FREDERICK COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
What a long, strange trip it’s been...
In a nod to The Grateful Dead, the journey to my current as role as your Chamber President & CEO has been both long and admittedly, a little strange. Over the last 42 years, I’ve been deep beneath the northern Atlantic Ocean on a nuclear submarine, neck deep in a hole in the ground looking at a water main break, spending a sleepless night at 101 North Court Street (City Hall) because drifting snow closed the roads between Brunswick and Frederick, fielding citizen concerns at Winchester Hall, walking the corridors of our historic State House in Annapolis and helping to develop our next generation of community leaders.
This life has granted me untold blessings and experiences, all them leading me to my role as the President/CEO of the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce. I don’t pretend to know everything, but based on my last 30+ years, I think I know enough to help our members grow and expand their businesses and organizations. I’ve actually been at the Frederick Chamber longer than most folks’ realize. I’m going on my seventh year, and before I became an employee, I had the privilege of serving as a Board member. Serving the interests of our private, public and nonprofit Chamber members has been an important part of my life for the last nine years!
So together we embark on an exciting journey, as a staff, as volunteers and as a part of the region’s most exciting business culture. Our services, programs and events will be aligned with the needs of our members. Our team is committed to providing our membership with a world-class experience. The pace of change in our County is at light-speed, and you deserve a Chamber that understands and quickly reacts to the needs of our members.
We’re looking to build upon a culture that fosters technological innovation, creates economic opportunity and values the social, cultural and creative pursuits that make us whole. Working together, we can do almost anything. We value collaboration above most other activities, and will work to build on successful partner models like the Entrepreneur Council, Generation Connect, CREST, our Ambassador program and the Frederick Nonprofit Alliance.
We feel strongly that we have a role in educating our members about politics, but we will do so without allowing partisanship to cloud our judgment.
We’re optimistic, energized and focused on helping you achieve your goals. I couldn’t be more proud of the team we have assembled at the Chamber, from our Board to our staff to our great volunteers!
Most organizations spend considerable time and money identifying and selecting talent, but some fall short once the person starts with the organization. Think about your own orientation and onboarding strategies. What is the candidate experience once the offer is accepted and a start date is determined?
An effective orientation creates a positive experience that lessens anxiety, encourages enthusiasm and helps socialization of the new hire. These factors contribute to higher productivity and staff retention.
Ideally, you want a new hire’s first day to be the very best experience that it can be. Although there are always some transactional activities of completing I-9 forms and other administrative documents, an orientation program provides an opportunity for you to showcase your organization and lay the foundation for why you are an employer of choice. You want the new hire to affirm his/her decision to join your staff.
A project is “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.” That definition covers the design, development, and deployment of everything from aircraft carriers to ziplines, satellites to
submarines, and from smartphones to the infrastructure making it all work! It applies to the gamut of technologies and market spaces and has an economic impact on virtually all industries. The breadth of the definition helps to explain the fact that of the approximately 24 million managers in the U.S., about 8 million are project managers. Chances are fairly solid that you, or someone working for you, is managing at least one project.
Elizabeth Cromwell resigns as President & CEO of Frederick County Chamber of Commerce
- Rick Weldon named Chamber President & CEO -
The Frederick County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors announced today the resignation of Chamber President and CEO Elizabeth Cromwell, who is leaving to become the President and CEO of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce in Virginia. Her last day will be September 14, 2018. Rick Weldon, Vice President of Chamber Operations, will become the president and CEO.
I’ve been with the Frederick Chamber for years now. When we started our company 16 years ago, joining the Chamber was one of the first things we did. I thought I was joining for the networking. Turns out I was only half right.
It’s the people who offer the real value to me and my company: the members, the community leaders the Chamber brings together, and the Chamber staff themselves. These are all sources of great information that I can use to grow my business.
There’s just one small problem… many of these people don’t know they’re experts. It’s like the dead people in The Sixth Sense, they don’t know they’re dead (sorry for the spoiler but it’s been years people!)
