Amherst Chamber of CommerceAmherst Chamber of Commerce




As I mentioned in my September column, some significant work is in progress with the Chamber's strategic plan.

First, the highly anticipated report from the Products and Services, Member and Investor Committee was unveiled to the Executive Committee in July and to the Board at its September meeting (there was no August Board meeting).

I want to personally acknowledge and thank Mark Gaulin for his leadership as Chair of the Committee. I also want to thank the approximately 20 Board and EBL Board members who volunteered to serve on the Committee.

As we stated at the inception of this process, the work of the Committee would serve as the foundation of the strategic plan.  Its recommendations would have a domino effect on all of the other Committees who have a role in developing the strategic plan.

From decisions about organizational structure, to long-term financial viability to devising a strategy for future growth, the recommendations from Mark's Committee are critically important to our work.

The Executive Committee is currently reviewing the various recommendations from the Committee and will make its recommendations to the Board for adoption later this fall.

One recommendation we are embracing wholeheartedly is to increase the number of investors.  Currently, investors comprise approximately one-third of the revenues generated by the Chamber.  We are going to embark on an initiative to increase investor revenues by $200,000.  

This will be accomplished by maintaining the existing investor base; increase the investments of current investors; and, attract new investors. We are relying on our Board members to assist in this initiative by identifying potential investors.  

There are many benefits to being an investor in the Amherst Chamber of Commerce. While some of these benefits are universal, we can tailor a package to fit your businesses needs and wants. We are not your average Chamber, even though we are located in Amherst, our members consist of over 100 different zip codes from all over the Region.  I encourage all of you to explore opportunities to become an investor in the Amherst Chamber of Commerce.

Next month I will provide some feedback to a half-day retreat in which the Executive Committee, our committee chairs and interested board members will meet with Mick Flemming from the American Association of Chamber Executives.  Mick is going to share with us some of the best practices incorporated in strategic plans developed by chambers across the country, much of it facilitated by Mick and his team at the AACE.  He will facilitate a similar process with our group in early October.

Finally, please make every effort to attend The Event on October 24th at the Adams Mark hotel in downtown Buffalo.  This is our new annual event where we recognize our Business of the Year and other business awards.  If you thought last year's event was a smash, wait until this year!  I hope to see you there.

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