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Wallace Altes, president-of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce is leaving office Jan. 11, having guided the organization over the last decade of its first century. When he took over as president in 1990, the Capital Region's business landscape was very different.
Just look at the banks, Altes said. Home & City, Dime Savings, First American, Schenectady Federal Savings. Names that many people new to the region won't recognize.
The chamber's role also was different, he said. Its focus was providing direct services to its 1,600 members. Membership benefits, such as insurance, and networking and advertising programs, are still a key part of what the chamber does, but it has embraced a broader mission over the last decade, Altes said.