I’D LIKE TO begin by thanking Mike Wagoner for 12 years of chamber of commerce leadership. Mike’s dedication and professionalism has helped to make Carteret County a premier location for business and leisure. He was absolutely outstanding at keeping an eye on legislation – local, state and federal – that had the potential to impact business here on the coast.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to introduce (or reintroduce) the chamber staff. Our newest staff member is Lana Collmann who is our program manager. She is also the liaison to the Military Affairs Committee offering appreciation to military personnel in Carteret County. Her responsibilities also include the coordination of the annual Reverse Drawing, one of the chamber’s largest fundraisers. She also coordinates Leadership Carteret, a 10-week program that covers everything from government and education to culture and commerce. Every Tuesday, Lana produces the Chamber’s Member Notes that’s emailed to over 1,500 people.
Julie Naegelen has been the director of membership services since 2006. Her philosophy is simple: Members first and foremost. Julie is the one who schedules, plans and conducts the ribbon cuttings, Business After Hours and the Business After Hours Expo. Julie is the staff liaison for the Ambassadors Club which goes out and does ‘face time’ with our nearly 900 chamber members. She coordinates the annual ‘Membership Drive’ and represents the chamber with Connect Carteret – A Young Professionals Network.
Susan McNamara is the director of administrative services at the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce. She started at the chamber as the program manager in July of 2015 and in October of the same year she moved into her current position. She is the “go to” person for all Chamber’s administrative and online needs. She updates social media and the website, directory, online advertising and keeps the chamber’s extensive database maintained. Susan also makes sure you get your PULSE every Monday.
First and foremost, this stellar staff is devoted to giving value to the chamber membership!
So what can we expect to see in the near future for the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce?
- Earlier this year, we did a survey of our members and overwhelmingly, the suggestion was that we become more digital. We’ve already improved our presence on social media, made it easier to purchase tickets to events, like the Reverse Drawing, and we’re streamlining our email blogs.
- We are taking a look at our print publications to see if we can make them more user friendly.
- We are evaluating our events to see how we can maximize networking opportunities for our members.
- We’re exploring ways to bring more value to our members.
- We are looking for collaboration and partnerships.
- We’re going to bring more value to our sponsorship packages.
I personally invite our members – and non-members – to take time to talk to me and share your ideas on how the chamber of commerce can be more valuable to the business community.
The chamber’s mission statement is “To improve the economic climate of Carteret County.” I can’t imagine a higher purpose for any chamber of commerce.
Tom Kies, President
Carteret County Chamber of Commerce