Looking Back on 2015 and Forward to 2016

With 2015 in the rear view mirror and the New Year upon us, it is worth spending some time to reflect on the successes of the last year and the opportunities that lie ahead.

Judging alone from what we’ve heard from many of our members, 2015 was a great year! In preparing this edition of the Chamber Report newsletter, GMCC Communications Manager Lauren Kannenberg reached out to our membership and asked for submissions of key accomplishments and success stories from the past year. The response was overwhelming! We’ve included these submissions in a special “members updates” in this newsletter. Be sure to check it out and read about some of the great things happening in our community and with fellow members.

2015 was a great year for the Chamber as well. Our staff and Board of Directors are proud of the many accomplishments and successes we achieved throughout the year in support of our mission to improve the business climate of the Greater Manchester region and to support the growth and prosperity of our member businesses. Below is a brief rundown of some of our highlights from 2015…

An important part of accomplishing the Chamber’s missions occurs through our advocacy efforts to improve our business climate and to address important issues in the community. The Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee engaged in a number of key issues in 2015 including the state budget, business taxes, and transportation funding. Locally, the Chamber advocated for the City of Manchester to adopt a new ridesharing ordinance in order to allow services like Uber to operate permanently in the city, an issue which is still ongoing. More broadly, the Chamber’s Board of Directors completed its work on a new strategic plan with three key policy focus areas: Economic Development, Education and Workforce Development, and Transportation and Infrastructure. New taskforces and committees are already hard at work on initiatives related to each of these areas of focus and we are eager to unveil more details on this work soon!

Equally important to accomplishing our mission is the networking, relationship building, and educational opportunities provided through the Chamber’s event and programs. We were thrilled to have record attendance at many of our events throughout the year, including our State of the State and City forums, the Chamber Golf Classic, and EDI (Economic Development and Infrastructure) Summit. In addition, our 2015 Citizen of the Year Celebration and Annual Dinner was completely sold out with 750+ members in attendance!
The past year also saw a number of changes to the Chamber itself. We welcomed three new fantastic staff members to the Chamber team: Lauren Kannenberg, Member Communications Manager, Carolyn Leary, Director of Member Experience and Programs, and Pat Hamel, Executive Assistant to the CEO. Pat is our most recent addition having joined us full time in November. Please be sure to welcome her to the Chamber – we are very lucky to have her! In addition to our internal staff, we also welcomed Gina Powers of Rath, Young and Pignatelli as the Chamber’s new government relations consultant. Gina’s guidance and expertise has already had an impact on the Chamber’s advocacy work at the State House.

Finally, the Chamber also continued to invest in new technology in 2015 as we transitioned to new member management software, ChamberMaster. Hopefully you have been able to take advantage of this new software to update your business listing and post photos, videos, news releases, and other content that will help build the brand of your business and help attract more referrals from fellow members. Interested in learning more? Contact Lauren at (603) 792-4119.

As we close the book on 2015 and move forward into the New Year, thank you for your continued support and investment in the Chamber. We look forward to working with you in 2016 as we continue our efforts to improve our community and region and help our member businesses thrive!