Where has the time gone, Chamberverse? It's already October; leaves are falling and making a riot of colors outside my office window. It snowed up on the mountain passes already, meaning travel (and the pace of life/work) will slow a bit. The days are shorter, and the festivities of the holidays will be here before I can blink.
I often think of fall as a time for reflecting back on the busy-ness of the year, and since I joined the Chamberverse, it's also a time when I get ready to knock out our "At a Glance" infographic. I'll post that for you in the next message, since I just started thinking about it. But it has been quite a year!
Of course the Gala and Leadercast were some pretty great events. The Rural Business & Innovation Summit had excellent speakers and attendees. I enjoyed our shenanigans at the Putting Challenge. I absolutely loved being a part of Leadercast Women (was that really only last week?!). I sincerely hope everyone who attended had a great time, and that our sponsors were pleased with our efforts.
What else? We increased our membership by 33%. That's three or more new Chamber members per month! Well, so far. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. But now I cast my eye toward membership retention; my grand plan is to focus on the "why" not the "how". Why do our members join us? Why do they stay? Because we're RAD of course! But also, we're the Chamber. We're the family stone, the thread that binds the business. We're that sounding board, mixing board, and sometimes a whooping board (is that a thing?). We engage in conversations that produce ideas which lead to actions. We connect—mix, if you will—our members with one another. When we need to, we whoop legislative actions that harm our members and their businesses. Our team put together a great group of Government Affairs advocates and helped the governor select the new District Attorney (that's actually kind of a big deal) as well as representing Klamath Falls at the Chamber Day at the Capital, getting in front of some decision makers up the ladder and letting them know what makes an impact on US, here in the Basin.
I met some phenomenal people this past year (May was my 1 year anniversary, did you know?). I took selfies with state representatives, a couple senators, and our governor. I didn't even use a selfie stick. I made a fool of myself more than once (Leadercast Fall Down Winner of the Year), and engaged in countless awkward conversations which hopefully led those on the other end to say to themselves, "That Chrystal from the Chamber...she is so odd. I will never forget her." Because being remembered as odd, strange, awkward, and a bit mental is WAY better than not being remembered at all, amiright?
We had so many ribbon cuttings this year, we had to buy ribbon several times and that's actually pretty awesome. It means businesses are growing, expanding, remodeling, or heck, being born into existence. We love that!
We saw amazing engagement from our Ambassadors this year! They hosted the Oregon State Ambassadors Convention here in Klamath Falls and had a blast. They welcomed our new members, our renewing members, and just in general checked in with our membership throughout the year to help us make sure our members are getting the attention they need and deserve.
We sent out relocation guides left and right, helped visitors find the falls (you would be surprised how often people ask us that...), and had a fun time at every one of our Greeters morning networking meetings. What else...oh, we helped coordinate the second year of the Superfund Job Training Iniatiave to help with the clean up at the North Ridge Estates. When I write out this list of accomplishments—and these are just the ones I can remember!—I feel like we should take a moment to reflect: how on earth did we get all this done in a single year?!
So this is my time to sit back and say, "Ahhh-ctober, what a ride it's been! Cheers (raises coffee mug) to another fantastic year!"
What did you accomplish this year? Please share your victories, awkwardnesses, and memorable moments with us!