Chamber networking is great, important and, well, fun. But Chamber Committees are where the real work gets done!
Mixers, mingles and socials. Important ways for businesses to connect and grow and most Chambers of Commerce do these events well. But let’s face it, business is hard work and networking is just one small piece of the fabric when it comes to running a successful business. Business owners have so many things to pay attention to and often must be inward focused to control their successes. So, who’s watching out for the outside stuff? The big-ticket stuff that absolutely affects commerce in North Idaho, whether or not you’re paying attention? The Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce is who and here’s how.
The CDA Chamber is home to eight dedicated committees which make up the whole of the Chamber’s grand vision and mission and Coeur d’Alene is the only Chamber in North Idaho that offers eight of these significant workhorse committees that are watching out for you. So, let’s meet the Committees. All 8 of them.
• Public Policy joint collaboration with Post Falls Chamber.
In collaboration with the Post Falls Chamber, Public Policy Committee monitors local, state, and federal government issues and provides input to the Chamber’s Board of Directors regarding recommended positions and strategies. This significant group identifies issues of concern and educate Chamber members, as well as the community at large, with regard to legislative topics, the legislative process, and other government issues. Both State and Federal representatives report monthly to this committee.
• Natural Resources: This committee works hard promoting and protecting our area’s natural resources as well as furthering the interest of the natural resource-based industries: timber, mining, and agriculture. State parks, Fish and Game, Tribe Members and related industries are represented each month. It is the mission of the Natural Resources Committee to proactively advocate for the sustainable use and enjoyment of our abundant natural resources in a manner that safeguards and enhances our environment over the long term.
• Business Development: Specifically designed to meet and react to the needs of the smaller business members, this committee is tasked with developing programs to create a positive business climate. Workshops, business tours, professional development seminars, best practices and customer service training program come directly from the Business Development Committee.
• Commodores: Coeur d’Alene’s community ambassadors. You will see this group at parades, at new business Members ribbon cuttings, at socials like Business After Hours and the monthly Upbeat Breakfast. This social arm of the Chamber is a high energy group that not only promotes comradery amongst Chamber business members, but surrounding communities when they travel to represent Coeur d’Alene. They also are the hosts of the Chamber’s annual fund raiser, the Aw$um Auction which monies go to keep membership dues some of the lowest in the state for Chamber size and contribute to the general overhead fund for Chamber operations.
• Education: Serving as a link between the business and education communities in support of quality education in the Coeur d’Alene area. The hard-working volunteers in this committee are not your typical networking type. They are in the background, working very hard on our state education issues and outreach to our local business for partnerships and collaboration. They provide annual scholarships to local high-school seniors and recognize top scholars in our region.
• Leadership Coeur d’Alene: A two-year application class for Community Leadership. The Coeur d’Alene Chamber is the first Chamber in the state of Idaho to develop a Community Leadership program and is recognized nationally for excellence. Now modeled by other local Chambers throughout the region, this program educates each class about their community including history, government, commerce, education, and non-profits turning out tomorrows Leaders. With over 1,000 local graduates, many who have become your local leaders, Leadership Coeur d’Alene is a sought-after accreditation.
• Membership Outreach: It’s the group of volunteers who recruit, mentor and assist with new Members and help the Chamber with retention. The Coeur d’Alene Chamber has just over 1,200 business members and this committee, made up of sales and marketing types, are the outreach arm for the Chamber staff. Always looking for ways to improve communications, they welcome comments, concerns and ideas to keep the Membership strong and vibrant.
• Executive/Board: Made up of 24 business leaders, these people get it. They listen to the findings and work plans that stem up from the committee’s efforts and they execute it. These are the “checkers”. They are careful to watch the Chamber as an organization and make sure the Committees, finances and best interests of the Business Member and the mission of the Chamber: To promote, support and advocate for our member to help build the best possible business climate for growing successful businesses, thus assuring profitability today and prosperity tomorrow.
Sure, we still network, and we do it well. But we want you to know that in the background here at the Chamber there are hard-working local business people rolling up their sleeves every day to make Coeur d’Alene the community we all want to live and thrive in.
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Marilee Wallace, IOM, is the vice president of membership for the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce.