Photography by Miranda Beason of .eloise. design co.

It is my pleasure to introduce the new Auburn Chamber Team. Pictured from left to right are Ivy, Kimberly, Crystal, Tangela, Stephanie, Anna, and Katie. Springtime brings new growth and for the past two months, I’ve been working to restructure and grow the Chamber team with our members and prospective members in mind. Creating a new team yields excitement and opportunity for improvement. Once you have a moment to talk to these new team members – and those already a part of it – I know you will feel the excitement too! We are working to improve ways to serve our members and community and are changing some of the ways we engage through our website and social media platforms. We are interested in what our members have to say and hope to hear ideas and feedback as we continue to grow.

Since March, we have certainly appreciated seeing more of our members in person and will continue in-person events even more. Speaking of in-person events and change, Annual Meeting is going to have a few changes this year – which is really the only way to celebrate the odd year of 2020. Instead of our traditional lunch time event, we will still celebrate the efforts of our members who endured such a year, but we will gather late afternoon for the awards program and toast our winners for their efforts. Reservations are being accepted through May 11, so please make a reservation in the Chamber’s event calendar. We aren’t out of the woods yet, but there are many things to celebrate and we look forward to spending some time together on Wednesday, May 19, to recognize some of the hard working people in the community.

Over the next few months, we will have other exciting ways to engage with the Auburn Chamber. The Diplomat Program will begin in June – applications to participate will be accepted Monday, May 3 – Friday, May 21. The Diplomat program is where I started my time at the Chamber. It was and still is a fantastic opportunity to serve, learn about new businesses in town, and to meet like-minded volunteers who have remained my friends 10 years later. We could not execute the events and programs that we do each year without the help of these wonderful volunteers. Please encourage anyone interested to apply – we are looking forward to working with these new volunteers and their year ahead!

We are also working on a few new projects to assist our members with some serious needs. First is a collaboration to assist the hospitality industry to find employees. We are working with several community partners to host a job fair specifically for the hospitality industry. The details will be shared shortly and I hope you will encourage people you may know who are looking for positions in these fields to attend – including high school and college students who may need part-time work. The hospitality industry was definitely impacted this last year and with restrictions lifting to allow their capacities to increase, they need to find employees to help make that possible. I am also excited to share that our board has divided into several task forces and are working to complete action items in each of the areas. These areas are wide reaching and include diversity and inclusion efforts, sharing success stories of our members, identifying ways to assist our businesses with obstacles, finding ways to grow the membership, and working to increase the impact of the Chamber’s Foundation. We also plan to start surveying the membership with one question surveys via email so when you receive one, I hope you will answer it and send it back to help us move forward.

Overall, I hope it is evident that our team, our board, and our volunteers find it a privilege to serve the business community. We know you are what helps to make this community the bright spot that it is. We appreciate your investment in our community and want to serve you the best way possible. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to schedule a meeting with me to give feedback, to talk about how to be more involved, to discuss ways to collaborate on projects to impact our community, or even to meet our new team. We are here for you and look forward to seeing you soon!

Have a wonderful day!