It has been a busy summer. The Chamber has made a number of changes and decisions, and I’m going to take this opportunity to fill you in and then wrap up at the end with a call to arms.
We launched our second new website in less than two years. The previous website, launched in April of 2016, was cutting edge and had a whole world of functionality. It also was confusing, not desktop friendly (it assumed that 90% of people would be utilizing the website on their phone), and required a lot of effort for simple functions.
So we listened, and we responded, and we launched a completely new website this summer built around direct feedback from you. It is still “cutting edge” in a lot of ways, but its functionality has been streamlined. We removed the extraneous bells and whistles. It is now desktop computer friendly. And the feedback has been extremely positive!
We re-organized our Membership Committee. The new result is the Outreach Committee, whose new charter is to encourage all members to increase their level of activity and participation. They will be sending cards, making phone calls, and dropping by to say hi. They will be issuing invites and listening to complaints and praise.
We also made the decision to cancel our Gateway to Local Government Luncheon. 75% of that decision was based on an inability for us to secure a speaker for the event that met our standards of quality and value. The other factor is the event just doesn’t seem to excite our membership, in spite of its past success. The bulk of the participants were not members, and the sponsorships we had were often sponsoring to support the Chamber, not necessarily the event itself.
All three of these things are a direct response to a new managing philosophy in your Chamber of Commerce. Do you know why we had a Membership Committee? Because “Chambers of Commerce have Membership Committees.” Do you know why that first new website was so “cutting edge” and complicated? Because “Entrepreneurs demand the height of innovation.” Do you know why we held a Gateway luncheon, and even have a Government Affairs Committee behind it? Because “Chambers of Commerce have Government Affairs committees and events.”
Moving forward we are going to try our best to base our plans and decisions on what our specific membership wants and needs. Who cares what every other Chamber of Commerce in America does? We care about what YOU need. And I know that will be apparent as The Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce continues to grow and expand and improve into the future.
Which brings me to my call to arms. The September Breakfast Connection is also the Annual Meeting of the Membership. It is a requirement of our By-Laws that we hold one, and that a certain percentage of our membership is in attendance (we need 47 businesses represented). You need to be there. You need to be there not because of our By-Laws, but because this is YOUR Chamber, and it is important that you are seen, heard, and informed. It is important that you take ownership in our process and our community. That is what makes our Chamber great. Please mark your calendar for September 14th, at 7:00 a.m. I look forward to seeing you there.
Your Chamber President