Chamber celebrates summer and successes at Annual Membership Luncheon

Posted by Jeremy Elwood on Aug 05, 2016

When the Chamber held its Annual Membership Luncheon at the Ramada Plaza Hotel & Oasis Convention Center on July 27, the nearly 400 in attendance were treated to a taste of the islands, a chance to visit with colleagues and make new friends … and to learn about the Chamber’s progress on its stated goals for 2016.

The theme of the 2016 event, “Hello Summer,” was on full display, from the tropical (nonalcoholic) drinks and the free sunglasses to the laid-back soundtrack provided by GigSalad musician Rick Lamb. Even the event’s presenting sponsor, Missouri Sun Solar, evoked the feel of the season.

If you weren’t able to join us, or you’d like to look back, check out our video from the event!

But behind the light-hearted atmosphere and fun environment, there was substantial information to share.

Chamber Board Chairman Debbie Shantz Hart offered a look at how the Chamber is faring in terms of meeting the goals in its 2016 Strategic Action Plan. She highlighted several economic development projects, high levels of member satisfaction, multiple opportunities to connect with decision makers and leaps forward in our workforce development efforts. All of these items and many more are spelled out in our updated Action Plan.

Chamber President Matt Morrow debuted the Chamber’s new Reach campaign. The campaign, which will begin in earnest in September, gives members the chance to increase name recognition while helping the Chamber meets its financial goals for the coming year.

But perhaps the highlight of the day was the panel discussion allowing Chamber members to share their insights into how their membership has helped them:

  • Sally Hargis of Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Co. told how the Chamber worked behind the scenes to advocate for the city’s two transportation sales tax renewals in April. Both passed by record margins, and Sally said that passage was due in part to the Chamber’s willingness to do things that most people think “just happen.”
  • Melanie Stinnett of TheraCare Outpatient Services, LLC touted the value of networking opportunities such as Good Morning, Springfield and Business After Hours. She said those events make the business community more welcoming and friendly for everyone.
  • Joe Reynolds of CSI talked about Chamber involvement in the decision by Kraft Heinz Company to expand its Springfield operations. He said the Chamber adds the “secret sauce” – the combination of leadership, experience and collaboration – that makes projects like Kraft Heinz possible in Springfield.
  • Mary Ling of Positronic Industries, Inc. espoused the Chamber’s workforce development efforts. She specifically cited the value of the Talent Attraction Initiative, GO CAPS and educational attainment efforts. As she put it, supporting talented employees encourages them to stay.

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