by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on April 26th, 2017

The Glendale Star

It was March 23, when the Glendale Chamber of Commerce created a political action committee. Last Friday, the committee officially filed with the Glendale City Clerk. With the filing, the PAC now can not only endorse candidates, but also donate to political campaigns.

In the 2016 elections, the chamber endorsed candidates for the first time. Two weeks ago, Heidt said the PAC has been well received with no negative comments.

He said, “This ensures the Glendale chamber is actively engaged in supporting candidates who are mindful of what’s good for Glendale and this community.
“What we do is vital to all business. We’re an organization that makes a difference. I hope this (PAC) makes candidates reach out to us. This is very pivotal for us. This is a huge step. It puts us on the map in a whole other paradigm.”

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on April 17th, 2017

By Your West Valley

​Glendale Chamber of Commerce holds its next monthly Business After Hours event, 5-7 p.m., April 20 at Spotlight Youth Theatre, Suite 12, 10620 N. 43rd Ave. 

The event is free for Chamber members and $60 for future members.Space is limited and registration is required at http://glendale.chamberofcommerce.me/members/evr/reg_event.php?evid=33107325&orgcode=GDCC.

These events provide an opportunity for Chamber Members and their guests to come together in a relaxed atmosphere while sharing ideas, products and services offered.

Throughout 2016,  on average more than 100 people attended each of these events. Attendees are encouraged to bring flyers or brochures on their company for the member display table.

*The first 105 registered attendees will receive a complimentary ticket to the School of Rock musical, the evening of the event – Limit one ticket per registered attendee.  
For more information on this event,  contact the Chamber at 623-937-475

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on April 17th, 2017

​Special to The Glendale Star

​Sometimes, all it takes is a small mention of a need, and the community responds in a big way.

As a local non-profit, Hope for Hunger Food Bank has provided critically important emergency food assistance to those in need throughout Glendale, as well as Peoria and Phoenix, since 2011. This incredible community resource is frequently utilized by the Glendale Police Department as they encounter individuals or families in desperate need of nourishment.

Most recently, Mayor Jerry Weiers was informed of a critical need from Hope for Hunger and issued a challenge to Glendale Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Jean Higginbotham, as well as the GCOC team, to engage in their pursuit to getting a new air system before summer is here.

 “As we enter the sweltering months of summer, Hope for Hunger is currently without functional air conditioning, a circumstance that will greatly inhibit their ability to deliver a life sustaining service,” Higginbotham said.

Weiers, Sgt. Jeff Turney of the Glendale Police Department, Higginbotham of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, along with many GCOC members and members of the chamber board of directors have come together to combat this potentially disastrous reality.

Chamber President and CEO Robert Heidt put a call to action out to chamber members and board members, asking for donation assistance.

“We have two HVAC chamber members that immediately recognized the significant importance of this need and stepped up to the cause,” Higginbotham said. “Both Brad Woods with Honorable AC & Heating and John McCombs with AZ Perfect Comfort will be graciously providing the services of installing a new A/C unit at no cost for labor; also, working together to secure many of the materials needed for this installation, including a donation of the unit and crane.  However, there is still a cost of additional materials required.

“Jim Peyton has the full list of donors for this project. I’m especially grateful to the Kiwanis Club and to Maria Brunner with OneAZ Credit Union, who provided sizeable donations which allowed us to finalize our fundraising goals in a matter of weeks.

“I’m so happy to see the community pulling together to help support such a great organization that provides such critical assistance to the community who now, in turn, needs assistance for themselves. To see this project come to life and to experience the power of the chamber firsthand is humbling and I am so grateful and proud to see the chamber members of our community responding with giving hearts.”

Apple Daisy Company is providing a custom sign which will list the names of all donors.

Higginbotham said, “The sign will be displayed at Hope for Hunger as a testament to our incredible community and the work we can accomplish together.”
 

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on April 17th, 2017

​By ED AND BETTE SHARPE, Glendale Daily Planet, Special to The Glendale Star | 

​Free fishing licenses went to the first 1,000 youth ages 10 to 17 at the Third Annual Hook a Kid on Fishing April 8 at Bonsall Park, 59th Avenue and Bethany Home Road.

Experienced anglers were on hand to help with baiting the hook and casting a line.

“We’re excited to have an opportunity to give kids a window into the world of fishing,” Arizona Game and Fish Department Community Fishing Program Manager Scott Gurtin said. “This will be a great community event and the fishing should be excellent.”

