Anna Hovey, President of the Auburn Chamber, frequently writes in the President’s Blog to provide members with updates on the Chamber’s efforts, news that is taking place in the business community, and more.
As December comes rolling in, the Auburn Chamber is in full celebration mode and full of appreciation for a wonderful year! Cue the Johnny Mathis music and sing along, it really is the most wonderful time of the year! Thinking about the last quarter, I am reminded about the many things we have celebrated this fall. We were delighted to welcome back the Auburn Family for football season and are so thankful for the support to our businesses from all of our family members who came back to cheer on the Tigers! We are thankful for our Public Safety Officers who serve us every day and were so thankful that The Hotel At Auburn University delivered Thanksgiving lunch to those men and women who served our city on Thanksgiving Day. For the 10th year in a row, the chefs from Ariccia created a fantastic menu on behalf of our sponsors who wanted to support some of our finest! Our Spring Small Business Award Winners were all finalists at the Chamber of Commerce of Alabama’s Small Business Award Ceremony. Please join me in congratulating Mo’Bay Beignet Co., Tanology Spray Tan & Beauty Bar, Hamilton’s on Magnolia, and The Hound for representing our area so well and continuing to serve their customers with excellence. We surprised Richard Tomasello of Well Red Bookstore with a Customer Service Crown and are taking nominations for one more winner for the end of the year. We are surrounded by so many people in our community who help make our world better, so please be on the lookout for those individuals who go above and beyond to offer great customer service and email firstname.lastname@example.org with your nominations! We will end this week with the AYP Soiree and present three awards for the most outstanding young professional in three categories. The Soiree is the culmination of the 5th year of the program and we will be back at Moore’s Mill Club where we hosted our very first event five years ago! Also, I hope you received the save the date announcement for the 2022 Annual Meeting. We are looking forward to Wednesday, February 2 and hope you will make plans to join us at The Gogue Performing Arts Center to celebrate the efforts of our members!
Encouraging our community to support our local businesses is always top of mind for our team. For the holidays especially, we are presenting two lucky people with prize packs for their participation in the Shop Local and Dine Local Bingo Boards. We appreciate so many people participating in those contests and our great sponsors, Coldwell Banker Alliance and Three Sixty Real Estate who made it possible! Don’t worry, there is still plenty of time to win prizes with our Shop Auburn Giveaways. Follow the Auburn Chamber on Facebook and Instagram and look out for 12 days of posts to enter to win more prizes. If your gift list is not complete, we know our businesses here locally can provide you with what you need. I feel confident that our members can help make your gift lists complete with great products, gift cards, and experiences. We welcome any chance to help direct you to our businesses and know the support will be appreciated. Don’t forget our local nonprofits too- they are a perfect gift for the person who has everything and a great way to support amazing organizations that help fill in gaps for those in need in our community. Above all, we hope you will remain mindful to show support to our local businesses this season and beyond. So many offer conveniences of online shopping, delivery, quick pick up, gift wrap, and above all, the tax dollars help fund programs that benefit our citizens and town!
As we close the year, I am looking forward to 2022 with excitement! 2022’s calendar is planned and full of events and programs that will provide ways for you to connect and develop. Our Chamber Team stands ready to serve you, open to your feedback and ideas, and delighted to provide any resources you may need. I wish you the Merriest Christmas and a very prosperous New Year! I am so thankful for the investment each of you make to our community and especially to the Auburn Chamber!
By Ivy Harris|2021-12-09T17:24:14-05:00December 9th, 2021|Categories: President's Blog|Comments Off on Merry Christmas and Cheers to Your Success!
Just in time for the start of summer, we were thrilled to welcome back another event to our schedule after taking a pause last year. Our annual Women In Business lunch was Tuesday and it was a fantastic reminder of the many women who work to make our community so wonderful. We are so fortunate to have so many businesses that support the programs and work of the Chamber including the women who co-founded Three Sixty Real Estate who have supported this particular event since its inception! This year, we were happy to greet 150 smiling women and watch them make new connections during conversations over delicious food surrounded by the beautiful landscape of the Moore’s Mill Club pavilion. The program participants were also some of my biggest encouragers! I appreciate each of them so much for what they mean to me personally and the countless ways they bless our community! Our Circuit Clerk, Mary Roberson, inspired us with her invocation and reminded us to be present, set aside distractions, and leave the event with a renewed focus on the opportunity to use our talents and gifts to better our community. Our Key Note speaker, Laura Cooper, shared remarks that inspired us as well. Laura shared a few life lessons that she learned from her loving parents as a child and lessons that have carried her through life. If we will each commit to following her words—to bloom where planted, to live each day to the fullest, and to treat everyone with respect no matter their credentials, wealth, or privilege—imagine the positive impact we could make in this community. We were thrilled to present this year’s award for the Outstanding Woman in Business to Nancy Davis. Nancy embodies the Auburn Spirit and has definitely been a leader in business throughout her career! She started her law firm in 1978 and while supporting her many clients since then- many who are vital to the business community—she has also served many organizations working behind the scenes to develop programs that benefitted the whole community. Programs like Tiger Trail, Toomers 2000, and Blessing on the Corner to name a few related to the Auburn Chamber. Nancy inspired us to embrace the opportunity that living in Auburn brings. She also encouraged us to enjoy every moment while we are here. Nancy is our third winner and follows two other outstanding women to win the award- Jan Dempsey and Fran Dillard.
