Highlights of the Year
Year in Review
Strategy 1: QUALITY PROGRAMS & SERVICES
Maximize business development and economic growth of the community.
Chamber Membership Growth: With the completion of Kim Niskey's first year as Business Development Director, the Chamber has recruited 174 new members over the past 12 months and chamber membership is at a record high with well over 600 members.
Chamber Trifecta: 2010 was a busy year for the Chamber and we are still reaping the rewards of three major programs that were implemented. 2019 marks the 10 Year Anniversary of the Chamber Connect Conference, Broadway Voices, and the Summit Awards.
Young Professionals: Speed Mentoring - Several young professionals and "seasoned" professionals gathered for "Speed Mentoring." Seven rounds of Q&A evolved allowing young professionals to speak one-on-one with our seasoned professionals and glean valuable information. More speed mentoring events will be offered in the future as this proved to be an indelible experience for all.
Connect...When Chambers Collide: Born from conversation between Garner Chamber executives and Clayton Chamber executives at our CACCE conference - a great way for members from both chambers to network and make connections. Developed into a "healthy" competition between the chambers - Garner had the highest number of attendees, took 1st in the go-kart race, and 1st in axe-throwing. Event was held at RushHour Karting - 200 people attended.
Strategy 2: GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS
Manage government relationships to represent local business needs.
Champion the Acceleration of I-540: N.C. Department of Transportation filed the paperwork for the water certificates required for "Complete 540," the southern extension of the $2.2 billion project; however, environmental groups filed litigation against the project saying more voices need to be heard before those permits can be granted. In October 2018, NCDOT held a public hearing for those voices to be heard. April Wood speaking on behalf of the Chamber Board of Directors (based on the Board's 2012 resolution), encouraged NCDOT to proceed with 540 as quickly as practical. On August 22, 2019, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and a number of environmental organizations, represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), came together and signed an agreement which will allow 540 to proceed to construction in the next few months, while ensuring environmental protection for our region.
RTA - Economic Impact of BRT: Chamber staff and board members attended a panel discussion hosted by the Triangle Community Coalition and Regional Transportation Alliance regarding the economic potential and impact of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). Garner is getting both BRT station and service as well as two commuter rail stations. The potential economic development impact is great. The Chamber is joining in the discussion with the goal of smart growth surrounding these transit hubs.
Bond Referendums: At the 2018 Connect Conference, a speaker panel addressed the importance of the Wake County Bond Referenda which would protect the county's reputation as a great place to live, work, learn and play. Voters approved the bond referendums for Wake County Public School System, Wake Tech and Wake County parks and Greenways ensuring these investments are made at the lowest cost to taxpayers.
Strategy 3: EDUCATION & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Advance talent strategies to prepare employees for the workforce.
Strengthen Talent Pipeline Development: April Wood completed the US Chamber's inaugural Business Leads Fellowship Program this past January, which focused on business leadership in education and workforce policy and programming. In July 2019, April served as a panel speaker and presented at ACCE's national conference for Chamber executives, regarding the role that Chambers serve as a catalyst between industry and education in developing and maintaining a talent pipeline. She has recently been accepted as a member of the inaugural class of the Talent Pipeline Management Academy of North Carolina where she will be equipped with the tools needed to drive workforce solutions in our surrounding communities.
Strategy 4: CATALYTIC LEADERSHIP
Develop human capital and partnership skills to solve business challenges.
Keynote Speaker at State Conference: Neal Padgett and GPAC's Debbie Dunn presented Broadway Voices as a case study on breaking paradigms, leveraging resources and building out-of-the-box partnerships to create a unique, award-winning arts series. By presenting concepts through a business perspective and developing strategic partnerships, a series was born that has transformed cultural arts in our community
IOM Certification: April Wood received her IOM certification from the US Chamber by successfully completing a comprehensive course of study consisting of 96 credit hours of nonprofit instruction focusing on professional growth and development.
CACCE Certification: The Garner Chamber has earned the Carolinas Accredited Chamber designation. The Carolinas Accredited Chamber program is designed to promote public awareness of the intent of the chamber of commerce brand as a not-for-profit community development-based business membership organization by providing a peer review process of generally accepted chamber of commerce organizational benchmarks. The Garner Chamber is now one of 30 accredited chambers throughout North Carolina and South Carolina.