During the first hour, 144 had registered. Sponsors for the event were the City of Glendale, Glendale Fire and Police Departments, Glendale Chamber of Commerce, Cabela’s and Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Snacks were provided by Councilmember Jamie Aldama and the Glendale Police Department.

There was more; during the first hour, Cabela’s gave away 15 fishing rods and tackle boxes.


by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on April 6th, 2017

By: Carolyn Dryer, The Glendale Star

Glendale Chamber of Commerce became active on the political scene during the last election, when it endorsed candidates for the first time. March 23, it formed a political action committee, which gives it the authorization to contribute financially to candidates who support the business community.

Robert Heidt, chamber president and CEO, is the administrator of the PAC. He gave some background about how the PAC was created.

​Heidt said, “When I came on board in October 2013, Dave Mitchell was chairman of the board, and he expressed interest in a government affairs committee being formed. In 2014, that occurred.

“In 2015, we discussed what our views were on political development, discrimination, and on our website (a link to any viewpoints).

“In 2014-15, we went through identifying the process, researched what other chambers were doing to create our process on how we interview and endorse candidates.”

Last year was the first time the chamber endorsed candidates.

As part of the candidate endorsement conversation, which led into 2015 and 2016, the next step was to create a PAC.

“It was a natural progression,” Heidt said, because the chamber had a seasoned government affairs committee.

“We took another year, researching PACs, what works, what doesn’t work,” Heidt said. “In every instance, from government affairs committee to endorsements (by the chamber board), it’s been a unanimous vote.”

The exceptions were the three non-voting, ex-officio members, Mayor Jerry Weiers, City Manager Kevin Phelps, and Police Officer Mike Turney. 

The chamber identified small business owners for the PAC.

Dave Mitchell was chosen to be the first chair of the PAC. Then, for PAC treasurer, former vice mayor, former chair of the board, someone who has been through the process, Yvonne Knaack, a business owner invested in the community, was chosen to fill the position.

One other addition, the chamber created a secretarial role. It is filled by Judy Connell, who is in the business of working on PACs, to make sure when the chamber does its filings, “we do not miss dotting an I or crossing a T,” Heidt said.

“Being a chamber of commerce, we want to make absolutely sure we bring about what we’re doing and why,” Heidt said. “In our conversations with members at large, all were very favorable comments, as we got into the business of endorsements, the Convention and Visitors’ Bureau downtown area. They said they feel they’ve got someone watching what’s going on, has got their back.”

The PAC has been well received, no negative comments, Heidt said.

“Our whole goal is making sure the right people are elected to office, ultimately making Glendale better and being mindful of the business community,” Heidt said. “This ensures the Glendale chamber is actively engaged in supporting candidates who are mindful of what’s good for Glendale and this community.

“We are the first chamber in the West Valley to do this. This speaks volumes for the business community. This chamber is focused on business interests and how things impact the bottom lines of members. It’s no longer just an organization cutting ribbons and having a happy hour.
“What we do is vital to all business. We’re an organization that makes a difference. I hope this (PAC) makes candidates reach out to us. This is very pivotal for us. This is a huge step. It puts us on the map in a whole other paradigm.”

As chair of the chamber board of directors, Jean Higginbotham said, “We’re very excited the board moved forward with the PAC. I know we are the lead chamber with being the first to establish a PAC. We’re excited about this movement as we continue to monitor the halls of government, continue to advocate for small businesses, and work to ensure that appropriate candidate review is taking place.”

“We’re looking for candidates who have a friendly attitude toward the business community and have the business community at heart,” Mitchell said. “We have put some thought into some criteria for different areas. We certainly want to take a look at those who touch on all the different aspects of business.

“We’re coming to a progression as a chamber. When I was the board chair in 2014, we hired Robert in 2013 toward the end there. Part of what I had envisioned for the chamber is we become more relevant as an advocate for the community, be able to voice views to the city.”

When Robert came aboard, Mitchell said one of the first things the chamber wanted was to get to the point where it endorsed candidates.

“A few people were quite surprised by this, but in 2014 we had our first open forum and heard from candidates on what they thought,” Mitchell said.

“We have become a strong voice, an advocate for candidates.

“As we go forward with the PAC, (we will) provide funding for those who are favorable toward the business community and the chamber. So, we are looking to those who are business friendly, looking for ways those candidates can actually help our business community become stronger.

