A Message from Carlin Smith, PRCC President
AN EXCITING NEW YEAR
A message from your Chamber President
Happy New Year and welcome to an exciting 2012. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you, our beloved chamber member, for your kind support in 2011. As a chamber of commerce, our lifeblood is the financial support of our members, and we certainly recognize the significance of this support. Our staff, Board of Directors, and our committee leaders all work prudently to use the chamber’s membership revenue in a way that is true to our mission; to help area businesses succeed.
In 2011 the chamber streamlined its staff and streamlined the focus of its work. The PRCC no longer provides staffing and administrative support for downtown programs. The Downtown Management Board is now administered through the City of Petoskey, although we still maintain close working relations with Downtown Director Becky Goodman.
The chamber staff now consists of Carlin Smith, President; Lisa Hoyt, Membership Director; Jessica McGeorge, Business Manager; and Erin VerBerkmoes, Guest Relations Specialist. This is a small staff that works very efficiently to crank out a lot of programming. We’ve also been privileged this year to have an intern on our staff, Neil Lamoureux of Central Michigan University. And we’ve valued the work of Kathy Bardins of Bardins Communications who we hire as a contractor to assist with some of our special events.
I’m thrilled to report that the PRCC saw a 3.6% growth in membership in 2011. At the end of the year, your chamber’s membership stood at 764. That’s a large membership number for a relatively small community. Thank you.
I am also happy to report that your chamber is financially sound. The final accounting for 2011 isn’t complete, and we do expect to show a deficit on the past year’s income/expense report. Despite the deficit, our balance sheet still shows a healthy fund balance for the organization.
We served our members in a number of ways in 2011. We know numbers are an important part of your business, so here are the chamber’s numbers for the past year:
§ Conducted more than 90 Ribbon Cutting or chamber anniversary ceremonies (up from 73 in ’10 and 43 in ’09)
§ Hosted 39 networking events
§ Hosted 8 educational seminars
§ Hosted 4 Major member events (State of the Community Luncheon, Golf Outing, Small Business Conference, and Breakfast for Champions)
§ Hosted 3 Major community events (Art in the Park, Festival on the Bay, and 16 Farmer’s Markets)
§ Added Accident Fund Worker’s Comp as a member benefit program
§ Worked with Harbor House Publishers to produce our annual Membership Directory and Visitor’s Guide to showcase chamber members
§ Produced a Weekly E-Mail product to keep members informed on business information and community events
§ Sold more than $46,000 in Community Cash that was redeemed or will be redeemed at chamber-member businesses
§ Hosted an event for our members to meet Michigan’s Speaker of the House Jase Bolger and an event to meet US Senator Carl Levin
§ Successfully advocated for the elimination of the Michigan Business Tax
§ Successfully advocated for Pure Michigan funding
§ Have advocated with the FAA on “Option 1” of Delta’s proposal for air service at the Pellston Regional Airport
§ Continued participation in the Northern Michigan Regional Chamber Alliance which now boasts 8-chambers representing 6,000 northern Michigan businesses
§ Streamlined our bookkeeping processes to create greater efficiencies and more accountability
§ Invested in new chamber membership management software that is now going on line
§ Reassigned staff responsibilities for greater efficiencies
§ Hosted a successful Festival on the Bay
§ Hosted a successful Art in the Park
§ Hosted a successful Farmer’s Market Season
§ Graduated our 12th Leadership Little Traverse Class and started our 13th
I share this report with you as sort of an annual report; a message to our members to let you know that we are working very hard on behalf of the business community and to again let you know how dedicated we are in serving you, our chamber member. Thank you for your kind support and we look forward to many new and exciting things in 2012!