Gatesy named Chamber's Business Person of the Year
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Wed., Jan. 9, 2013
Carolyne Gatesy was named the Business Person of the Year by the Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce and will be honored at the Chamber’s annual meeting on Jan. 29.
Gatesy, who has been the proprietor of her company, Main Street Office Center, for 18 years, said she learned of the honor when Chamber President Mary Ellen Dombrowski and Chairman of the Board of Directors Michael Keenan visited her office and said they needed to speak with her.
“They met with me in my conference room and I didn’t know it was about this,” she said. “When they told me, I just let out this big scream. I think some people in my office thought someone was being strangled in my conference room.”
Gatesy said she was honored to learn that she had received the nomination and the award. “It’s awesome. It’s very cool. I worked a really long time for that,” Gatesy said, adding that she learned that she was elected unanimously by the previous winners. “I’ve certainly done a lot in my life. I’ve started businesses, and I’ve helped take a business public. I’ve had a variety of businesses and I give a lot back to the community. I have a lot of fun with everything I do.”
Main Street Office Center has provided offices, virtual offices, administration services and business consulting for more than 18 years.
“The concept is that you come in with your briefcase, and we answer your phones. We have conference rooms, high-speed fax machines, Internet access, stamp machines – whatever you need to run your business,” Gatesy said. “And then I have admin. support, additionally. We can make appointments for you, we can act as your concierge, get airline tickets, whatever you need.”
Gatesy said her business used to do a lot of typing for clients, but now her staff is busy with modern forms of doing business. “You can’t keep something alive for 20 years without changing,” she said. “You have to be creative and find new things.”
Gatesy said she loves being a member of the Chamber, and especially likes the people she has met. “I think I’ve helped give them ideas,” she said, “and it’s a lot of fun. It’s kind of my social life.”
A Chamber Ambassador for 13 years, she has also co-chaired the Chamber’s Ambassador Committee and was named Ambassador of the Year twice to date. “I love it,” she said. “You get to go out there and meet new people and get new members, as well as help retain old members. We’re greeting people at Business After Hours and shaking new hands. I think if you help people enough, they like you and they stay with you.”
As an avid hiker, climber and outdoors person, Gatesy also started a publishing company which sold out its original adventure travel book with 3,600 copies. Along with a group of friends, she is currently working toward running a half marathon in each of the 50 states. She has completed 14 so far.
She has also served on the Chamber’s executive board as well as the board of directors. Gatesy has served on numerous Chamber committees and most recently co-chaired the beer garden at the Apple Harvest Festival in its inaugural year.
She has and continues to serve on the board of directors of many organizations, volunteers in the community, has captained a dragon boat team for five years, was inducted into the Torrington High School Athletic Hall of Fame, writes resumes for disadvantaged women with Dress for Success, is climbing the highest peak in every state, holds a world record for climbing the highest peak in Antarctica, and was recently featured in a local news magazine as one of the area's Female Entrepreneurs. Gatesy is a successful entrepreneur, accomplished athlete, published author, world traveler, community volunteer, as well as a mother.
She holds a B.S. degree in math and computer science from Purdue University, an M.S. in math from Central Connecticut State University, and an MBA in finance from the University of Connecticut.
Gatesy said she intends to keep doing business in Glastonbury and will always be a member of the Chamber. “Glastonbury is a great place to do business,” she said. “You’ve got a really successful Chamber that will help you out. If you’re a hard worker, and like what you do, there’s no reason you can’t do well in this town.”