Almost a year ago in spring of 2018, the Chamber hosted focus groups to get an in depth view of what Chamber members were thinking. We wanted to know what your needs were and how the Chamber could be of the most value to your business and the entire business community. The information we uncovered has been valuable. Since then, when faced with a decision, I’ve often started with, “Let’s ask the membership first; what are the greatest needs?”
The Board of Directors and I kept this in mind when planning for 2019 and I’d like to share some of the new additions and changes in store for this year. There are many changes and additions we could have made, but I believe the ones we are embarking on will be of the most value to you, the member.
First, our list of premier events looks quite a bit different. “Workshop” is a new event and is meant to address a need we’ve heard about from members in all industry sectors on the labor shortage we are experiencing as a region. The popular event, “Unity in the Community” returns, but will now be an outdoor summer event. Longmont Restaurant Week, after a successful start, returns for a 2nd year and the most popular part of our PEAK event, the Reverse Vendor Trade Show, will come back as its own event called “TAPE.” We will round out the year with continued changes to the Annual Meeting now called, “Jubilee.”
In the focus groups and other feedback, we heard a question on what the Public Policy Committee does and what decisions it has made. The Chamber’s work in public policy is unique amongst Longmont’s economic development organizations. To expand this work and communicate with you better, Stacy Cornay with Communication Concepts will join our team as a contract employee to work on special projects, research state and local issues and communicate the Chamber’s positions. We have also heard the need for more regular communication from the Chamber, not just in policy work. Leah Winkler, our Event and Program Director, will now be our Event and Communications Director and Jessica Carson steps up in a new role as Program Director. I believe that each of these areas, Public Policy, Communications and Programming will be enhanced greatly with a more dedicated person. Kathy Stevens’ and Karen Stallard’s roles remain mostly the same with smaller changes that will enable them to dedicate their time more efficiently to specific membership needs as well.
During our October 2018 Board Retreat, I reviewed with the Board and staff the Chamber’s work in the community in 2018. We added new staff and launched new events such as Longmont Restaurant Week, but we could not have done that without member support! I join the Board of Directors and staff in thanking you. Your support makes the changes addressed above and others not mentioned possible in 2019. As we embark on this New Year, I invite you to continue to give your feedback. Let us know what your business needs are so we can continue to meet them by aligning and adding to our resources. I wish you the very best for 2019.
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