Reflecting on a great 2015

As we begin a brand new 2016, we have been reflecting on our past Chamber year.

Reflecting on a great 2015

As we begin a brand new 2016, we have been reflecting on our past Chamber year. As always, we are grateful to have such a dedicated Board of Directors and an all-star staff who remain committed to our mission of being the voice of and providing support to our local member businesses.

We are excited to announce that we had 173 new businesses join our ranks in 2015. We successfully converted to an annual billing system with everyone having a January renewal, and those renewals are coming in daily. Our two major annual fundraising events in 2015 were successful and enabled us to end our year in the black. We hosted our first ever live broadcast of Leadercast from Atlanta, filling two theatres at Movie Tavern for a full day of inspirational and motivational speakers. (Go ahead and save the date for this year’s broadcast on May 6.) Attendance at our luncheons and networking events throughout the year was steady. We acted as the “Voice of Business” at local, state and federal levels through our Governmental Affairs Committee.

Business support activities were primarily carried out through the members of our Small Business Advisory Council, who helped to organize one of our most successful EXPOs to date, as well as commissioned a study from Southeastern Louisiana University Business Research Center to determine sales traffic, trends and preferences. Our Northshore Rising Professionals continued to be strong, holding their second Leadership Summit event with over 100 in attendance. And the list goes on.

Looking ahead, we have analyzed survey and focus group results and will be tweaking some events and adding new ones to ensure we are meeting our members’ needs. So be on the lookout for some exciting announcements on Business After Hours and other networking opportunities!

We’d like to thank our outgoing 2015 Chairman of the Board Larry Manshel with ITC Promotional Marketing Group for his leadership throughout the year, and look forward to our incoming Chair Bret Kolman, CEO of Lakeview Regional Medical Center, who will no doubt continue to provide much wisdom and guidance. The rest of our Board of Directors and Advisory Board (check out our website at for their names and faces!), as well as Committee Chairs are each eager and enthusiastic about their servant leadership roles in the year ahead. They know a strong Chamber is needed to enhance and maintain a strong atmosphere for commerce to occur.

On behalf of our Board of Directors and staff, we wish each of today’s readers a happy, successful and prosperous New Year!

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