FREDERICK COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
In the spirit of goal setting for the new year, we have a few of our own to share and every single one of them is about YOU!
In 2018, we sent out a member survey to assess our effectiveness and learn more about what your expectations of us as your county chamber of commerce.
We aren’t the kind of people that like to send out surveys just to be sending out surveys. We’re the kind of people who like to send out surveys so we can figure out what we’re doing well, what we need to be better at, and what we should do about it.
Basically, we listen.
Here’s what we heard you say:
We know everyone has different priorities—things they want or need to support their personal business goals, but we also know that we want to offer support, education, training, events, and growth opportunities to as many of our members as possible.
So we’re working on it.
We’re designing new programs, planning different events, and ramping up our social media and content production to allow you to stay informed, and feel supported in ways you may not have in the past.
Here’s what you can expect from us in 2019:
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot stopped by the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce on October 23, 2018 to meet with Board members, Partners in Trust, committee members, staff and some VIP guests.
"Visits by state and local leaders are an important part of the Chamber’s advocacy and influence on important matters of policy affecting membership,” said Rick Weldon, President & CEO. "When one of our state constitutional officers visits with our members, it strengthens and deepens our relationships. In the event that we need to intervene on behalf of a member, it is critical that these leaders know us and are open to helping. The fact that County Executive Jan Gardner and Frederick Mayor Michael O'Connor were also in attendance makes them an important part of the conversation, as well.”
The Comptroller visited the Chamber office space, and following an introduction by Chamber member (and former State Delegate) Galen Clagett of Clagett Enterprises, he discussed issues of alcohol regulation, computer fraud, tax collection and the fiscal outlook for Maryland in 2019.
During the visit Comptroller Franchot also met with Kathie Brady, Executive Director of the Frederick Innovative Technology Center, and took a brief tour of the FITCI facility in the ROOT Building. While there, the Comptroller struck up a conversation with a startup company and extended an invitation to them to visit him in Annapolis for a follow-up briefing on cryptocurrencies.
Last month the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce surveyed our member businesses and nonprofits to help us further understand their priorities, needs and concerns and to ensure we are advancing the mission of the business community in the most effective ways possible.
The 2018 membership survey allowed respondent anonymity and was designed to give our staff, board of directors and committee members a better understanding of why businesses become members, their expectations, availability and interests as well as trends for future implementation.
It is worth noting that of the members that responded to the survey call, 58% were members in their first five years of membership, 21% have been members for 6-10 years with the remainder of the respondents having memberships dating over 11 years.
One of the key pieces of information collected was the reason that businesses choose to become a member of the Chamber of Commerce. Through the survey we discovered the top five reasons a business joins is to:
The Frederick County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the promotion of Jennifer Gerlock to Vice President, Marketing and Communications. Gerlock has been with the organization for five months.
“I’m pleased to begin the process of aligning our staffing with our strategic priorities. As we begin our Chamber rebranding effort, Jennifer will help lead our members, Board and staff through a comprehensive assessment of what and who we are,” said Rick Weldon, President & CEO. “I’ve known Jennifer for a long time, including through the Leadership Frederick County program. Her skill, creativity and insight in marketing, public relations and communications will be crucial as we work to enhance the membership experience and set a course for the future of the Frederick Chamber.”
The Vice President of Marketing and Communications also serves as the Chief Brand Officer for the Chamber, and ensures that all Chamber events, services and programs reflect the essential elements of Chamber membership. According to Weldon, “This Chamber has existed for over 100 years. The future will center on using technology tools to help our members grow their businesses. Jennifer will be a critical part of that effort, and I’m really excited about working with her to tell the stories of our members to the Frederick community.”
Governor Larry Hogan stopped by the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce office on September 18, 2018 to visit with our Board, Trustees, Ambassadors, partners and staff. A crowd of over 50 guests got to mingle, pose for some pictures and network at the event.
The Chamber considers it a high priority to create opportunities for our Board, Partners in Trust and members to interact with our local, state and federal elected leaders.
“We’re deeply appreciative that Governor Hogan spent time talking to our guests about their business goals and challenges”, Chamber President & CEO Rick Weldon said. “We thanked him for the State’s support of our return to downtown Frederick, and talked about importance of collaboration with our economic development partners. He thought the idea was great, and suggested it should be replicated in other jurisdictions.”
What a long, strange trip it’s been...
In a nod to The Grateful Dead, the journey to my current 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!
It’s a relatively rare occasion to have the entire eight-member Frederick County General Assembly gathered in one place to chat about their work, but that’s exactly what happened on Friday, May 4 at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Center at the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Legislative Wrap -Up Breakfast.
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