Steven Wallace

Steven Wallace

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: 2013 is just around the corner. I am personally excited — as I am every year — to see what comes next.

Undoubtedly, there will be challenges. There will be issues that are so big or so out of my league that I cannot change or influence them. But, there will be issues and opportunities that I can influence and change, and those are the challenges that I look most forward too.

I’d like to share a couple of the reasons I’m excited about 2013, both personally and as chamber president and executive director.

First, the Southern Midcoast Chamber continues moving its focus to a regional level. We are blessed in the Mid-coast area to have several downtown, business and Main Street organizations. Because of this, our 16 towns have a built-in partnership with complementary services for our business communities.

 

 

It’s time to cut out the duplication of efforts and work together. From storefronts to industrial parks to our growing homebased business population, all our businesses can and need to have a voice that is heard in the Blaine House. The chamber board and I look forward to working closely with these organizations. Business owners and taxpayers: You should demand it.

Second, the Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber is going to step up and be a onestop business resource. If your company is struggling with its marketing plan, the chamber is going to connect you to partners that can help. If your business is down, we’re going to help market you. If legislation or local policies are unproportionately hurting your bottom line, we’re going to help you communicate that pain to state, regional and local policy makers.

Look for our targeted “Business Success Seminars” the first Wednesday of the month and I ensure you they will help your business succeed.

Third, the chamber already has a state-ofthe art website and customer management system. With more than 170,000 pages navigated by almost 40,000 visitors during 2012, our member businesses have been marketed like never before.

With more and more visitors using mobile devices and tables, we are happy to announce that we have now added a mobile platform to better enhance our members’ tourism and business services as well. This duo — web and mobile — combined with our print and info center presence, provides a one-two-three punch that no other organization has in the Mid-coast.

And finally, the chamber will be involved with a regional calendar of events that includes both member and non-member details. It’s time to coordinate our limited resources, specifically our people and our efforts. Let’s not have three or four major events in the same town on the same night … we can and should do better.

In closing, I would like to say that I am extremely proud of vision and leadership of the chamber’s board of directors. Their vision does not see the easy path, but instead focuses on the right path for our region, our businesses, and our quality of life. I’m excited about 2013 … see you next year.

UPCOMING EVENTS: Key Bank, 40 Front St., Bath, hosts the Holiday Chamber After Hours on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 5 to 7 p.m. The event is catered by Simply Susie’s Personalized Catering. Make use of the networking power of the SMMC and attend this fun event. Please register.

Grand opening and ribbon cutting for Topsham Veterinary Wellness Center is 1 p.m., Dec. 17. The new business is located at 10 Monument Place, Topsham.

The Chamber’s Annual Meeting and Awards Gala is Jan. 17, 2013, 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., and takes place at Thorne Dining Hall on the campus of Bowdoin College. The evening includes a member-to-member exhibition, networking and social hour, dinner and election of new board directors and officers. For the first time in many years the Chamber’s Annual Awards will also be presented. Please register for this event.

For more information and to register for these events, go to www.midcoastmaine.com.

MEMBERS IN THE NEWS: The chamber welcomes West Wind Lobster Tours, operating seasonally from Cook’s on Bailey Island. To discover more about this business, go to www.midcoastmaine.com or download MyChamberApp for use on your mobile phone or tablet.

The chamber proudly serves 720 businesses and organizations in the following communities: Arrowsic, Bath, Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Brunswick, Dresden, Edgecomb, Georgetown, Harpswell, Phippsburg, Richmond, Topsham, West Bath, Westport Island, Wiscasset and Woolwich.


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