As we wrap-up 2017, it is a great time to reflect and highlight some key achievements, initiatives and give thanks.
As Chamber members, you have read about our efforts in previous months around our strategic plan, integrating new ideas and identifying best ways to serve our members. Some key successes from 2017 include:
- Created a volunteer event that provided members a full understanding of the Chambers past and current efforts on behalf of the business community and at the same time added 30 businesses as new members
- Developed the Chambers marketing and communication plans to establish key benchmarks and best practices for communicating with our members and the business community as a whole
- Public Policy – developed a multi-tiered plan of advocacy which included lobbying on our Federation/Chamber priorities at the Minnesota Legislature, establishing an in-depth role for our organization in endorsing pro-business candidates running for elected offices, and strengthening our partnerships with numerous organizations.
We will be highlighting more of these at our Annual Meeting luncheon on December 14th. As part of this luncheon, we will be electing our new Board members and thanking those that have served – please plan on attending. I want to thank those individuals as well.
- Katie Misukanis- Rasmussen College-Katie has been an amazing resource for the Chamber and myself – leading our Public Policy Committee and helping us on numerous issues. In addition, she set the table for future success of our Chamber in her year as Chair of the Board (2016) and has shared other areas of expertise with our staff and Chamber members.
- Brad Beard – Fairview Southdale Hospital – Brad has been an amazing resource for us in terms of insight on healthcare, programming, our business climate and as a major employer what driving forces are impacting our area.
- Laura Meister – 10th and Main – Laura has helped us develop new programs like the Twin Cities Young Professionals and connect with small and emerging businesses in the area – helping us maintain and create value for our membership.
- Alan Wallner – W Creative – As our Chair of the Board in 2017, I can say it has been my privilege working with Alan on numerous initiatives, issues and opportunities. He has an amazing business mind that has provided great insight for our Chamber – if you don’t know Alan yet, you really should. He is not only very knowledgeable, but has amazing connections!
I will end my column on this note – every year has its ups and downs and 2017 was no different. Many individuals I know, or staff/members know, faced tough battles whether they were personal or in their business. At the same time, many shared with me some great successes and exciting news. It may be more enjoyable to hear about the successes, but the tough times help us become stronger and smarter. I look forward to applying what I have learned and experienced to help the Chamber do more in 2018 and beyond. I also look forward to hearing more exciting news from our business community as the Eden Prairie area and its economic impacts continue to serve our region.
As we look forward to 2018, I am thankful for our new staff members Kathy Piechowski and Eric Hendrickx. They are adding new ideas and energy to our organization – you will enjoy getting to know them if you haven’t already.
Lori Brown – A huge thank you to Lori – she has done everything we have needed her to do and so much more during times of being short staffed, in transition and taking on added responsibilities. She has managed our B@B program and made it a model program that other Chambers are looking to replicate. She continues to help our organization build strong relationships with our businesses and helping the Chamber be the resource our businesses need and expect – thank you and well done.