As we are on the edge of a clean slate, a new year, it is a good time to look back on the year that just ended and consider the accomplishments achieved. It is a valuable exercise and helps to keep one focused on the job ahead.

At the Central Vermont Chamber, we have just completed year two of a three-year strategic plan implementation. That means that not only will we be focused on completing the strategic plan in 2019, but also working to develop a new strategic plan to commence in 2020 as well as expanding upon the current one.

All of the efforts of our strategic plan are predicated on the accomplishment of our mission statement which is: “To guide, inspire and promote the best interests of the businesses and professionals of the area, and to enhance the economic, cultural, educational and recreational opportunities of its citizens and visitors.”

In addition to our mission statement, we are also guided by our vision statement, “The Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce is the premier business organization in Central Vermont providing essential and meaningful services to its members. The Chamber is recognized and respected as the ‘go to’ organization by the business community, government and other Chambers. Our community and its citizens thrive because of the efforts of the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce.”

So how are we doing?

We set out with a series of objectives and by any reasonable measurement, we have been seeing great results all around.

Promote continued economic growth, job creation and infrastructure improvements. Enhance and promote the historical, cultural, natural and recreational assets of Central Vermont to residents and visitors. Provide a strong voice for business in local and regional planning. Encourage local business networking through a variety of membership functions.

Check, check, check and check.

Recognize and promote awareness of those investing in local business ventures. Assist business by offering consulting teams of experienced professionals. Support a broad range of cultural events and performances.

Underway.

Increase communication between business leaders and legislators at regular meetings. Forge new bonds of cooperation between area businesses and local schools. Encourage residents and businesses to shop locally — especially with members.

Mission accomplished.

Aid decision makers and others with current statistical and economic data. Respond to those seeking information with attractive materials and quality data.

Absolutely.

Despite all of this, there is much to be done.

We set out in our strategic plan by identifying four key areas: advocacy; financial security; technological innovation and stewardship of Chamber physical assets.

One of the most important obligations of The Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce is to be an advocate for its members and the business community in general. The Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce has strengthened its already well-recognized governmental relations efforts by identifying key issues that affect the business community. The Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce lobbies those issues on the local, state and federal levels, utilizing the inherent strengths found in the membership.

We also advocate for our members by offering outstanding networking events, cutting edge educational seminars and unparalleled opportunities to grow one’s business.

Establishing financial security is vital. We carefully monitor our finances and strive to ensure that all expenditures will provide a good ROI for our members.

We are getting better when it comes to leveraging cutting-edge technology. We will be making great strides in 2019 to ensure that we are ready to meet tomorrow’s challenges. Look for continued live streaming of events. Added to our activities will be webinars and expanded use of social media platforms including the potential for our own YouTube channel.

As for stewardship of our physical assets, we are very mindful of the needs of Beaulieu Place, and have made significant improvements and investments in our world headquarters over the past two years.

We are a dynamic, membership-based and member-driven organization. Every day, we work to create a pro-business, pro-growth economy for our region and our state. Ultimately, we are looking to grow our region and create sustainable, high-paying jobs.

If you are interested in connecting with the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce, give me a call at 802-229-5711 or drop an email to Bill@centralvt.com. I’ll be happy to show you how you can help us to make a difference.

Happy New Year to all and best wishes for continued success in 2019.

William E. Moore is president and CEO of the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce.

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