It’s TRC time again, and this year is shaping up to be better than ever, with multiple ways to market your business to the people who matter.
The Chamber’s Total Resource Campaign (TRC) kicked off for the first time in 2006, and in the last 12 years, it has been successful on multiple levels. It provides funding for the Chamber’s important initiatives, provides opportunities for volunteers to get more engaged in the Chamber’s activities and provides its volunteers with beneficial exposure in the business community and the community at large. This year’s campaign kicks off on September 11.
Over a few months each fall, the work done by TRC raises money to help fund a large majority of the programs, events and communications the Chamber hosts and organizes throughout the entire year. TRC volunteers (who work at Chamber-member businesses and organizations) reach out to other businesses and offer them unique ways to market and grow their business through sponsorships that span across all Chamber departments. By investing in TRC, member businesses connect to the vital programs and resources they need to grow their business. Sponsorships not only impact the Chamber, they fuel economic growth for Montgomery and the River Region.
The value of TRC to the Chamber is underscored by the caliber of its past chairs, including Leslie Sanders, Vice President, Southern Division at Alabama Power, who led the effort in 2014. She outlined its impact. “I’m confident that everyone who has attended any of the Chamber’s programs and events, which are funded by TRC, can attest that they are first-rate,” she said. “Each provides valuable networking opportunities and unique access to speakers who share their expertise. Over the years, I’ve sat in numerous Chamber seminars and meetings and have left informed, motivated and inspired, and without TRC, the resources would simply not be available to organize such meetings or bring renowned speakers here.”
Past TRC chair Larry Puckett, owner of Larry Puckett Chevrolet, agreed. “The TRC allows the Chamber to offer more services to our members,” he said. “And that not only gets a lot of people involved with the Chamber, it also exposes the people who are involved to other members that they may not know. Plus, by funding member services, it means more of the Chamber budget can be used for industrial recruitment and helping existing businesses.” Sanders summed up why she was so happy to donate her time to TRC and why she continues to support the program. “Every day, the Chamber sets about its goals to bring new businesses to the area and keep existing businesses healthy and informed,” she said. “In doing so, jobs are created and that elevates our entire community. Recent successes in technology, strengthening partnerships with the military and continued business development should give all of us great confidence in the future. I stay involved because I’m excited for Montgomery’s today and tomorrow.”
MORE THAN A MEETING
Past TRC chair and Vice President, Southern Division at Alabama Power Leslie Sanders explained how many Chamber events have value that goes beyond what’s on its agenda. “While some may see an event as only a speaker or a luncheon, I view each as an opportunity to get to know someone better or to introduce a new idea into our community. The events may last an hour, but the conversations around the room often last for 30-45 minutes longer. From those conversations may come a new idea in education, workforce development or the introduction of a new business to the area – The entire community is better when we share ideas.”
ON THE GROUND / VOLUNTEERS
Every year, committed volunteers use their time, talents and connections to sell TRC’s wide range of marketing products. This group of 25-30 people is the foundation of TRC and the drive behind its success. It’s a labor of love, but they see benefits too, as these two longtime volunteers explain.
Director of Title III-B & Continuing Education, Trenholm State Community College TRC Volunteer since 2006
Why do you participate in TRC? It allows me to promote both my employer, Trenholm State Community College, and the Chamber. It also lets me help open doors for business owners by sharing with them the great benefits of becoming involved with the Chamber that many are not aware of.
Why would you encourage others to get involved with TRC? For those who are interested in developing relationships and expanding business opportunities, involvement in TRC is a great way to accomplish that goal. It’s an excellent way to make great connections.
What benefits have you and your business seen from your participation in TRC? As a participant, Trenholm State is more visible, and we have experienced the development of several new relationships that led to an interest in educational opportunities.
Ray Petty, who serves on ServisFirst Bank’s board, was TRC’s first-ever chairman, and he’s proud of what it has grown to become. “I believe strongly in the Chamber and the many ways it benefits our community,” he said. “That’s the main reason I agreed to chair TRC, but also because I believe in the program. It is a much more efficient way to get sponsorships for Chamber events and programs, both for the Chamber and for its members. That first year was also really fun, and it has gone on to be more and more successful.”
President, Alabama World Travel/Sutton & Associates TRC Volunteer since 2006
Why do you participate in TRC? I love working with companies to help them secure sponsorships that support their mission and goals. The Chamber has such extraordinary programs that require sponsorships to make it happen. We have been blessed with a strong sense of community spirit from our local companies. It is rewarding to create a win/win for everyone, especially Chamber members.
Why would you encourage others to get involved with TRC? It is a great way to grow your own network. Getting involved with the Chamber and “Volunteering to be Visible” gave my business credible exposure, and many strong relationships have been borne from this. And selling sponsorships for TRC has been a significant way to grow my skills in sales, relationships and the critical importance of follow up. The rewards of working in TRC are greater than what I contribute.
What benefits have you and your business seen from your participation in TRC? I was able to get in the doors of CEOs that I had been unable to in the past. I’ve also become a better leader, organizer and sales person.
GET STARTED / TRC OFFERINGS
The marketing opportunities available to area businesses – many only available during TRC – have proven extremely effective thanks to their visibility, credibility and flexibility. Businesses can choose avenues that reach the entire Chamber membership, or they can hit a target audience. That’s why many businesses participate year after year. These are just a few of the TRC sponsorship and marketing opportunities that will be available this year.
NEW! MONTGOMERY HOSPITALITY ACADEMY
This is your opportunity to set your brand apart as an investor in one of the most impactful industries in our economy — tourism. This professional training course, developed by Troy University Continuing Education in partnership with the Chamber, the City and the County, offers 16 hours of training to both the management and staff-level employees of hospitality related business such as restaurants, attractions, hotels and event venues. One session is offered in the spring and in the fall.
NEW! MGM IMPACT MAKERS
MGM Impact Makers is an awards program honoring and recognizing member businesses within the community who are making an impact. The impacts are centered on the Chamber’s Imagine A Greater Montgomery High-Impact Priorities: Talent, Economy, Image, Community and Military.
NEW! DIVERSITY DIALOGUE
Enhance your brand and be seen as a leader by making diversity and inclusion a top priority. These seminars will be facilitated by top industry leaders and provide best practices needed to thrive in today’s diverse and global economy. Two events will be hosted during the year.
NEW! RIVER REGION DEFENSE SUMMIT
This event will be during Military Appreciation Week in November 2019. The River Region Defense Summit, slated to become an annual event, will bring all of Montgomery’s unique military and defense partners together for updates and discussions. The River Region Defense Summit will be a function of the new River Region Defense Council that brings together military commanders representing specific missions within the broader River Region footprint, including missions of the Alabama Air and Army National Guard, U.S. Air Force and Reserve components.
NEW! STATE OF TALENT
Expert speakers will present a regional overview, provide insightful analysis and review the critical needs related to developing a workforce pipeline.
NEW! THE REAL ELEVATOR PITCH COMPETITION
Montgomery college business students will give innovative entrepreneurial pitches on real 22-story elevators in the tallest building in Montgomery for a chance to win money and prizes to fund their business ideas.
OTHER WAYS TO GET CONNECTED AND ENGAGE:
• TechMGM Forum
• Chamber Orientation
• Web Banners
• Enhanced Listings
• Networking Events
• Chamber Golf Classic
• Economic Summit
• Military Appreciation Events