2017 Chairman of the Board - Ryan Lemon
On behalf of the Huntington County Chamber of Commerce, I would like to thank all of our members for their investment in the Chamber and in Huntington County. At the Chamber, we are committed to ensuring that those dollars are re-invested into programs, activities and initiatives that further advance the Chamber’s mission and improve the quality of life in our community.
As we enter 2017, I believe it’s important to reflect on many of the accomplishments that were made over the past several years. The Chamber moved the Heritage Days celebration from Warren Street to the Cherry Street area. This opened up the community streets so traffic could flow better during the celebration. The Chamber was also instrumental in helping bring credit and debit cards, along with WIC and EBT vouchers, to the Farmers’ Market in 2016. By offering other ways to purchase goods, vendors participation increased by 20 percent with more local people visiting the market.
The Chamber, along with many other local organizations, donors and volunteers, celebrated the opening of the Huntington County Community Learning Center. The Center opened on August 8, just in time for school to start. The Center will be used to help local people find skills needed to locate a job, and will give local industry an opportunity to hire “trained” individuals from Huntington County. The Chamber organized the Bicentennial Celebration for 2016, where the 200 year anniversary of Indiana was celebrated throughout the entire year. For the second year, the Chamber has helped manage Career Day at Huntington North High School, where more than 400 ninth-grade students were given the chance to explore different careers and speak with the professionals serving in those respective fields. The Chamber also helped with the third annual Veterans’ Day Parade and related activities.
In addition to these important accomplishments, one of the Chamber’s primary ambitions is to ensure that businesses of all scale have the opportunity to build meaningful relationships through the Chamber Ambassador volunteer group, networking events, ribbon cuttings, open houses and After Hour celebrations. We also offer many different types of seminars and programs intended to enhance the professional development of our local business community, such as the HR/Professional Development Group, 12@12’s, Lunch ’n Learns, and Leaders EDGE. The Leaders EDGE group reorganized in 2016, under the facilitation of Dr. Evan Wood, and continues to provide topics of interest to many of the most prominent leaders in Huntington County. Additionally, the Chamber strives to keep the community informed of local business happenings through newsletters, Chamber Notes, social media, websites and the Chamber app for smartphones.
Throughout 2017, our efforts will be focused on maintaining and strengthening many of the initiatives that bring a high level of value to your Chamber membership and experience. Our “Eat. Shop. Live. Do More Huntington,” and Gift Check programs continue to mature; supporting and promoting local businesses and organizations by encouraging citizens to keep their purchases and affiliations local. We are also evaluating new programs that further expand the networking opportunities we offer and allow our members to create deeper connections within the community.
Our mission at the Chamber is to support and promote a community atmosphere in which businesses prosper and the quality of life continually improves. As we strive to fulfill and strengthen the impact of that mission, the Chamber’s paramount pursuit will be to advance the businesses and organizations that help to make Huntington County the best place to live, work and play.