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The Mission of Catalyst is to provide the spark to engage young professionals with the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce. We offer our members a place to grow personally and professionally by hosting networking events, volunteering together to serve our local community, and supporting each other through business with the Chamber.


All young professionals employed by Chamber member businesses and are 40 and under are automatically members of The Catalyst Group!

There are no separate sign-ups or additional fees. Catalyst is led by a Steering Committee with task forces operating within its structure: Events, Membership, Community Action, and Social Media & Marketing.

2024 Catalyst Executive Committee


Mike Popowski

First Source Federal

Credit Union


Alyssa DiBrango

Excellus BCBS

Task Force Officer

Chris "CJ" Hanrahan

Mohawk Valley SBDC &
NYS SBDC Procurement Assistance Center

Social Media & Marketing Task Officer

India Paschal

Utica Coffee

Task Force Officer

Michael Marchio

Potentia Management Group LLC

Community Action Officer

Bethany Wendt

The Kelberman

2024 Catalyst Steering Committee

Ross Agen


Dan Borner

Individual Member

Julia Hobika


Devon Hoffman


Austen Johnson

Workforce Development Board of Oneida County

Kris Majka

DJ Roscoe Red

Travis Rabbers

M&T Bank

Will Wadas

Wadas Eye Group

The Catalyst Group hosts two special events throughout the year. To find out when this year’s events are, check our calendar!

Chamber Cookout hosted by Catalyst

Hosted in the summer and brand new in 2019, the Chamber Cookout hosted by Catalyst is a family friendly, casual, and fun event for everyone of ALL AGES to enjoy! All Chamber members and their guests, not just Catalyst, are encouraged to attend.

That’s right, you heard it! Family friendly. Unlike most of our networking events, you’re encouraged to bring your kids along. We have fun for everyone including cornhole and other lawn games, face painting, root beer floats, live music and more. A traditional cookout menu of hot dogs, hamburgers and the fixings is served, with a cash bar available. Bring your family, your work family, or your entire office for this laid back, good old-fashioned fun event!

Jingle Jam

Each December, Catalyst hosts a fun, casual, happy hour social event featuring music, event swag, basket raffles, drinks and appetizers along with a Santa dance contest and an ugly sweater contest!

Proceeds from the event benefit a local organization to provide food, clothing and toys for in-need families during the holidays.
Since its inception in 2015, Jingle Jam has raised over $10,700 for Operation Sunshine. Jingle Jam is an awesome opportunity to engage young professionals in a casual and social atmosphere all while contributing to a worthy cause. Grab some friends and your ugliest holiday sweater from Grandma Franny to have all the holiday fun you need!

Task Forces

The Catalyst Group has three task forces who focus on three different areas of the Chamber to engage young professionals: membership, events and community action. Through engaging with young professionals on social media and at Chamber functions, planning events to bring everyone together and volunteering to help our local community, these task forces encourage other professionals to get involved with the Greater Utica Chamber of commerce to support our local businesses and organizations.

The Task Forces meet jointly, once a quarter, in conjunction with the Catalyst Steering Committee, to introduce new members who want to get involved and to discuss and plan events and volunteering efforts. Anyone who is under 40 and works for a Chamber member is welcome to attend to learn more! To find the next meeting, visit the calendar.