Josué Vega, Marketing & Communications Intern
Surprisingly, during a year when most spent their time at home, one of the biggest challenges many non-profit and membership organizations faced was keeping members engaged, connected and moving forward. For the Chamber, continual outreach included phone calls, online update meetings, four economic recovery surveys, virtual Council meetings on relevant topics, and virtual networking meetings.
Our work included providing valuable resources for marketing and cost savings. A new benefit emerged for all small business members, complimentary U.S. Chamber membership. Supporters of our work also pulled together in support, like the 11 new Executive Circle members who invested in our programming highlighting the value and importance of our peer-to-peer networking. We managed to retain 98% of Chattanooga Climbs investors and received additional funding from four of our top investors. For our top investors, we created a “thank you” virtual event with charcuterie tray delivery and themed art project, ensuring also that they were all contacted by a senior staff member during the year.
In light of the pandemic, we re-envisioned seven Chamber Champion Signature Events into high quality virtual events. We held 10 events in one year including, two virtual EXPOS. Of the Chamber Champion sponsors who took our survey, 100% stated that we were providing relevant content and 95% renewed their Chamber Champion contract.
We also hosted 11 virtual CEO Roundtable events, 3 High Growth CEO events, 3 unique top investor events, and 11 virtual Chattanooga Climbs Investor Updates. At our Business Leaders Breakfast there were over 80 people in attendance while we recognized 20 new leaders in our community.
Our members are a diverse group, 1,774 in total, representing 120,000 employees. We are proud to have every single one of them. Over the past year, some have particularly stood out, whether members, businesses, or individuals, for their achievements, and we are happy to honor them.
During an unprecedented year of uncertainty and challenge, the Midtown Council fulfilled their business plan by creating a community food bank with other local organizations and churches. They successfully implemented a food pantry that has continued to grow and support neighbors in their footprint. Thanks to thier dedication and hard work, the Midtown Council was recognized as the 2021 Councilo of the Year.
The East Ridge Council surpassed its annual membership goal to reach a total of seven new members totaling $3,300 in revenue, earning the Council Membership Award for 2021. Businesses in and around East Ridge are continuing to grow and prosper.
Our ambassador of the year award honors Simeon Baskerville, the owner of full service machine shop Bushings Unlimited, LLC. The Chattanooga Area Manager of the Year award goes to Michael Mathis. Below is a listing of other awards given to our members this year.
• 1-20 Employees: Acumen Wealth Advisors
• 21-50 Employees: P&C Construction
• 51-300 Employees: Chattanooga Lookouts
• Non-Profit: Siskin Children’s Institute
Chamber Award Winners:
• Business Education Investor Award: Barge Design Solutions
• Diversity, Inclusion, & Engagement Award: Chattanooga Gas
• Family Friendly Workplace Award: Mike Collins & Associates
• Healthy Business Award: North American Credit Services
• Sustainability Partner Award: Skytec
• Velocity2040 Community Collaborator Award: The Digital Divide Project, partners included:
- Hamilton County Schools
- City Of Chattanooga
- Hamilton County
- BCBST Foundation
- Smart City Venture Fund
- Enterprise Center