The Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce recently celebrated a very successful 2022. Record-breaking economic development and project announcements from the past year are expected to create 1,000 new jobs and $750 million in investments. Additionally, Chamber memberships are at an all-time high. Mark Knackendoffel, 2023 board chair, is looking forward to his year of service.
“Jason Smith and his staff at the Chamber have done a tremendous job fostering strong collaboration between businesses and the community,” said Knackendoffel, president, CEO and founder of The Trust Company. “Their ability to help create economic development opportunities and their support of entrepreneurship and innovation make Manhattan a great place to live and to have a business.”
Knackendoffel, pronounced “Kuh-NOCK-un-doff-el,” knows firsthand how special it is to start, own and grow a business in Manhattan. He founded The Trust Company in 1992 with three employees, 10 other investors and $20 million in client assets. Today, they have nearly 60 employees, three branch offices (in addition to their Poyntz Avenue headquarters) and $1.6 billion in client assets.
According to Knackendoffel, there are many reasons to live and work in Manhattan.
“It’s a strong, thriving community,” he said. “Your daily commute is a few short minutes; it’s a college town; there is a collaborative business culture; and entrepreneurship is supported and encouraged.”
For businesses or site selectors hoping to locate to the Greater Manhattan area, Knackendoffel recommends contacting the Chamber and conferring with other established local business and industry leaders.
“The Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce is a fantastic resource for those considering this great community,” Knackendoffel said. “They are in the business of promoting business and have connections that can help set you up for success.”
In his newest role as board chair, Knackendoffel looks forward to continuing to execute and support the community and Chamber’s strategic plan, Region Reimagined, which is focused on jobs, economic development, talent recruitment and retention, entrepreneurship, innovation and serving its members.
“We have collaborated and worked with Mark for many years,” said Jason Smith, president and CEO of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce. “He is such a staple leader in the community, and we look forward to applying his expertise and ideas in order to continue making Manhattan the best it can be.”
One of Knackendoffel’s favorite principles is, “You can always make the best better!”
“My colleagues at The Trust Company will often hear me say, ‘I think we’re the best, but we can always be better,’” Knackendoffel said. “And I intend to uphold that belief in my role as board chair.”