As fall starts to enter our area, it’s time for many businesses and organizations to begin thinking about next year. As hard as that is to believe, this is the time of year that is full of budgets, strategic plans and goal setting. That’s exactly what we’re doing at the Rhinelander Area Chamber as well. Now don’t get me wrong, we still have lots of big plans left for the remainder of 2012, but the big ideas for 2013 are starting to flow.
When I stop to think about the places I’d like to see the Chamber go over the next year, or two, or five, one of the most important things is the people that are involved to help the staff and I get things done. We get support and help from several different outlets. First, we get support from our members and not just financially. Our members lend their talents and ideas to many of our programs, attend and volunteer at our events, offer donations and prizes and so much more. Second, we get support from community members who volunteer to serve on committees, help out in our office or volunteer at an event. But one of the biggest sources of support is the people who serve on the chamber’s board of directors.
It is the board that helps to set the tone for the vision and goals of the chamber. As we talk about things like strategic planning and budgeting for projects, I look to the board to help me with the big picture and provide guidance. The chamber board of directors serves as ambassadors for the chamber as well, helping to convey the benefits of chamber membership and helping to strengthen and grow our membership. As we come toward the close of another year, we have quite a few openings on the chamber’s board, and I would urge any of you that have an interest in the work of the chamber, or are looking for a way to get more involved in the community, to think about seeking one of these terms.
One of the first questions I always get is about the time commitment. Our board meets once a month, and in addition to attending these meetings, board members are asked to get involved with one committee, one program or one other event that is sponsored by the chamber. If everyone pitches in with one project that interests them, we can get tons accomplished. That means one or two meetings most months of the year. In addition, we look to board members to volunteer at events and attend other programs, like our Business After 5 or Lunch and Learn, as you are able.
The most important thing for a board member to contribute is his or her ideas and talents to the chamber. I want to work with people who have a passion to take the chamber and this community to the next level, and continue to work to improve. If you think you have an interest in serving on the board, give me a call, and we can chat more about it. Or if you know for sure it’s something you’d like to do, send me a letter of interest. Together we can keep the chamber, the Rhinelander community and our area businesses moving in the right direction!
Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lara Reed is available at (715) 365-7464.