Chamber Launches New Events, Products for Total Resource Campaign
By David Zaslawsky
Photography by Robert Fouts
It is billed as “powerful networking” as well as “chewing the fat” with state, regional and local elected officials.
It’s a new Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce event called “Pork and Politics” and was introduced during the Chamber’s 10th annual Total Resource Campaign (TRC). The event will be in 2016 as participants will “join the Chamber for barbecue, beer and politics.”
The Pork and Politics event provides Chamber members an opportunity to meet state, regional and local elected officials and discuss issues one-on-one.
It was one of a handful of new opportunities for sponsorships and advertising for Chamber members. “We change products every year – do away with some products and create new products because we are always looking for what our membership needs,” said Patsy Guy, the Chamber’s vice president for Member & Investor Relations. “Every year we’re looking at the programs and the needs and demands of our members,” she said.
About 90 percent of the Chamber members are small businesses with 20 or fewer employees, Guy said. That is why the Chamber created the Small Business Week in the TRC. “This will be an opportunity to spotlight some of our small businesses and celebrate the impact that they have on our economy and provide some educational opportunities for them,” Guy said. “A lot of people think of the Chamber as being nothing but big business members, but small business is the backbone of our Chamber and also of our economy just like all other communities.”
The new Business Spotlight was created “as an outreach to our small business members,” Guy said. The companies will buy space in the Chamber’s Montgomery Business Journal and be able to tell their company’s story.
The annual Total Resource Campaign, which has exceeded its goal for six straight years, helps fund the Chamber events, publications, programs, etc. Volunteers sell sponsorships and advertising “that are necessary to develop commerce in Montgomery,” Guy said.
Another new product in the TRC was the Success Starts Here tour when elected officials and media tour existing industries that have increased employment or announced new capital investment. “Every job is important to the Chamber and community,” Guy said. “Some of our manufacturers may increase their employment by five employees or 10 employees and we want to celebrate that.” The tour features small and large businesses.
There were some new opportunities to advertise on Chamber websites, too.
W. Russell Tyner, who was last year’s chairman of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, said, “The Total Resource Campaign has been successful through the years and continues to be successful because of a group of dedicated volunteers and members who believe in the mission of the Chamber.”
Guy hopes that next year’s TRC will have more volunteer salespeople. There were 23 volunteers for the 10th annual campaign and Guy would like to have 30 to 35. She said that the volunteers “have the fortitude and the will to get out there and get it done.”