“That’s the path we’ve been headed and the board has come along with us; financial support for those who favor the chamber’s thinking as well. The board has been better directed under Robert’s leadership. It’s entered into a new dimension, a progressive type situation. It’s not the same chamber of commerce, rah rah rah. It is now important to the city. (We may) not always agree with the city, but when we do, there’s a diversity of opinions, we take collectively a conceptual view, do surveys, take a pulse for what the chamber members want to do, at least go along with the way the business community is actually feeling.

“Endorsements and PAC money – let our voice be heard.”

Knaack spoke about the need for the PAC.

She said, “When I ran for office, the chamber would have liked to have helped me, but there was no mechanism to do so. Since that time, they have realized they need to be more active in support of candidates, referendums or propositions that are business friendly."

“I was asked to be involved because I have been a candidate and elected official, and I’m a business owner, and a past board chair, and I serve on the chamber government affairs committee."

“I agreed to do it in hopes that we will be able to help the business community by supporting those candidates that we feel will support business initiatives. I’m hoping in the next election, the track records of the candidates who have served will speak for themselves.”

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on March 30th, 2017

By Your West Valley

​Buy tickets at Glendale Chamber of Commerce for the 36th annual Luke Shoot-Out Golf Tournament, 6:30 a.m.-1 p.m., April 7 at Falcon Dunes Golf Course, 15100 W. Northern Ave., Waddell.

Tournament includes four-person scramble, four Hole in One Prizes, four Closest to the Pin Contests and putting contest.

Registration fee includes green fees, golf car, goodie bag and after-tournament lunch.
Fees: Single golfer for $115 (non-military); sponsor a veteran or single golfer military for $65; hole sponsor for $175; foursome plus hole sponsor for $585; foursome for $460 and additional luncheon guest for $35.

Schedule: •6:30 a.m – check-in, networking/golfworking and practice putts and 7:30 a.m. for shotgun start

To register, go to http://glendale.chamberofcommerce.me/members/evr/reg_event.php?evid=33242967&orgcode=GDCC

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on March 21st, 2017

By Arizona Business Daily

​Jean Higginbotham, who officially took over as 2017 chairman of the board of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, talked about her eagerness and vision for continued economic growth for the city at the 66th annual State of the City address and dinner March 2 at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel and Spa.

“With the support of the board and the undying enthusiasm of the entire chamber, I am looking forward to connecting with all members, new and long-standing, while supporting the upward trend that’s having a direct impact on Glendale and surrounding neighborhoods, all of which make our community a better place for everyone to live, work and play,” Higginbotham said in a speech at the event, which was posted on the chamber's website.

Higginbotham discussed the “energetic momentum” of the chamber and its growth to nearly 1,200 members as well as her intention to continue the aim for a 1,500-member organization that can balance the needs of individual affiliates with the priorities of the business community as a whole, the posting said.

Higginbotham also spoke of the chamber’s continued involvement in local government and its role in fostering an environment conducive to the success and growth of businesses. The chamber also intends to initiate a political action committee to support local candidates and matters that are important to the business community.

“By staying true to our mission, the chamber will continue to offer our members programs and services designed to help their businesses, all focused on the goal of improving the economic environment, while maintaining the financial stability to the chamber.” Higginbotham said, according to the posting.

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on March 15th, 2017

By: Arizona Business Daily​

Ending his term as chairman of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, Jeff Blake recapped chamber activities to chamber members as well as local officials, representatives and lawmakers gathered for the 66th annual State of the City Address on March 2 at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel and Spa.

The report highlighted the goals and achievements of the city over the past year. Of particular note, was the growth in chamber membership and candidate endorsements as well as an acceleration of local business development, a release on the chamber website said.

“I was personally able to witness the incredible economic growth that is happening daily in Glendale and was witness to many of the acts of kindness and generosity, both small and large that occur daily in Glendale” Blake said in his speech, the release said. “This is a wonderful city and community in which we live.”

Blake said the chamber has been recognized statewide and nationally for its accomplishments in the city of Glendale. Last year the chamber organized more than 100 events and nearly 50 ribbon-cutting ceremonies while working with the city’s business development team on outreach in the business community and maintaining a 94 percent retention rating, the release said.

Blake ended his remarks by reaffirming the chamber’s commitment to city policies and practices that prioritize local commerce as well as expressing his gratitude for the support he received during his term as chairman.

“It has been a wonderful experience for me to serve as your chairman of the board for 2016,” Blake said, according to the release. “Glendale moves forward with everyone’s help – lifting, or doing what they can, from where they stand. Continue to lift from where you stand.”

