Mayor Jerry Weiers presents Business of the Week to Glendale Chamber of Commerce
by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on October 31st, 2016

By The Glendale Star

​The Glendale Chamber is where business and community pull together and everyone networks to support one another,” said Barb Knight, owner of Rita’s Ice and Custard Arrowhead. “They know you by name and the contacts and relationships that you build are definitely good for business.”
Rita’s is one of more than 1,100 members who belong and invest in the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, an institution that has been part of the fabric of Glendale since 1927, which means that in 2017, the Chamber will hit a momentous 90th anniversary.

President and CEO Robert Heidt took the reins three years ago, having managed the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce northeast of Boston. Heidt also held posts at the Las Vegas and Austin, Texas chambers, three Las Vegas resorts and served in the U.S. Air Force.

At the time of Heidt’s hiring in 2013, Chamber membership had mirrored the sagging economy, dropping to 485 members. In a remarkable turnaround, in June 2016, the Chamber celebrated the announcement that it had surpassed the 1,000-member milestone.
Board of Directors Chairman Jeff Blake, president and CEO of The Blake Group, credits strong, dedicated leadership.

“This reflects the efforts of the staff and the leadership of Robert Heidt,” Blake said. “It also reflects the strength and commitment of the board of directors and the enthusiasm for the chamber by our members. The chamber has become a great asset for the City of Glendale, the city’s businesses, and the residents in our community.”

Heidt recalls that the key to gaining renewed support of the business community and signing new members was changing the mindset about the chamber’s role.

“We’re here to be an advocate and voice for all business and that attitude and energy starts here, within the walls of the chamber, where we must have a members-first approach, showing them we care and we want to help them succeed,” Heidt said.

The primary mission of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce is to provide programs and services that impact the business community and work to create positive economic vitality in Glendale through three core actions: connect, impact and prosper.

Those actions manifested as more membership networking events and programs that strengthened the chamber’s relationships with the city, regional education and workforce institutions and local businesses.

Heidt, Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps and Economic Development Director Brian Friedman also began jointly paying visits to Glendale businesses to strengthen relationships and remain in touch with the needs and issues facing local business.
“The key is working as a team, and when business leaders and employees see positive momentum, it inspires them to engage and get involved, because when the city is moving in the right direction the way that Glendale is, people naturally want to be a part of that success,” Heidt said.

Newspaper headlines have been filled with the names of new businesses locating and expanding in Glendale, bringing with them thousands of new jobs. Some of the more recent successes include Conair, Humana, Rendina Healthcare, American Furniture Warehouse and the Aspera project at Loop 101 and 75th Avenue.

“We are always excited for new businesses to locate to Glendale and we do have a reputation for speed-to-market, but one of the areas where the chamber really excels is helping retain our existing businesses by providing them with the tools to succeed,” said Mayor Jerry Weiers. “I couldn’t be more proud that our chamber and our economic development team work hand-in-hand to create an overall healthy climate for business that is setting an example for the entire state.”  

The Mayor’s Business of the Week is a program initiated by Mayor Weiers in 2014 to recognize the entrepreneurial spirit in Glendale. The purpose of the program is to heighten awareness of local companies by showcasing the many aspects of doing business in Glendale and the positive impact on our city, citizens and local economy.

Businesses that are named Business of the Week are also featured through Mayor Weiers’ social media channels @MayorWeiers and the Glendale Chamber of Commerce.

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