An event like this is a true picture of what the Chamber is about—providing connections for our members—be it to resources, other members for wise council and inspiration, future clients, or pathways to serve. The Women In Business program ended with Eloise Stewart sharing about a unique opportunity we will host in July—a retreat called beingwell. The purpose of the retreat is to take a moment to dive deep into the relationships we have with time, stress and anxiety, and burnout. Just like the Women In Business Lunch, the beingwell retreat will provide attendees an opportunity to reflect, recharge, and prepare us to better serve our clients and the community. Information about the beingwell retreat will be sent out next week.
As we enjoy a little fun in the sun and a tad bit of a slower pace, I am excited that summer allows us to reflect and adjust for the excitement and pace that fall brings and our next year of programming. The Chamber team will take some time in July reviewing our programs and events and planning for 2022. We would love any feedback about ideas for new partnerships we can make, new programs we should provide, and/or any comments for how to provide the resources needed for this thriving business community. We also have several exciting things starting back in August. Our website and social media channels are filled with lots of information and I hope you are following us and connecting with us on those platforms so you won’t miss out! It is awesome to see more and more people and experience life more and more after the pandemic!
I do love the opportunity we have to live and serve in this community. We don’t take your memberships for granted and hope you know how much we appreciate you!
By Ivy Harris|2021-06-24T17:00:24-05:00June 24th, 2021|Categories: President's Blog|Comments Off on A Celebration of Women In Business
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!
Today started with that Christmas morning feeling! I had feelings of anticipation and excitement for my first day as president of the Auburn Chamber. This day feels like a gift that has been handed down from the legends that helped build this organization to where we are today.
First, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve the Auburn business community and represent the 1,000+ members who help make our community the special place it is. Secondly, it is a pleasure to serve alongside such a great staff, board of directors, Diplomats and others who help the chamber deliver programs, services and benefits to the membership at large.
I’ve been asked what I will do my first day, month and year on the job, and while the to-do list is ever-growing, I have a few things I expect will remain on my list as long as I serve in this role. I want to ensure you that the lines of communication are open, and I extend the invitation to stop by, call or email me. Feel free to connect with me to ask questions, share your ideas and feedback or just to say hello. My hope is that the Auburn Chamber will be your first call when you need assistance, information, a connection or a referral.
The Auburn Chamber will take every opportunity to celebrate the efforts and accomplishments (both small and large) of our membership. We will also seek opportunities, when possible, to collaborate with others so we can make an impact in our community.
While there are many other items on my to-do list, I am looking forward to finalizing the chamber’s strategic plan. Those goals will be shared soon.
This week is exciting because we are hosting our Auburn Young Professionals Kick Off! We will safely connect in-person with some of the area’s finest young professionals. Attendees will hear from Mayor Ron Anders and we will celebrate three standout members of the AYP program for the efforts they made in 2020.
Looking ahead, we will provide opportunities in March for the membership at large to start engaging with one another. At our in-person events, we will be sure to adhere to safety protocols. We have missed the opportunity to see you, and we look forward to connecting with those who feel comfortable participating.
Through feedback we received in 2020, we have formed a partnership with one of your fellow chamber members who will be filming our Tuesday Talk series. The chamber staff has also been working to create hybrid versions of our programming, so please continue to look out for invitations and join us in the way that makes you most comfortable. There are many great things ahead for 2021. I would like to personally encourage you to follow the Auburn Chamber on social media as we share information and highlight our membership. I would also like to encourage you to visit our brand-new website that was built with you in mind.
We have many other great things in store for the year ahead. The staff has been working to create different ways to share information, and I hope you have noticed those new efforts. We will continue celebrating the investments being made in the area with ribbon cuttings and as always, we encourage you to support our local businesses. Although 2020 was unexpected, it taught me that we still have many great things to celebrate around us.