CEO MESSAGE

MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT & CEO

les-vail-headshot-1

2016… What a year, we started off the year by moving from our office of eight years on High Street, to brand new space on Rowan Boulevard in Glassboro.

Throughout the course of 2016, with the help of our Board of Directors, membership and the business community at large we updated our 3 year strategic plan. The focus has stayed on four core areas; our Business Model, People, Marketing & Technology.

 

Our Business Model

  • By sticking to our plan our membership has grown to 927 at the end of 2016

Through these opportunities and by sticking to the plan we saw our gross revenue go up by 20% in 2016. Allowing us the ability to provide more business development & educational opportunities for our members.

We continue to look at our model to make sure we stay competitive and affordable and provide services that are based on our member’s needs.

Over the past two years we have been working to create the South Jersey Business Institute. Through SJBI we can one stop clearing house to both the business and academic community for

  • Professional Development and Training
  • Workforce Development assistance
  • Mentoring
  • And a conduit to connect the Academic and Business community
  • On December 16 we signed our partnership agreement with RCGC to provide our members and their employee’s with a 1/3 discount.

SJBI is about assisting our partners in helping to build the best workforce on all levels to attract and retain the best companies.

People

  • We have continued to grow our team with the right staff to help us fulfill your strategic plan. As each of our staff as specific roles to help our organization continue to grow but more important to help our members become engaged so that their business may continue to flourish
  • Our members – We are here for you and because of you. This is still our number one area of focus. As members we look to reach out to you more often and make sure we are addressing your needs and or concerns so that we can continue to help you grow
  • Our committee’s – We are expanding and looking to provide our members more opportunity to participate in areas that are important to them and that match their strengths.
  • Partnerships – We continue to build and expand our relationships with other organizations. Our Education Partners at Rowan University, Rowan College of Gloucester County.
  • Our Municipal Chamber partners from Washington Twp, Woodbury, Williamstown, Pitman, Paulsboro, Greater Swedesboro and New Visions.
  • Our County Chambers – Art Campbell – Camden County Regional Chamber and Kristi Howell – Burlington County Regional Chamber
  • Our Partner Marlene Asselta – The Southern New Jersey Development Council
  • And the New Jersey State Chamber with Tom Bracken & Mike Egenton
  • GC Economic Development – Tom Bianco & Michelle Shirey

Last but not least are all the volunteers who help make our Chamber the best it can be. We cannot do what we do without you

Marketing

  • We continue to grow as an organization and through our plan we need to look to market the Chamber as an organization not just our events. In the summer of 2016 we launched our Buy Chamber program. An initiative to make our directory the go to site for anyone looking for goods and services.
  • As we move through 2017 we will have multiple co-operative Marketing programs that will provide extremely cost effective opportunities for business at any level for as little as $60
  • Our magazine the VOICE continues to grow and like its name provide a voice not only for our organization but the members as well
  • We will continue to provide the most cost effective resources to each of you

Technology

  • As you have heard me discuss before, we invested in a powerful tool to be the back engine of our website directory and events calendar. With our Buy Chamber program to market our member’s it’s become more important for each of you to make sure listing is up to date so you can be found. We will continue to work with our members in fully utilizing this technology
  • Too match this back engine we needed to invest in a new front one and on January 30 with the help of the team at Mehta Sense we are so excited to announce that we will launch a new website.

I would like to conclude by first thanking our membership for all the support they have provided the Chamber, we are here because of you and for you. I would also like to thank all the sponsors for their generous support in 2016; we cannot host events like this without you.

We are so excited for the future, because of you we have a plan.  We will continue to grow and improve.  As always, we are here because of you and for you and we are honored to serve.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, and myself we would like to thank each and every one of you for your continued support.

Les Vail President/CEO