Why I am a Chamber Member and You Should be Too!
Last month we had a fabulous evening at the Dorchester Annual Chamber dinner. With a sold-out crowd and a waiting list, it was a great event at the Hyatt Chesapeake Bay Resort. To feel the energy in the room was terrific, and it made me reflect on why I am a member of the Chamber. In full disclosure I had been on the Dorchester Chamber Board of Directors for six years, took a year off and now I am entering the second year of a new term. To me, the Chamber is a vital part of creating a thriving Dorchester by bringing people together and working on the projects that improve our local economy, education, and overall community pride! The Chamber is a community connector working for its longterm success and growth!
The Chamber has played a part in many of the business projects that you now see come to life. One is the new Cambridge Marketplace complex started several years ago when the developer contacted the Chamber for information. The Executive Director position at the Chamber was vacant at the time, so as the current President, I was acting as the Executive Director. We were able to provide him the contacts and connections that helped him get the project underway. Our current Chamber CEO, Bill Christopher, has been a part of the process all along way making sure the Chamber helped in any way it could.
The Dorchester Chamber also is playing a part in helping our local students succeed. The Chamber Foundation has awarded over $25,000 in scholarship last year to students for continuing their education after high school, whether by a trade school or college. They also help by bringing in companies to the classroom so that students can learn what kind of jobs are available in Dorchester County, what employers are looking for when interviewing complete with mock interviews. The newly revived education committee brings together stakeholders that all contribute to our school system to exam needs and leverage their efforts by working together.
One project the Chamber is assisting with that is an immense source of community pride is the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy’s restoration of Phillips Packing House. The completion of the project includes a 6-acre park with an outside amphitheater. This venue will be a great testament to honoring Dorchester’s past while creating a space for the future. There are many more projects that the Dorchester chamber contribute to in one capacity or another. These are just a very few.
While there are many direct benefits to being a member of the Dorchester Chamber with education, networking, and advertising opportunities for businesses, these are not why I am a member of the Chamber. I am a member because I love my community, and I see the Chamber as a connector between people and resources to support remarkable initiatives that improve the lives of everyone who lives here. Judging by our sold-out annual dinner, many people love this community and want it to succeed. That is a great place to be!