It has been a joy to highlight the people, businesses and organizations who made 2023 such a great success during the three-part year-in-review series that we completed last week. However, it’s time to look forward to 2024 and get some event dates in your calendar, and even more than that, give you a feel for where we see the chamber focusing our efforts in the year ahead. I’ve opted for the words “we” and “our” in this preview because it truly will take many people working together to achieve all of our plans in 2024. Let’s start there.

Expanding programming means expanding roles

You’ve heard me mention both Brittany and Anthony, my two colleagues, numerous times over the past eight weeks and rightfully so — they were a huge part of our 2023 success. Anthony is our nearly full-time chamber coordinator who is weeks away from his one-year anniversary, while Brittany is our marketing support specialist whose anniversary was in November. Now that we’ve had both of them here for one full cycle of programming, they will be growing their roles in 2024, and that’s a really good thing.

If our chamber is to continue evolving, then I will need to continue to delegate some of my responsibilities to these two excellent colleagues so I can take on some new projects to help us grow. Additionally, their roles will also expand in areas of specialty that I don’t have, such as Brittany continuing to grow our social media presence on Instagram and growing our secondary e-newsletter, the Brunswick Landing News & Notes. As for Anthony, he will be the staff support for many of our committees, including our Ambassadors team, while also helping me grow our Chamber Works 2030 programs and partnerships.

All of this will allow me to represent the members at more regional and statewide initiatives, including groups working to solve some of the employment barriers like housing, child care and credentialing. It also allows me to meet with more business leaders more frequently to help design workforce programs to build pipelines for their industry as well as allowing me time to advocate more positions for our members at the State House.

This will be a big adjustment for some, as too often I call myself “the chamber guy” rather than the executive director because it sounds folksy and more down-to-earth. However, by doing so, I have tied my identity to that of the Bath-Brunswick Regional Chamber, and we can no longer succeed if people think this chamber is about only me. Surely, as the leader, I am big part, and I help set the tone, but our board of directors, our committee volunteers and our staff are just as big a part of this as I am.

You will see a shift in 2024, but don’t be scared or disappointed with it. This is growth, and progress require leaders to expand their roles, and that is exactly what we all will be doing.


Volunteer opportunities abound

Tied to that last note, Anthony will need volunteer help, and this is a great opportunity for business leaders to get involved and, at the same time, grow your own networks. A great way to plug into any community is to work on projects together, and between our Ambassadors Team, WILL Power Team (Women In Local Leadership), our annual events and new programs in 2024, we will need volunteers. Keep reading this weekly column to stay up-to-date on the opportunities.

BBRC Awards Dinner, Hacker’s Ball and Midcoast Tree Festival

As for the big three chamber events this year, mark your calendars for these dates:

• BBRC Annual Awards Dinner: 5-8 p.m. on March 8 at St. John’s Community Center, Brunswick.
• 12th Annual Hacker’s Ball Golf Tournament: May 10 at Brunswick Golf Club.
• Midcoast Tree Festival: Nov. 22-24 and Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 at St. John’s Community Center, Brunswick.

Monthly networking events

Chamber After Hours is our open house–style, after-work mixers that are hosted monthly by a business. They are typically 5-7 p.m. once per month, though we can be flexible with the timing if the need arises. These are great ways to meet 50-75 business leaders and start to build relationships and awareness of potential regional partners in a relaxing atmosphere. If your business would be interested in hosting for 2024, reach out to Anthony at and he can send you an application. Once they are booked, you will find the complete schedule on the BBRC website at The next two Chamber After Hours are:

• January CAH: 5-7 p.m. on Jan. 30 at Brickyard Hollow, Brunswick.
• February CAH: 5-7 p.m. on Feb. 15 at Habitat for Humanity 7 Rivers Maine ReStore, Bath, co-hosted by Bath Savings Institution.

Additionally, we also host a monthly networking lunch called 12 @ 12. It’s 12 business leaders getting together for lunch at noon, generally on the third Wednesday of every month. Anthony hosts those, so contact him for an invitation. The next one with open seats is Feb. 21.


A teaser for next week

Yikes, I’m running out of space, so we’ll dive deeper into these following programs next week:

• One-Minute Job Posting Videos: This is our next Chamber Works 2030 program that we’ll be launching this spring.
• How Do I Get There From Here? Workshop Series: Navigating Maine’s New Required Retirement Policy for Businesses of 5+ Employees: 10 a.m. on Feb. 7. The title is meant to grab you, but the last stage of Maine’s required retirement plan law goes into effect later this year. This final stage includes employers of five or more employees (which are businesses that may not be familiar with this type of policy). We’ll dive into this more next week, but Anastasia LaMarca of Primerica will be on hand to answer questions on how businesses can comply with this new rule.

More updates next week! If you have questions, please reach out to

Cory King is executive director of the Bath-Brunswick Regional Chamber of Commerce.

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