Welcome to 2018! It is hard to believe that we are already almost through February, didn’t the Annual Meeting just occur last week? The Chamber had a great year in 2017 with 25 ribbon cuttings, 16 Business After Hours and many other successful events serving and supporting our business community. Frank, Cari, Sheena, Trent and Carlie deserve a big thank you for their continued efforts to make our Chamber the best in Virginia. Greg Godsey, 2017 Chair of the Board, deserves recognition for his tireless efforts the past couple years advocating for our Chamber in various leadership roles. Greg, your service to the Chamber is appreciated and I Iook forward to working with you further in 2018.

Thank you for being a member of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, one of the largest and most respected business organizations in the Shenandoah Valley region. We are a membership organization focused on providing value to our members and the communities in which we live, work and play. As a member, there is so much that you have available for you and your employees to take advantage of this year. The Chamber has made many changes to our Business Smarts educational and professional development classes. All classes are free to attendees and occur the second Friday of each month at the JMU Ice House from 8:00 – 9:30 a.m. New for 2018, the Chamber is launching a new leadership and personal development program in partnership with Dove Development and Consulting, called Leadership Smarts. Look for additional information about both programs and their schedules in the Chamber Connector E-Newsletter each Monday and our events calendar.

Also new for 2018 is the Chamber blog. Our first guest blogger was none other than Chamber Board of Director Chiedo! Check out his blog posted January 22nd about ‘Doing More with Less Time.’ There is also a great video of Laura Toni-Holsinger talking about leadership in our community posted on February 12th. You can watch the video by clicking here. We believe that these blog posts are valuable to our community and create stronger connections with the many entrepreneurs and leaders we are privileged to rub shoulders with on a daily basis.

We have a great year planned for the Chamber in 2018. It will be full of engaging events for you and your employees to enjoy, plenty of opportunities for networking and creating a closer community, and, as always, the Chamber will continue to be a strong advocate for our business community’s interests. If you are wondering how you can be involved, or get more involved in the Chamber’s activities, please reach out to our Executive Committee or Board of Directors. I look forward to seeing all of you at our many Chamber events in 2018.

Joel Shank, 2018 Board Chair