Cooperstown Chamber Names Matt Hazzard
To Replace Pat Szarpa As Executive Director
COOPERSTOWN – The Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce today announced the appointment of Matt Hazzard as interim executive director, and Chamber President Ken Meifert said he and the board expect that he will fill the position long term.
“Matt has a great combination: Long affinity with the community, having grown up here, and the real-world experience to lead the chamber to bigger and greater things,” said Meifert, who is also vice president/development at the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Hazzard replaces Pat Szarpa, executive director since April 2012, who has resigned the Tuesday before.
A CCS graduate, Hazzard received a bachelor’s from SUNY Cortland in business econonomics and sports management, where he played basketball and baseball. During college, he served as a programming and education intern at the Hall of Fame in 2003.
After graduation and a two-year fellowship with the United States Golf Association, Hazzard joined the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association as the director of memorabilia for Major League Alumni Marketing, the MLBPAA’s for-profit subsidiary. During his eight -year tenure, gross revenue for this new business venture grew to more than $3 million.
He and wife Stephanie, who is Hall of Fame education director, live in Cooperstown with their son, Paxton.
“As a native of Cooperstown,” said Hazzard, “I am honored to take on this role. I have worked with many other chambers throughout the country in my previous positions and understand the positive impact they can have on a community.
“I truly look forward to working hand-in-hand with all business owners to not only help them achieve their own goals, but also those of our entire community,” he said.
“The board looks forward to working with Matt, as he leads our efforts during this transition to support member businesses and our local economy overall,” Meifert.