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Highlights of the Year



Chamber Recognition at the State Level: Garner Chamber President Neal Padgett was recognized for his outstanding leadership and service to the Chamber industry. Neal received the Chamber Executive of the Year Award for North Carolina. In addition, the News & Observer named Neal the “Tarheel of the Week” with a story featured in a Sunday edition of the N&O.


Membership Development:  In an effort to expand the Chamber’s reach and engage more businesses, April Wood transitioned to a full-time position as Vice President - Membership and Kim Niskey joined the staff as the Chamber’s first full-time Business Development Director.


Student Engagement: Career Prep Program: The Chamber, Town of Garner and several business leaders worked with Garner Magnet High School to offer the Career Prep Program through the Trojan Business Alliance.  80 students participated in a series of workshops including resume writing, elevator pitch, career interest survey, dressing for success, interview preparation, and mock interviews. Students implemented their skills at the Wake County and Garner Magnet job fair events.


National Small Business Week: Garner Mayor, Ronnie Williams, issued a declaration to celebrate Garner’s first-ever Small Business Week. National Small Business Week highlights the programs and services available to entrepreneurs through the U.S. Small Business Administration and other government agencies. The campaign is designed to help small businesses do what they do best – grow their business, create jobs, and ensure that Garner remains vibrant. The Chamber and Town of Garner celebrated and recognized our local small business owners by hosting daily events; including a ribbon cutting on Main Street, daily trivia, local business highlights, webinars, and an “appreciation lunch.” Our community rallied behind this event. 


Wake County Transit:  Neal Padgett joined nearly 100 elected officials, business, and transportation leaders to Richmond, the closest city with a bus rapid transit system. The group gained tremendous insight for the upcoming implementation of our region’s five approved bus rapid transit lines as well as our regional commuter rail corridor. We also learned from Richmond’s efforts to enhance the regional travel experience, whether the mode of transportation is air, car, bicycle, or on foot.


Expanded Chamber Member Benefits:  Added more money-saving opportunities that are exclusive to Chamber members:  LegalShield/IdentityShield and Mako Documents joined our current list of providers – RelyMD, First Benefits Workers’ Comp, FSIOffice, and MPX credit card processing; all with special member-only pricing for their products and services.