Broten Embraces New Business Retention and Expansion Role

Meet the Fox Cities Chamber's Newest Team Member

Published Thursday, July 22, 2021 10:00 am

Eric Broten (left) visits with members at the Fox Cities Chamber golf outing July 12.

Eric Broten has wasted no time in his first month on the job.
 
The Fox Cities Chamber’s new Director of Business Retention and Expansion may be new to his position, but he has known the Fox Cities as a great place to live and work for more than seven years. And he’s passionate about his newest mission to visit 20 of the region’s businesses by Labor Day.
 
As Broten begins his new position, the Chamber is embarking on the ambitious BR | E Benchmarking Summer Challenge, sponsored by Synchronist Suite. The project asks Chambers across the U.S. to collect data on their employers’ post-COVID needs in the areas of business and workforce development. Through the Synchronist tool, responses will be confidentially compared to other communities for national benchmarking purposes.
 
Participating in the challenge was an obvious choice, as one of Broten’s primary responsibilities in his new position is to conduct business retention and expansion visits – an effort that fell behind due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m hitting it really hard to make up for COVID,” Broten says. “And with the opportunity to collaborate across the country and see how we stack up, why wouldn’t we want to share?”
 
Broten is already more than halfway through the process of scheduling 20 visits. He says the process is mutually beneficial for employers and the region.
 
“I’m not trying to sell anything; I’m just listening,” Broten says. “Let’s talk, find out your needs, and then I’ll come back to the Chamber and connect the dots. There is a great team at the Chamber, there are dollars out there businesses may not know about…and the more I can learn, the more I can help.
 
“The main thing is, we all want to learn what employers are trying to accomplish for their employees and be able to give insight. At the end of the day, we’re trying to get jobs in our region and keep them here.”
 
In addition to business retention and expansion visits, Broten is responsible for coordinating the Chamber’s Employee Friendly Workplace Initiative. He says an emphasis on creating a great working environment for employees is key to setting the Fox Cities region apart, and he is excited about the opportunities to benchmark, learn, and grow that are coming up this fall.
 
The Chamber’s annual Employer Benefit Survey is open now through Aug. 16, which will provide great insights to participating organizations. The robust survey is targeted toward human resources officials. The results will be available to participants in early September, and further discussion about offering a great suite of benefits and incentives for employees will take place Nov. 10 at the Employee Friendly Workplace Breakfast.
 
“It’s all about thinking outside the box and gearing toward retention,” Broten says. “I have high hopes for our November event, because I think there are a lot of insights to be gained from the pandemic.”
 
So watch your voicemail or inbox; Broten’s next outreach may be to your business. Or, better yet, don’t wait for his call: If your business would benefit from the retention and expansion visit or wants more information about employee-friendliness, contact Broten first at ebroten@foxcitieschamber.com or (920) 831-4908.
 
“I would love to hear from ANY business,” Broten says. “These visits are absolutely a top priority for me.”
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