Juliet Carr’s experience with the Chamber goes back 18 years, when she worked there before taking a break to stay at home with her child.
“I really fell in love with the Chamber’s purpose and mission and their role in the community. So I kept a close eye on what the Chamber was up to all those years that I was able to stay at home with my kids,” said Carr. “I watched Chelsea Rosty, who was the director prior to me, make some big moves for the organization.”
(Credit: Mike Boese of Peak Life Photography)
When a position came up at the Chamber last year, Carr thought this would be a great opportunity, particularly as she liked the direction the Chamber was moving. Two months ago, Rosty moved into a full-time role for the City of Montrose and Carr moved into the Executive Director role at the Chamber. And how is it going so far? “Good!” Carr says, “It’s very humbling and of course very exciting. I’m learning a lot but I’ve really appreciated our board of directors’ support.”
As for the Chamber itself, things have changed since moving into Proximity Space. “When we moved into Proximity Space we embraced a digital culture. That includes not having walls of brochures and business cards, etc, Carr says. “To continue moving in that direction, we needed to update our software to make it more user friendly for Chamber members. We’re in the process of doing that over the next few months. And this year we will have our annual report for our members that will be entirely digital.
Any why the move to digital? “Firstly, it’s environmentally friendly. Secondly, nearly everyone has access to a device, whether it’s a laptop or a smartphone and that’s where most people go to get their information. So having people go through the expense of printing out brochures or business cards to stock in the building hoping that somebody is going to pick them up is just not what [people] are doing right now.”
If you own a business in Montrose but aren’t a member of the Chamber, now might be a good time to consider joining. There are different tiers of membership, each one designed to offer a range of services that fit your business in addition to a range of of other perks including participation in events held by the Chamber, exclusive advertising opportunities and marketing and business support. Carr adds that one of the main benefits of joining the Chamber is the support and networking opportunities.
“People that are active in the business community and active in the Chamber are really driven,” she says. “They want to see their businesses succeed and have longevity, which the Chamber encourages by way of our business referrals and the support that we offer our Chamber members.”
“It’s also a great community-building tool,” Carr says. “We get calls from people new to the area looking to work specifically with Chamber members.” They want that warm handoff and that warm referral, and they feel that Chamber membership is important.”
Montrose U Leadership
And the Chamber’s work doesn’t start and stop with established businesses. “One of the things that our staff is really focused on is moving at the speed of business. One of our focuses right now is our Montrose U Leadership class, a Chamber-led effort that we put on once a month with the support of the city. It aims to give members of the community the skills and knowledge to fully participate in the future of Montrose.
Annual Chamber Gala
Then there are fundraising efforts, including the upcoming Montrose Spectacular Gala. The 113th Chamber Gala will be held at the Montrose Pavilion and Event Center on January 19, 2019 and will, according to Carr, feature “a lot of awesome surprises.” One of the main features of the event will be the grand arrival of the evening’s emcee. Melissa Lowe, who owns and operates Yoga House (207 East Main Street) in Montrose and Ultimate Skydiving Adventures in Delta with her husband, will skydive in with three of her friends wearing LED light suits.
The Chamber is also one of the lead organizations for 970 Studio, a partnership with the Montrose High School media department that sees students from the high school provide their skills and expertise to Chamber members and the larger community. “Both Chamber members and the larger community come to us and we partner them with a student that can help them whether they need help with a YouTube channel, a blog post, a podcast, creating a logo, a brochure, a QR code, or live streaming something,” Carr says. “It gives the kids an opportunity to gain valuable experience and at the same time it gives the community access to a group of technologically savvy individuals.”
Join the Montrose Chamber of Commerce now to enjoy all the benefits that go along with it!
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