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Chamber seeks member needs

Community: Business organization is holding series of small-group roundtable meetings to get feedbac

Posted: May 28, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 28, 2011 1:55 a.m.

The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce wants to know what its members need, and it isn’t afraid to sit down with them face-to-face.

Hosting a series of small-group roundtable meetings with the president and CEO of the chamber, Terri Kingery Crain, is inviting members to sit down and share their feedback and input with the leadership team.

At a roundtable discussion Tuesday, Crain opened the floor to chamber members, letting them set the agenda and tone for the candid discussion. Also in attendance was Dana Cop, chairman of the board, and former chamber President Ed Masterson.

Since coming on board in January, Crain has focused her efforts on reaching out to new members, building a connection with former members and working with all business owners in recovery from the Great Recession.

Conducting a survey shortly after her arrival, she received feedback from some of the members indicating they wanted greater access to the chamber’s leadership and to break through perceived barriers of cliques.

Members attending the second in a series of roundtable discussions complimented Crain for improved communication and earnestly made suggestions — big and small — regarding how the chamber could continue to support local business owners.

In addition to the larger networking events,  members requested sponsorship of business groups, where members would be able to learn or benefit from each other’s expertise.

Crain said the chamber is already planning to launch one new group in June. Larger-business owners expressed a desire to be able to brainstorm and get feedback and advice from other business owners, she said.

The new group is zeroing in on business owners with larger companies that have six to 100 employees. Business owners will be able to share ideas and problem solve with peers at similar-size companies facing comparable issues. The group will be able to define its own mission and objectives, Crain said.

Attendees at the roundtable approved of the chamber’s fresh outreach approach.

“It is very enlightening and invigorating to meet with the membership in a more intimate setting,” Crain said. “The ideas, comments and spirit of collaboration will allow us to make any strategic changes to further benefit the membership.”


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