2011 is off to a very good start for the Fort Dodge Area Chamber of Commerce. With many positive programs and initiatives in place, and a new slate of officers, I would like to give a brief update on what is currently happening at the Chamber, and what the Chamber's future plans are.
Membership Drive - 2011
We have 38 new members from our membership drive last month and are looking forward to working with them to help further develop and grow their organizations. The Chamber's many programs and activities will give these new members opportunities to expand their connections, learn new business practices and integrate their products and services within other member businesses and the community. The Chamber now has 563 members. We are committed to providing them with excellent customer service, referrals and many occasions where they can promote their organizations.
There are currently more than 100 members of the Fort Dodge Young Professionals. This is a group of individuals who provide philanthropic and social activities to engage young adults in our community. We realize the importance of addressing the needs and concerns of this demographic, and want to help them to feel vested and at home in our community. This is a fun organization that recognizes that people in their 20s, 30s and 40s are beginning careers and families, and need ways to meet one another and have things to do. Some of the events the YPs have hosted are food drives, wine-tastings, Halloween parties and many others. Please visit the Chamber's website for an application to join the YPs.
Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance
April 12 - Employers Network Employee Relations from a legal standpoint, presented by Stu Cochrane at the Best Western Starlite Village, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
April 19 - Spring Clean Up; 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Kenyon Road, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., Crossroads Area. Call the Chamber if your business or organization would like to help. Gloves, trash bags and water will be provided. Join us to help "spring clean" our community.
April 20 - Disney Leadership Seminar - for the second time in Iowa (the first time was also in Fort Dodge), the world-renowned Disney Corp. will provide its excellent quality Leadership Training seminar. This will be held at Iowa Central's BioScience and Health Sciences Building auditorium.
April 21 - Network at Noon, Regional Recycling Center.
April 27 - Golden Apple Banquet to recognize Teachers of the Year in Webster County, held at Willow Ridge.
May 3 - Good Morning, Fort Dodge, with the topic of the "Market on Central," Willow Ridge, 7:30 a.m.
June 7 - New Member Breakfast, Fort Dodge Country Club, 7:30 a.m.
Aug. 4 - Chamber Golf Outing, Fort Dodge Country Club.
The Chamber is also in the process of becoming part of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance. The Growth Alliance is a partnership with the Development Corporation of Fort Dodge and Webster County and other entities in our region such as the Community Foundation and United Way and SSMID. We will extend this alliance to all of Webster County and beyond.
The Mission Statement is: "The Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance is an efficient organization whose mission is to unify and coordinate accountable, economic and community development, to enhance the quality of life in Fort Dodge and the region." A group of forward-thinking local individuals have come together to form this new organization to help attract and create quality jobs, a favorable business climate and an excellent quality of life.
As a member of the Chamber, you will also be a member of the Growth Alliance. The Growth Alliance will help to create strategic plans that will enable all of us to capitalize on the opportunities in existing businesses and other targeted business and industry sectors. We will be investing in our region's future.
The Vision Statement for the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance is: "Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance will provide empowered leadership for the effective and efficient use of available resources to achieve measurable, clearly stated, short and long term goals." This practical, attainable vision statement will serve to guide and measure the Growth Alliance's results as we move forward.
Matt Johnson, is president of the Fort Dodge Area Chamber of Commerce. He is general sales manager at Fort Dodge Ford Lincoln Toyota.