Friday, June 4, 2010

Answering the question, “What exactly does the Chamber do?”

by Michelle Merritt, VP Member Relations & Communications

As promised, we’re devoting a few blog posts during the upcoming weeks to answer the question, “What exactly does the Chamber do?” I plan to break down the various areas of the Chamber to illustrate what each does & how they benefit YOU as the member. After all, you’re the reason we’re here.

When I turn to the Chamber’s Facebook page (, I find the mission statement listed on the front page. It reads, “The mission of the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce is to create a vibrant economic environment by supporting business, advocating on behalf of the business community, and fostering community partnerships to advance a common economic vision.” I like it. I especially like words like “vibrant economic environment,” “advocating,” & “fostering community partnerships.” These words speak to the very needs of the Fort Wayne business community. They speak to what matters to YOU, the business person working to improve your piece of Fort Wayne every day. 

While the mission statement gives a strong “big picture” perspective of what the Chamber does, let’s get more specific. Since I know my team the best so far, I’m going to start with them. How does Communication & Membership (C&M, aka My Rock Star Team) effect how the Chamber benefits YOU, the member? C&M is here to serve you on the front lines. We’re the department you can call with almost any business question you can come up with. We may not be the team with every answer, but we will find you the resources that will provide the answers. 

Our Member Relations Specialist, Teresa, works with members one on one to assure you have what you need to make your business a success. She’s there to listen, generate ideas, and foster those community partnerships that will make doing business better in Fort Wayne. In addition, she heads up the Chamber Ambassador program & the Membership Drive. Want to better utilize your Chamber membership to assure you’re getting all the bang for your buck? Drop Teresa an email, she’s there to help.
Our Communications Team, Joanna & Lauren, work to get the word out about you & your business.  Think of them as an extension of your PR/Marketing department. They manage the social media, website, calendars, newsletters and blogs that showcase business & business happenings in Fort Wayne. They lift you up & promote you to readers you didn’t even know existed. Have an event or news that you need to share?  Contact them to get the word out. 

Our Member Relations Coordinator, Laureen, creates the great events that make it possible for you to network with other amazing business people in our community. She’s managing everything from the Meet Me @ 5’s to the Golf Outing to the Chamber Academy’s & Brown Bag lunches. Laureen is that behind-the-scenes person that magically makes everything appear to go calmly & smoothly. Have an idea for an event or a topic you’d like to see taught at an Academy or Brown Bag?  Contact Laureen to share your ideas!

As your VP of Communications & Membership I’m here to assure that all of these items are working for your benefit. Everything we do as a team is focused on providing YOU, the member, the best experience. Need to get advice on a project or customer issue? Contact me. Need some ideas on how to take business to the next level? Contact me. I’ll be happy to provide insight and/or be that person just to bounce ideas off of. We’re working hard to be your trusted resources & will be earning your dedication with every step we take. 

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