By: Kathy Tilque, President/CEO of the Gilbert Chamber
I’m so excited to announce the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce surpassed 753 members in September which are record numbers for our chamber. As with chambers across the state and nation, our membership numbers dropped during the recession and a new evolution defining return on investment arose within the business community. From the ashes of the recession, a dynamic shift of businesses has emerged. We have found companies and their employees are interested in community involvement/giving, workforce issues, and a bottom line focus.
Each chamber is a reflection of their community and business needs. In the case of the Gilbert Chamber, we have found that our members are interested in lending a helping hand to assist other businesses grow, they want to be actively engaged in giving back to the underserved within our community and support finding solutions to ensure a qualified pipeline of future workers is in place. Our members are focused on the belief that by building relationships and the giving of their time and expertise, long-term their business will benefit as well.
As a catalyst for business growth, this belief has led to the development of our Business Owners Growth Group which is 30 members strong. This mastermind group is tackling real-time business issues together. It was interesting to learn the commonality of HR issues that rose to the top from the group, even though many of the members are in totally different industries. They will dissect and bring in experts to help them work through these issues individually and as a group.
The Chamber’s Manufacturing Council is exploring streamlined opportunities for apprenticeship, internships, and mentoring programs as well as introducing middle school students to opportunities in the manufacturing field during October’s Manufacturing Month.
One of our roles at the Gilbert Chamber is to convene leaders and influencers to work together on community issues. We don’t do this alone. We are proud of our partnerships with the Town of Gilbert, our education communities, elected officials, and businesses. Here at the Gilbert Chamber, we don’t just host a seminar and check the box that we’ve addressed a key issue; we bring everyone together to roll up our sleeves and put in the sweat equity needed to solve issues.
Championing our community through our Foundation has led to many community-wide drives to raise money and awareness for our non-profits and community programs. We still have one week left in our “Gilbert Feeding Families” food drive so you still have time to drop off your food at the Chamber! Another example of a great partnership with the Town of Gilbert. We have many other opportunities to get involved within the next few months, check out our website.