Coming off an acclaimed 2018 Hope/Hempstead Chamber of Commerce banquet earlier this month, it signaled that the organization's troubles and challenges of March 2017 were perhaps, finally, in the rearview mirror.
Coming off an acclaimed 2018 Hope/Hempstead Chamber of Commerce banquet earlier this month, it signaled that the organization’s troubles and challenges of March 2017 were perhaps, finally, in the rearview mirror.
One year later, March 2018, a heralded banquet video is posted on the Internet, and Thursday morning, now seasoned Chamber Director, Beckie Moore, was already looking to build on 2017’s successful revival of the Hope Watermelon Festival, working on the website for the 2018 Hope Watermelon Festival.
Moore said Thursday, “For the Hope-Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce, 2017 was a year of filled with sadness, doubt, seeking, definitely a low moment. The Chamber board was reminded in powerful ways that the Chamber should have a strong heartbeat in the community. Yet, the heartbeat was growing faint.”
Over the 12 past months, he Chamber’s financial and cultural malaise and declining membership rolls have transformed into a healthy balance sheet, a renewed optimism and 21 new members in the last six months, with nine businesses celebrating opening their doors with ribbon cuttings. A stark contrast in a relatively short time frame.
“No one would doubt the fact that each year of life is filled with low moments. If not for these moments, we would never fully appreciate the ‘highs’ and the forward motion that always follows,” Moore said.
Rodney Orr, the 2018 board president said, “The Chamber board is committed to the continued growth of Hope & Hempstead County.”
When the Chamber Board of Directors hired Moore as the new Chamber director, they hoped the changes would be positive, although Moore quickly says, “No one individual brought about the change and new direction. Too much progress has been made.” as she credits an engaged Chamber board and the community at large for rallying around the organization.
Moore touts 2018 as a “Forward motion year,” saying “The chamber now has new list of member benefits, and the board took time to plan strategically in creating 3 to 5 year goals and objectives.”
She also points to new and developing programs like the Chamber’s revived Ambassador Program, and the forthcoming Hope-Hempstead County Leadership Program.
Moore said, “The Chamber’s mission is creating an environment in which businesses can prosper. The main function of a Chamber of Commerce is to promote interest in local business possibilities.”
“Money, Planning, Inspiration, and Guidance, depends on the members working vigorously on the committees of their choice. The Chamber works for the ever-increasing population, assuring additional customers and income,” she said.
Moore also said, “There are two primary functions of a Chamber of Commerce. First, it acts as a spokesman for the business and professional community and translates the group thinking of its members into action, and secondly, it renders a specific product or services type that can be most effectively be beneficial by a community organization and to its members as a whole.”
She concluded, saying “Bottom line, the Chamber is in the ‘solutions business.’”