You’re Good Enough, Smart Enough…
I want you to look into a mirror right now and repeat after me… “I can help people.”
You know things that others do not. You’re an expert! Don’t believe me? How many questions did you answer about your business or services today? Whether it’s a client or a coworker, you have knowledge they want.
This is where content marketing comes in. Imagine if you could extend that knowledge out to a larger pool of people? What if you could solve their problems simply by sharing what you know? What happens when you give someone a gift and expect nothing in return?
There is no denying that Frederick, Md., is a special community. Not only is it a vibrant mix of culture and history, it’s also filled with some of the most generous and kind souls I’ve ever encountered. It’s a community that thrives due in large part to the caring individuals who donate their time, talents and treasures to their favorite causes.
I’ve had the pleasure of volunteering in a number of different roles: planning events, leading cub scout dens, participating as a working not-for-profit board member, assisting youth soccer, and writing public relations materials for organizations I admire. Some might call me a bit of volunteer junkie, in fact. (They’re probably right.)
And while I hope that I’ve made a valuable difference in all of those organizations over the years, I don’t feel as though I’ve been the epitome of “effective and amazing” at every single one. I’m an over-committer and I like to help people.
What it comes down to is this: I’ve said yes way more times than I should have.
I’ve come to realize that while volunteering feeds my soul, I do need to be smart about it in order to be my most effective. These days I am way less willing to say yes without some serious soul searching first.
I’ve seen some of my friends and colleagues experience similar situations. So, to pay it forward, I’ve put together a few questions and points to consider before accepting your next (or first) volunteer opportunity.
Frederick County businesses were recognized at the Annual Best Places to Work awards program at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center in Frederick on July 26, 2018. The Frederick County Best Places to Work campaign recognizes the county's most innovative, creative, and forward-thinking employers.
Frederick County Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Elizabeth Cromwell commented that employers and employees come together at this event to celebrate positive working environments and unlimited potential. "Our awardees often don't seek the type of recognition that this event offers. But by sharing the best practices these companies have developed to become standard bearers, we can show our pride in these organizations for creating the most compelling places to work in Frederick County."
What is the impact of Frederick County Nonprofit Organizations on the welfare and economy of Frederick County?
For the past year, a Leadership Frederick County Leaders-on-Loan Alumni group, in conjunction with Mt. Saint Mary’s University, has conducted a study of Frederick County nonprofits to answer that very question.
The Frederick Nonprofit Alliance, a committee of the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, gathered over 70 attendees to the Residence Inn by Marriott on July 31, 2018 to reveal the findings.
Said Frederick Nonprofit Alliance chairman and Community Living, Inc. CEO Michael Planz, “While providing just a snapshot of the economic impact of Frederick County Nonprofits, this survey sparked a discussion that will act as a springboard for further conversations and analysis of our nonprofit organization’s contributions to the greater good of the County and its citizens.”
The real power in membership in the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce is the collective voice of the Frederick County business community speaking unison on matters of policy that affect them.
The Public Policy Committee, a bi-partisan assembly of Chamber members with an interest in understanding and examining how government and the private sector interact, recently held a session with the incoming Mayor and Board of Alderman for the City of Frederick. The well-attended event was held at City Hall and treated attendees to a recap of the new administration’s first six months in office as well as some of the issues they plan to focus on and address during their time in office.
On Thursday, May 24th at Morningside Inn the distinguished class of Leadership Frederick County gathered for the last time to celebrate their journey and formally graduate from the program. Graduates and their families attended a dinner followed by presentations from classmates and words of encouragement by LFC alumni and Chamber of Commerce representatives.
"Every LFC graduation is bittersweet to me. Each class member brings something special to the program, and watching their sense of enlightenment and accomplishment is my true reward," commented LFC Executive Director Rick Weldon. "Each of these people become a friend through the experience, so making 40-50 friends every year is the offset to not getting to spend one Friday a month with them."