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on March 15th, 2017

By: Arizona Business Daily

​Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers  focused on fiscal responsibility, economic development, public safety, quality of life and veterans in his recent State of the City address delivered at an event hosted by the Glendale Chamber of Commerce at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel & Spa.


“The most important area where we must maintain diligence is continuing to improve on our city’s financial performance,” Weiers said in the March 2 speech, which was posted on the chamber's website. “Last year, Glendale’s bond rating was upgraded to an A-plus rating by Standard & Poor’s. That’s something I’m still extremely proud of because it’s a strong indicator that our city is headed in the right direction. We passed a $693 million balanced budget without raising taxes.”


Weiers’ speech, framed around the concept of trying to improve someone’s life each day, discussed the intensive economic development occurring in Glendale, which is triggering job growth, as well as city efforts to facilitate it. He also touched on initiatives with of the police and fire departments and EMS services and the unique events and experiences available in Glendale, as well as the city’s efforts to support former military service members, the posting said.


“We need business leaders to get involved, to join committees, to join city commissions, sponsor and support community events and programs,” Weiers said in the speech. “There are so many ways to get actively involved, you just never know who you might meet along the way and have an opportunity to make that positive difference in their life.”

by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on March 9th, 2017

By Bill Toops, The Glendale Star

​Officially completing his term as 2016 Chairman of the Board of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, Jeff Blake provided a detailed report of goals identified and accomplishments achieved by the local business organization over the past 12 months. He presented the message to an audience of more than 400 elected representatives, city officials, state and local lawmakers, chamber members and special guests during the 66th annual State of the City address and dinner March 2 at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel & Spa.

In firm partnership with the mayor, councilmembers, city management and staff, Blake declared “the dream for Glendale is being realized right here and right now. We can be very proud of our city, of our mayor and council, the entire management team and the chamber of commerce for all the good things you do to cause Glendale to shine like a bright beacon to the rest of the Valley.”

Among a lengthy list of achievements, Blake highlighted the chamber’s performance in membership and growth, unprecedented candidate endorsements, the formation of a political action committee and the development of a local business incubator and accelerator, as well as the active and rigorous pursuit of a Glendale First policy for the selection of city event vendors.

“I was personally able to witness the incredible economic growth that is happening daily in Glendale and was witness to many of the acts of kindness and generosity, both small and large, that occur daily in Glendale,” Blake said. “This is a wonderful city and community in which we live.”

He cited the current total net membership of the Glendale chamber at 1,150. Blake said the chamber is 2.4 times larger than it was just three and one half years ago and that the chamber team has added more than 200 new members annually for the last three years. In addition, he said, the chamber is receiving state-wide and national recognition for its growth, accomplishments and relationship with the City of Glendale.

Blake said in 2016, the chamber hosted more than 100 events, engaging more than 8,000 attendees; delivered its third consecutive balanced budget; maintained a 94-percent retention rate; hosted almost 50 ribbon-cutting ceremonies; debuted the new BNC National Bank conference room; and worked in conjunction with the city’s economic development team in outreach and commitment to Glendale’s business community.

Acting as promised, Blake noted the chamber endorsed candidates for mayor and city council in the most recent 2016 election cycle. Further, he said, the chamber’s political action committee is proceeding “very intentionally” and expects it to be ready and operational prior to the upcoming mid-term elections.

“I can state that the chamber will continue to be a voice of and for business and the community of Glendale in future elections and in government affairs,” Blake said. “We can’t live in the past; we can only live and do our best today and look forward to the future.”
With regard to the establishment of a city-based incubator and accelerator, Blake said the chamber has worked closely with City Manager Kevin Phelps and Director of Economic Development Brian Freidman to identify at least one central location and perhaps a second. The chairman contends that such a joint venture would add significant horsepower to the city’s economic engine.

Last, but far from least, Blake reiterated the chamber’s concern, commitment and insistence of a formal city policy and practice that would give qualified and capable Glendale businesses first consideration in the vendor selection process for all of the city’s signature events. To that end, the city has been surveying stake holders, business and residents alike, in an effort to evaluate the preference, purpose and performance of each of its public events.

“It has been a wonderful experience for me to serve as your chairman of the board for 2016,” Blake concluded. “Glendale moves forward with everyone’s help – lifting, or doing what they can, from where they stand. Continue to lift from where you stand.”