On a recent trip to Little Rock, Arkansas, I stopped at the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce and spoke to them about what they do to assist in making Little Rock an Amazing City.
They explained that they put on many meetings and other activities to promote the region both locally, nationally and abroad. Their offices are located right in the downtown area and represent a visible presence for local businesses and visitors like myself who need information and resources about the business community.
I recently joined the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce and I look forward to the many activities and opportunities to promote our area and our many local businesses. I had been a member of the Harrison Chamber of Commerce many years ago and served on the board of directors for several years. The director of the Chamber back then was Madeline Philipps and the office was located on the first floor of the Goff Building. Current Clarksburg Councilman Bob Caplan was the director for many years and I can remember the offices being in the old Telephone Company offices across from the Hope Gas building.
The current Executive Director of the Harrison County Chamber is Kathy Wagner and she is ably assisted by Mary Beth Aman and Kim Drummond. I’ve known Kathy and Mary Beth for many years and they have the Chamber on a strong footing with many resources for local businesses. I just met Kim Drummond when I stopped in to the office to fill out my membership application and I was impressed with her energy and positive attitude. The Chamber offices are in a beautiful old brick house located just down from the Harrison County Senior Citizens Center.
As I travel around the country, I find that having an active Chamber is necessary for a city or a region to grow and prosper. City governments can only go so far in promoting a city or region and they need the support and input of the local business community to send a unified message. I think one of the best things that the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce has done is to include the city managers of Clarksburg, Bridgeport and Shinnston on the board of directors. This is a great move that allows the cities to be at the table with local businesses for the betterment of our area.
Another great service of a Chamber of Commerce is the development of young and emerging leaders. Programs like Leadership Harrison are essential to identifying and educating young business owners and employees. They introduce the participants to local businesses and organizations that they might otherwise not be aware of. I can remember touring the Clarksburg Casket Company many years ago and being amazed at the quality and efficiency of this local business. Likewise, employers like the F.B.I. offices in Clarksburg are largely unknown to many in the community and the tours of the facility can sometimes open the eyes of local businesses to opportunities to service this large facility.
I am very proud to once again be a member of the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce and look forward to contributing my time and energy to making our area an Amazing place.