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Putting members and our region -- first

Posted by: Bernie Dagenais on Thursday, August 9, 2018 at 3:30:00 pm

During a strategic planning session six years ago, board members of The Main Line Chamber of Commerce agreed that the staff and volunteer leaders were uniquely positioned to be a “big connector.” We could bring together parties that would not only help each other but help the region, particularly considering all of our business contacts within companies large and small.

We recognized that our leadership development programs and The Society of Professional Women, which The Philadelphia Business Journal has repeatedly ranked as the largest women’s business group in Greater Philadelphia, differentiated our organization.

I recall one board member saying: “This is not your father’s chamber of commerce.”

All these years later, that statement rings ever more true, as we have continued to focus on talent acquisition and leadership development programs. Our members have responded by driving a sustained momentum around the growth of these programs. In recent years, the Business Journal has ranked our group as the top suburban chamber in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

The difference we make is directly attributable to our members, who contribute to making a stronger region for every business and resident. Many also see direct returns in revenue for their support and involvement.

Altogether, 950 Main Line Chamber of Commerce member companies provide opportunities for businesses in the region to connect around business, leadership development and talent. They provide the backbone for our Main Line Chamber Foundation scholarships for volunteer emergency responders. And they support each other. 

That’s a story we plan to tell increasingly well over the next year through the next phase of our Members First initiative.  In recent years, Members First has provided our members with three events that help plug them into the membership – gatherings where they can market themselves and expand their network – at no charge beyond their membership fee.

This fall, Members First is being incorporated into a marketing campaign that encourages anyone who has a business need at home or at work to give a fellow member first shot at the opportunity.  Modeling the way, we will invite members to thank other members for their help and support, highlighting success stories while encouraging members to connect in new ways.

The Chamber also helps other nonprofits through leadership projects and an educational roundtable. We lead conversations designed to empower women leaders, encourage more effective corporate philanthropy and volunteerism, help develop a path to more inclusive workforces and train managers to be more effective in engaging their teams.

While we continue to emphasize the importance of connecting with peers, what’s less common is to be part of a thriving business group that continues to evolve to make our region – and our members – stronger.

To read the entire August issue of the Main Line Business Monthly please click here


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