Local Chamber of Commerce of the Year Nomination Example
Name of Nominated Chamber:
Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce
415 E Railroad Avenue
Names of Officers and Staff:
Quentin Algood, President
Lyn Carden, CEO
Rebecca Ratterree, Membership Director
How is the chamber involved in the community? What makes the chamber's involvement special?
The Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce, its board of directors and staff are involved in so many areas of the Wasilla and Mat-Su Borough community that it would be impossible to list more than the highlights here. The GWCC facilitates two of the best attended and most rapidly growing community events in Wasilla. Both the Independence Day Parade on July 4th and the New Year’s Fireworks on December 31st are family-friendly, free events available to every member of our community. Both events have increased in popularity and attendance over the years, making those two dates in the Wasilla area a much anticipated and planned for ‘block party’ for all of our residents. The GWCC doesn’t hire an event planner or a security team while sitting on the sidelines during these events. Each event is planned, promoted, staffed, and secured by engaged GWCC members, from board to staff, and all the committee chairs and independent member businesses in between.
Describe the chamber's business internal and external reputation. What does the chamber do to deserve this excellent reputation?
The GWCC has developed and maintains excellence in communication with our business community through relevant and informative keynote speakers at our membership network luncheons. Weekly luncheon speakers range from state and local agency updates, to distinguished members of our legislative delegation sharing insight and information on timely, and often controversial issues important to our membership and the business community as a whole. The GWCC Staff works diligently to ensure that both sides, and sometimes all sides, of an issue are presented whenever possible. Open to members, and non-members alike, the GWCC takes great pride in non-member attendance at our luncheons – this tells us our speakers and topics of discussion are indeed relevant to the business community as a whole! The GWCC has earned and deserves an excellent reputation through deliberate decision and hard work. This reputation has been built on action, the ongoing efforts of our Chief Executive Officer, and the dedication of our Board of Directors and Standing Committees.
Describe how the chamber promotes free enterprise and economic prosperity in Alaska.
In 2013, the GWCC worked closely with our area ARDOR, Mat Su Resource, Conservation & Development (MSRCD) in a Business Retention & Expansion (BR&E) project, by assisting in a borough-wide “Barriers to Business” survey. This year, the GWCC has further developed that partnership through a follow-up survey of local businesses, and participation in the compilation of the 2014 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for 2014. The information gained from these BR&E surveys also provides important insight to the GWCC, specifically information from our business community that is vital in helping the Board and Staff determine resource and social issue priorities in our area.
List and describe any notable projects or achievements by the chamber for the year:
The GWCC through its Governmental Affairs Committee has led the charge for projects at Point MacKenzie for a number of years, advocating at the local level and in Juneau and resulting in GWCC Resolution 2014-01: ‘Supporting Statewide Tri-Modal Transportation Zone’ – identified as a priority of our area residents and our business community. Rather than focusing on one individual initiative, the GWCC is creating a buzz about these projects as a collective - road, rail and port development projects all provide enormous economic impact by creating jobs through infrastructure, and that make good economic sense for any business. The GWCC is extremely proud of its involvement in advocating these projects, and the progress that they are actively achieving. During the first four months of 2014, and as a direct result of living and doing business in a small, tightly knit community, the GWCC Chief Executive Officer was provided a unique opportunity to participate in the 2014 Legislative Session in Juneau as a staffer to one of our Wasilla Representatives. The GWCC Board of Directors granted a leave of absence to its CEO to facilitate this exciting opportunity, and stepped up to assist remaining staff with the CEO’s day-to-day duties. In addition to a wealth of information relating to the inner-workings of our State government, the GWCC Board felt that the Chamber would greatly benefit from the many and varied relationships that could be gained. This proved to be entirely accurate on the CEO’s return, and as a direct result, the GWCC Governmental Affairs Committee began holding its monthly meeting at the Legislative Information Offices in Wasilla, which continues to improve communication between the Chamber and the Valley’s elected representatives and their staff.
Endorsement Letters (Minimum of 2 required.):
1. City of Wasilla Letter
2. Wasilla Physical Therapy Letter
3. Mat-Su RC&D Lette
4. Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce Resolution 2014-01