Chamber shares plans for rest of year and into 2020

Published 3:09 pm Friday, November 15, 2019

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Anna Kinchen, events and communications coordinator from the Bainbridge- Decatur County Chamber of Commerce was the guest speaker at Kiwanis Club on Thursday, where she addressed the Chamber’s current offerings and future plans.

The Chamber of Commerce totals 425 members, including 15 new members who recently joined.

The Chamber offers a variety of events throughout the year to help strengthen business relationships and support economic growth. Kinchen said this past year they hosted the largest Rivertown Days yet, with an attendance of 13,000 people.

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Following Rivertown Days, they hosted Leadercast Live- the world’s largest one-day leadership conference at the Kirbo Center; the conference allowed for businesses professionals to gain insight on how to better improve their workforce and leadership style and also allowed for those in need to accumulate continuing education credits.

In June, the Chamber began their first “Leads Group,” which is a trust circle of individuals from various industries and a network building opportunity for referrals from other professionals. In order to be in a Leads Group, one must be a current member of the Chamber of the Commerce and attend the meetings held the first and third Wednesday of each month. Currently, the Leads Group has 18 individuals from several industries.

The Chamber has also partnered with First Port City Bank to develop the future work force, with the First Port City Bank Youth Leadership Class. They recently hosted a speed networking opportunity, known as the Amazing Shake, where students had 60 seconds to introduce themselves, shake hands and answer the prompt given by business owners and educational professionals.

“I saw a huge benefit from that exposure,” Kinchen said.

Kinchen went on to discuss how they hold two annual award celebrations that celebrate the movers and shakers of Decatur County.

At the Chamber awards, they recognize the small and large business of the year, and a Professional Under 40, along with community recognition such, as Woman of the Year and Man of the Year.

They then host an Ag Appreciation Luncheon that recognizes the Ag Man and Woman of the Year.

“It’s our way to thank those who provide our food and fiber,” Kinchen said. “We saw 325 guests and had great attendance.”

Going forward, the Chamber will host one last Chamber Connect for 2019 that they are hoping to be fun and festive. They have also sent out a survey to address concerns of members and make sure they are meeting all the needs of businesses. Finally, Kinchen said they will soon unveil a completely new direction they plan to take Rivertown Days into.

“It will be one that incorporates the arts, premiere vendors, marketplace and popular entertainment that not only captures locals attention, but a regional pull,” she finished.