Glendale Chamber turns over reins for 2016
by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on March 3rd, 2016

By The Glendale Star

Membership, leadership keys to chamber’s success

In her final address as the 2015 Chairman of the Board for the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, Bobbi Magdaleno of Arizona State University detailed a number of the accomplishments and successes achieved by the chamber over the past year. She specifically selected the words membership and leadership to best describe the organization’s continued success.

“The chamber works to build a strong community by connecting its members to people and issues important to business success,” Magdaleno said. “Last year we celebrated the addition of 200 new members and this year, we celebrate the addition of 220 more. Membership growth is off the charts and success is contagious.”

She said the chamber takes great care in providing members with benefits and opportunities and noted the formation of three new committees which include the chamber ambassadors, a marketing team and a military and veterans affairs commission. In addition, the chamber held more than 100 events, engaged over 7,000 businesses and community leaders, and maintained a membership retention rate of 96 percent.

Magdaleno attributed the leadership of the city, board of directors and membership as the companion key to the chamber’s ongoing success.

“The commitment of Mayor Weiers, councilmembers and city administrators to our city is evident in your work and in its results,” said Magdaleno. “Your time, energy and leadership in making a difference for the business community are vital and as leaders in our business community, we appreciate your engagement with the chamber through your participation, volunteerism and advocacy.”

In addition, Magdaleno offered special recognition to each member of the chamber team for their dedication and professionalism and officially concluded her term by presenting the 2015 Chamber Champions. These are members who have gone above and beyond in helping the chamber to achieve its goals over the year.

The 2016 Glendale Chamber Champions are Bill Hetu, Renaissance Hotel & Spa; Bill Toops, The Glendale Star; Jean Higginbotham, Blue Cross Blue Shield; Victoria Coley, Humana; Jeff Morander, Arizona Coyotes; Nicole West, Newbridge Telecom Solutions; and Salt River Project.

New chamber chair sets aggressive 2016 agenda
 Addressing the largest crowd ever assembled for the 65th annual Glendale Chamber of Commerce State of the City address Feb. 25, 2016 Chairman of the Board Jeff Blake of The Blake Group shared his appreciation of the past and vision for the future, as the chamber establishes itself as the voice of business in Glendale and beyond.

Blake’s remarks focused on the chamber’s recent achievements in business membership and retention, as well as its future plans for formal engagement in local government affairs and future economic development opportunities. To provide context, he compared the evening’s attendance as being larger than the chamber’s membership of just three years ago.

“The Glendale Chamber is about to reach 1,000 active members,” Blake said to an audience of 500 business and community leaders. “This will be a true milestone and a first for our organization.”

In preparation of such, Blake said the chamber has assembled a team of volunteers to develop a special event to welcome and recognize the 1,000th member, their member referral and to thank the existing 999 members that will make it all possible.

Blake attributed Chamber President and CEO Robert Heidt and his team for the development and execution of a plan that reversed the downward trend in membership as a result of a difficult business cycle. He described the current growth trend as parabolic in an upward direction.

Recognizing two-time Chairman of the Board David Mitchell for his vision in the creation of a government affairs council, Blake told the audience the committee, now in its second year, has crafted organizational policy statements, weighed in on issues impacting business at both local and state levels and will ultimately be working to represent business in the halls of government.

“In moving our public policy forward, our next step will be candidate endorsement and working to ensure pro-business candidates are supported,” Blake said. “As of this morning, the chamber board of directors has approved finalizing our endorsement process. This is a bold step to ensure we remain active, relevant and a true representative as the voice of business.”
The chairman said the purpose of the vetting and endorsement process will be to find and present candidates who can demonstrate their commitment to the economic health of businesses in the city. Blake noted economic health is closely related to the social health of any community.

“A lack of economic health means a lack of jobs and opportunities, a lack of home buying, a lack of bank deposits, a lack of community amenities and activities for one and all.”

“We want to see Glendale become the crown jewel for economic and social health here in the entire valley,” said Blake. “We want Glendale to be the desired destination location for business start-ups, expansions, and relocations.”

In addition to the endorsement of local candidates and ballot measures, Blake introduced the possible formation of a Glendale Chamber Political Action Committee to financially support selected candidates and other pertinent legislation.

To bring additional boost to Glendale’s growing economy, Blake said the board will be discussing strategies to form and start both business incubators and accelerators in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math.
Nylund proclamation

Commemorating more than 25 years of dedicated service to the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, Monika Nylund received an official proclamation from Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers following his State of the City address Feb. 25. Nylund retired from the chamber in December and plans to travel abroad, beginning with a trip to her native home in                                                                                Germany.

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