we find value in one another. I think we are up for the challenge and I couldn’t imagine doing it without the gracious and hard-working people of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce.

I am looking forward to an enlightened, prosperous year ahead!

Editor’s note: Chamber president is a volunteer position, and should not be confused with the paid position of executive director, held by David Kennedy. The immediate past president is Jacqueline Hensley, of W.M.J. O’Neill’s, who served for four years.

Greaterpatchogue.com is not related to the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce.

To contact the chamber, email info@patchogue.com or call 631-207-1000.

Photo: James Skidmore at Toast Coffeehouse in Patchogue on Tuesday. (Michael White)

Prior coverage of Skidmore’s work as the Alive After Five committee chairman: