Charging Ahead into 2018
2018 is here and your Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce continues its commitment to “Building Business, Building Community”. As announced at our Annual Meeting in August, the Chamber has embraced a more robust and challenging strategic plan that includes enhanced advocacy on behalf of its membership, a more regional focus on economic development and quality of place, with communications and benefits tailored to the varied interests of our members.
During 2017, we hosted our Governor, both U.S. Senators and Congressman Bucshon while convening our state legislators and other office holders to discuss topics ranging from highways to jobs, casinos to tax reform. 2018 will start with our City Update with Mayor Duke Bennett and Groundhog Day Economic Forecast. While traditional Chamber offerings continue throughout the coming year, staff will continue to develop opportunities for our members to grow, improve and contribute to the great community.
Stay tuned. Your input and involvement is the lifeblood of a successful Chamber and a growing community. Welcome to 2018.
Below are a few highlights of our recent accomplishments, as well as an outline of 2018’s biggest opportunities:
- Advocacy: Over the course of the past 4-5 months, the Chamber’s role in Advocacy has expanded tremendously. This has included expansion of our efforts on the local, state and national fronts. Just to name a few… adoption of the Chamber’s first official Advocacy Agenda, hosted lunches with U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly and Todd Young, Lunch with Governor Eric Holcomb and a very successful DC Fly-In visit which included visits with the USDA and USTDA. This, along with our local outreach to elected officials and a more concerted effort to engage at the state and federal level have yielded incredible results which have increased the overall stature of the Chamber. Vice President Kristin Craig continues to work with our Advocacy Consultant, RJL Solutions, to create even more ways we can build upon this momentum throughout the upcoming year.
- Downtown Terre Haute: Since the Chamber undertook this new initiative, DTH Coordinator Stephanie Pence has spent time reconnecting with downtown businesses, a process which will continue. Looking forward, she will continue to help businesses establish themselves in the downtown area and will focus on continual improvement of First Friday events. In addition for 2018, we will be hosting the Birthplace of the Coca Cola Bottle Festival, a major project to help brand Terre Haute and our downtown. Finally I’ll be working on grants and sponsorship to help improve downtown and our historic buildings.
- Membership Support: As always, the staff of the Chamber is here to serve our members. Our Administrative Assistant Becky Edwards is standing by and ready to help you get the information you need to grow your business in 2018. This year, Becky helped facilitate our Workforce Development Mentoring Program at Otter Creek Middle School and will continue to ensure this pilot program is successful in 2018.
- Events and Membership Operations: Thanks to the enthusiasm of our Chamber membership, the generosity of our sponsors and the support of our business community, the Terre Haute Chamber had a successful year of events. Director of Operations Jessica Cox is constantly looking to create value-added events that allow our members to gain valuable knowledge. She is also tasked with communicating this information via our weekly email communications and ensuring our internal processes are on task and performing well.
- New Member Recruitment: The only way we can continually build the Chamber is by continually growing our membership base. This means ensuring our current members are building their individual businesses and recruiting new businesses to join our ranks as well. Director of Member Engagement Katie Shane will continue to work on both fronts. She will also again be spearheading our Taste Terre Haute event and bringing in diners and increasing awareness of the local restaurants. In addition, she will be continuing to streamline our marketing and communications process to ensure the community is always aware of the many great service offering the Chamber has to provide.
As the Chamber team, we look forward to working with you in 2018 and beyond.
David Haynes, President
Kristin Craig, Vice President
Jessica Cox, Director of Operations
Katie Shane, Director of Member Engagement
Stephanie Pence, Downtown Terre Haute Coordinator
Becky Edwards, Administrative Assistant