Special to the Tribune-Star
TERRE HAUTE —
The Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce is off to a great start for its 100th anniversary year. In January, more than 160 of our members attended our lunch with Mayor Duke Bennett to receive a city update. Just a few days ago, we had a sellout crowd of more than 190 members attending the 2013 Groundhog Day Economic Forecast. The turnouts and involvement of our members signal a great beginning to 2013.
Additionally, the participation and response help us follow one of our values:
n We value representing the needs of businesses by creating and supporting growth opportunities, education and training, providing regular communication, serving as advocates and providing opportunities for social interaction.
And to start to initiate and fulfill our first strategic initiatives:
n Member Retention and Growth — We will provide educational programs and seminars including the BIZ Series. We will promote business development opportunities and partner with SCORE, SBA and SBDC to serve the business community. We will regularly communicate with our members and conduct monthly events to continue to promote member networking and greater visibility for the Chamber.
As we went through the planning process we realized we needed to answer the question “When does the Chamber meet?” We discussed it at length and decided to commit to have one membership breakfast, one membership lunch and one Business After Hours per quarter. The mayor’s lunch and the Groundhog Day breakfast got us off to a tremendous start. Our first Business After Hours will be a March Madness networking event at the Ballyhoo.
As is indicated by the strategic initiative, everything starts with being a member; to use a well-known phrase “membership has its privileges.” The members, as the owners and stockholders of the corporation, provide not only the leadership but also earn the dividends membership provides.
In order to also provide opportunities for our members to promote their businesses and to provide networking opportunities, also helping to fulfill our first strategic initiative, the staff has developed a yearly calendar of events and created a 2013 Sponsorship and Marketing Opportunities Guide.
The calendar provides monthly BIZ Series Seminars (January’s was “Beyond the Fiscal Cliff) to help educate our members on critical business issues. Quarterly we will also provide our Power Hour Networking sessions. Twice a year we will be doing speed networking sessions.
We are adding a Business Recognition Week in April and will continue our Golf Tournament in May and the Terre Haute Gala in June. Also in May will be our “Indy 500” BAH. We will be doing a BAH at a Terre Haute REX game sometime in July.
Of course our biggest event of the year will be our 100th Annual Meeting in August. We hope to be announcing the speaker in the next few weeks. We will be doing an Education Breakfast in September, a Heroes/Public Servant Lunch in October and a Non-Profit Recognition Breakfast in November. We will end the year in December with the ever popular Schmooza Palooza BAH in December.
As you can see, we have taken the value and the strategic initiative to heart. If you would like more information on membership or involvement with these opportunities please contact the Chamber office – 812-232-2391 or email us at memberinfo@terre