The Board of Director's of the Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce recently spent an afternoon in a facilitated discussion about the state of the organization and its future.
It was an exhilarating (seriously) afternoon. The board, along with staff, took a hard look at our current reality as a Chamber. We looked at our membership metrics, our events and programs and our community impact. We looked at the current local business environment. We also looked at the most current trends in Chambers of Commerce nationwide.
The planning session was organized by Board Chair, Brian Johnson, Past Chair, Dana Bottorff and Chair-elect, Cindy Peterson. Kevin Hallinan, WINNING, INC., facilitated the discussion for the afternoon.
Using data and research tools from ACCE, the national chamber of commerce association, we were able to examine trends impacting local chambers and strategies being used by others to take strategic advantage of the changing business landscape.
So why should you care and what does it mean going forward?
First, like any business, the Chamber must be continuously evolving. We need to be able to recognize and adapt to issues impacting your business; like an aging workforce, millennials in the workplace, diversity and inclusion, future skills sets like those of advanced manufacturing, social media trends and much more.
By doing this and with your input, we can develop programs and events that meet your needs today and into the future.
Second, we were able to agree on a few short-term action items to begin moving us forward, while we continue to consider longer term-strategies.
In order to provide a quick boost to our membership the board has committed to conducting a membership drive highlighted by a recruitment breakfast on June 14th. Details to follow soon.
In order to provide a better member-experience for members our board is establishing a Member Engagement Task Force which will work to identify strategies aimed at improving member retention.
We have re-established a Communications Committee which will increase our social media presence and engagement with members by using existing members as Social Media Ambassadors.
The board is currently establishing a Women's Business Network to help engage women business owners and leaders in our region.
We are excited about the opportunities for growth these initiatives present us with. We also recognize that we need your help to be successful. You will hear more details about each of these in the near future and we hope you will participate wherever your interest and talents allow.
The bottom line in all of the above is to create a Chamber that meets the needs of its members and our communities.
Thomas O'Rourke, CCE
President and CEO