OWEGO, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Sabrina Henriques says, “Every single day is an adventure at the chamber. It’s literally the best job I’ve ever had, and I have lived all over the world, and being here has been the best experience.”

Henriques became the President and CEO of the Tioga County Chamber of Commerce in September of 2021.

Coming out of the pandemic, she says that the Tioga Chamber lost roughly 35% of its members. “From the very beginning, I knew that I had a task in front of me not only just getting members, but also supporting businesses to get their doors open again.”

Compared to some of the larger markets that she has worked in, such as California or Chicago, Henriques says that Tioga’s smaller size allows her to personally connect with the business community and make change.

“I am really able to give them more of that personalized care. I know what you have going on, I know that you do this annual event every single year, I know that I’m probably going to run into you at the OA basketball game if I actually really need to get a hold of you.”

Leann Tinney is the Director of Economic Development for Tioga County and was part of the hiring process when the chamber was looking for a new president. She says it was obvious from the start that Henriques had the background and energy the county was looking for.

Leann Tinney says, “We needed somebody that could take us some place that we hadn’t been before. And we saw in Sabrina the ability to do that. Not to do things how we’ve always done things, but to say, let’s look at things differently.”

Henriques went to college in California and studied Quality Assurance and minored in business administration.

She says her history with quality assurance has made her extra perceptive to trends in data and numbers.
Sabrina Henriques says, “Data moves everything that I do. And I target everything based on data. Our marketing, our membership, what events we’re doing, what events work, what events don’t.”

She says that every day at the chamber is different, but her general day to day duties include checking in with members, finding and writing grants for funding, promoting upcoming events, and setting up a fair share of them herself.

Now, the chamber is back up to around 300 members, and Henriques plans on starting several new programs aimed at promoting youth leadership such as expanding Tioga County’s Junior Chamber.

Sabrina Henriques says, “To recognize me as a person, as Sabrina, who sees my passion, appreciates my passion, appreciates my quirkiness, appreciates me as a person, as a women, there’s no words that I can possibly express to that.”