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Celebrating midyear successes and 100 years of history, with a surprise guest

Posted by Chamber Communications on Aug 01, 2019

At the Chamber’s Annual Member Lunch on July 26, the feeling was one of celebration – of accomplishments so far in 2019, of our 100 years of history, and of what we can accomplish together in the future.

The nearly 500 guests at the Oasis Convention Center got a special, unexpected visit from Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, who stopped by at the beginning of the event to offer a few words. Parson, who offered only brief remarks in advance of his keynote address at the Chamber’s July 31 State of the State event, touted the strength of the Springfield region’s economy.

“If the whole state economy was like southwest Missouri, imagine what we could accomplish!” he said.

Attendees also heard from Jeff Childs, 2019 Chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, about some of our accomplishments this year. He then talked about a specific Chamber service that has helped him and his family: the health insurance option for small businesses that became available last year.

“If I’m up here talking to you at an event like this, I like to always leave you with at least one takeaway,” he said, noting that his family of four will save $18,000 in insurance premiums this year through the program.

We also previewed this year’s Reach Campaign – our annual program giving members the chance to connect with the initiatives, programs and marketing opportunities that best align with their own mission and goals. 2019 Campaign Chair Scott Miller of City Utilities encouraged members to get involved if they’re not already.

(Note: If you’d like to know more about the campaign, fill out our quick online form – it only takes a few seconds – and a volunteer will contact you when the campaign begins in September!)

One highlight of the event was a video with past and current Chamber leaders celebrating our centennial. They discussed the Chamber’s strengths and some reflections from their time of service, and they talked about what the Chamber can help accomplish in the next 100 years.

“The Chamber can really help in making our community more inclusive and more diverse,” said Daniel Ogunyemi from The Network for Young Professionals’ Leadership Council. “I think they’ve done a really good job of embracing and helping develop young professionals. The Network was really a great opportunity for me to get connected, get plugged in, and come to love Springfield – a place I’m not even from.”

Former Board Chairman Tim Rosenbury may have best summed up the Chamber’s goal: “Ultimately what the Chamber is about, I think, is giving people who want to go beyond just being a consumer of Springfield a chance to be a contributor to Springfield,” he said.

Want to see more images from the Annual Member Lunch? Visit our Facebook gallery!

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