Nearly 500 Chamber Members attended the recent Annual Meeting & Awards Ceremony held on January 4 at JMU Festival Conference & Student Center. This annual event, presented by the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport and Appeal Production, brought together business and community leaders and gave Chamber staff the platform to recognize our collective achievements in 2017, set the vision for 2018 and celebrate our business and community leaders.

This year, the event was re-focused to give members an opportunity to learn about upcoming Chamber-led events, initiatives and programs to build a solid commitment to engagement. As a recap, here are the Top 10 Chamber Tools and Resources for an Engaged 2018.

1. Mark your calendar now using our online events calendar for high quality events designed to connect you with your potential customer or partner.
2. Attend an upcoming Member Success Orientation where Chamber staff will guide you through membership benefits to determine what type of engagement makes the most sense for your business and ultimate success. The next Orientation will be held on February 15 from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. at First Citizens Bank. Register here.
3. Maximize a return on relationships through an opportunity to connect with the community through Chamber-led volunteer opportunities. The Chamber coordinates several community events such as ValleyFest, Annual Golf Tournament and Valley Vines Twilight 5K where we rely on the help of volunteers. Contact Cari Orebaugh at cari@hrchamber.org if you’re interested in getting involved.
4. Advocate on behalf of your business by joining the Public Policy Committee. This advocacy committee keeps their eye on local, state and federal policies that may impact the local business community. The Committee meets the first Tuesday of each month at 12:00 noon at the Chamber Offices. For more information and to RSVP email cari@hrchamber.org.
5. Proof your business listing through our Member Information Center to ensure we have your accurate information in our online and printed directory. Once logged in, you have the ability to add press releases, job postings, Member2Member Deals and events to the Chamber’s website.
6. Follow us on social media where we share the good news of fellow Chamber Members and advertise upcoming events – Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
7. Sponsor an upcoming event or advertise in a Chamber publication to increase your visibility in the community. View our 2018 Sponsorship and Advertising Opportunities Guide or call Cari Orebaugh at (540)434-3862 x 108 to discuss what event or publication would reach your target audience and help fulfill your mission.
8. Attend a free Business Smarts Educational Session. Coordinated in partnership with the Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center, these sessions are held the second Friday of each month from 8:00 – 9:30 a.m. at the JMU Ice House (127 West Bruce Street, Harrisonburg). Refreshments are provided by Peace, Love & Little Donuts and Black Sheep Coffee. Upcoming sessions will be posted on our events calendar found here.
9. Host a networking event or meeting to drive traffic to your business location. Contact Sheena Armentrout at sheena@hrchamber.org to discuss upcoming opportunities.
10. Educate yourself on the Chamber’s Four Pillars – Lead, Advocate, Network, Promote – and dedicate time to building an engagement plan that focuses on the pillar that will positively impact your business the most.

At the Annual Meeting, Chamber Board Chair Joel Shank closed the event by reiterating that your Chamber team is dedicated, passionate and committed to providing members the tools needed to help their business succeed and grow. Your Chamber believes ever member is committed to success personally and professionally and will stay dedicated to member engagement. After all, it’s your engagement which is key to your overall success and we’re proud to be a partner in your business.