The Fox Cities Chamber celebrated its 2017 work and recognized many partners at its annual Report to the Community on Thursday, January 18 with almost 300 business and community leaders in attendance.
The program was opened with a welcome by Bruce Zak, Executive Director at Chase and Chairman of the Fox Cities Chamber Board of Directors. Following, Fox Cities Chamber President/CEO, Bob Mundt provided opening remarks for attendees recognizing members, investors, sponsors and public officials for their continued support throughout the year, especially through the organization’s leadership change and transition.
This annual event featured stories told from Chamber stakeholders in the three focus areas of Inspiring Community, Investing in People and Strengthening Business. The program showcased the Chamber’s Annual Report as well as key priorities of work and successes in 2017.
A few 2017 Annual Report highlights included:
- 940 total members, 90 new members; including an ACCE (Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives) Membership Achievement Award for the member retention rate of 86%
- 81 total events; $44,000+ awarded to 13 organizations in the Fox Cities through Octoberfest grants
- 31 total Pulse events with 22,000 attendees (which includes 3 Bazaar After Dark night markets)
- 40 Leadership Fox Cities graduates in Spring 2017
- 2,600+ student attendees and 59 participating businesses at the 11th Annual 8th Grade Career Expo
- 56 Talent Upload student participants representing 16 universities
- 212 businesses and 9 school districts participating on Your Future Fox Cities website
- 13 Public Policy events with 600+ attendees; including celebrating U.S. Navy Week
- Fox Cities Regional Partnership, the economic development division of the Chamber, provided assistance with 4 business expansion projects resulting in an estimated 295 new jobs and $11.1 million new annual payroll
The Fox Cities Chamber recognizes the importance of community-focus initiatives that bring together people, businesses and organizations that positively impact the local economy and improve the quality of life for everyone. Featured initiatives included Bazaar After Dark, YP Week and Octoberfest.
The Inspiring Community category was introduced by Heather Wessley, Community Relations Officer at Fox Communities Credit Union and active Chamber volunteer. Wessley has been an active volunteer with the Chamber for many years and also served as a previous Chamber Ambassador. She mentioned how critical the following events are to the well-being of our community and expressed how we can continue to leverage innovation and creativity for progress.
The Inspiring Community highlights were provided by:
- Matty Burns, Owner, Harmony Pizza – Bazaar After Dark vendor
- Samantha Zinth & Beth Vanderloop, Co-founders, Urban Relish – YP Week, Fox Cities SOUP (Support of Urban Projects) Winners
- Cindy Reffke, Chair, Prevent Suicide Fox Cities – Octoberfest grant recipient
Investing in People
Hillary Anderson, Vice President of Human Resources at Werner Electric Supply, Co., presented the category for Investing in People. Anderson mentioned how talent is a top priority for all of the businesses in the room and that the purposeful opportunities presented have helped to attract and develop people with ultimate goal of retaining people in our community. Featured programs included Leadership Fox Cities, Fox Cities Future 15 Young Professionals Awards, K-12 programming and Talent Upload.
The Investing in People programs were presented by:
- Brett Christofferson, Director of Business Development, Corcoran Glass & Paint – Leadership Fox Cities graduate
- Nathan Litt, Account Director, Quill Creative – Future 15 Alum and 2017 Young Professional of the Year
- Shawn Volk, Lead Teacher & Math Instructor, Little Chute School; District; Lucas Franck, Junior in Engineering & Manufacturing Pathway, Little Chute Career Pathways Academy; Lexington Halse, Senior in Health & Human Series Pathway, Little Chute Career Pathways Academy – K-12 Programming and Your Future Fox Cities
- Mark DesJardin, Business Development, C3 Corporation – Talent Upload participant
The third focus category, Strengthening Business, was presented by Richard Parks, Regional Director of Modern Woodmen of America. Parks is an active Chamber Ambassador and member of the Board of Directors. He introduced programs from the Chamber which help to strengthen businesses in the community.
Parks attributed his involvement with the Chamber to his belief in “repetition leading to recognition” and noted the many ways that he has been able to successfully build his business’ brand with members of all sizes. Highlighted initiatives included small business programming, business retention and expansion and public policy.
The Strengthening Business highlights were provided by:
- Scott Jensen, Sales & Marketing Director, Appleton Ice, Inc. – Small Business chamber member
- Rachel Rosenberg, Administrative Assistant, Pieper Electric, Inc. – Small Business chamber member
- Brett Christofferson – Director of Business Development, Corcoran Glass & Paint – Business Retention & Expansion assistance from the Fox Cities Regional Partnership
- Representative Jim Steineke, Majority Leader, State Representative – Public Policy
“The Fox Cities Chamber will continue to play a leading role in identifying and solving business and community challenges in 2018. Our organization exists to be a catalyst for business growth, a connector for leaders and influencers and the champion for a stronger community,” shared Mundt.
For additional news and information, follow the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce on Facebook and Twitter (@FoxCitiesChmbr).