The Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Industry counted down its top 10 strategic priorities for 2013 this morning at its annual business meeting.
Every business knows the importance of good planning, because “hope is not a strategy,” 2013 board Chairman Jim Adams, president and CEO of Wenger Feeds, told the large audience at the Lancaster County Convention Center.
For this year, the chamber is identifying “strategic areas of focus” in three categories, Adams said: Member access and experience; content and value; and community impact.
Among the initiatives highlighted:
• Voter Voice: Launched at the end of 2012, Voter Voice is an online system for political engagement. Users are matched to topics that concern them and can quickly send messages to the relevant lawmakers.
• Marketplace Live: Supplementing the chamber’s large monthly mixers, which have attendance in the hundreds, Marketplace Live events will give companies a chance to promote themselves by hosting smaller networking events. One2One Inc. will host the first Marketplace Live on April 23, owner Nick Paulukow said.
• Leadership training: On March 22, the chamber will host a seminar by Steven Wiley, president of The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg. Wiley is a nationally known author and speaker who has led seminars for top executives at numerous Fortune 100 companies.
• Think Local: The chamber will enhance this program, launched last year to encourage people to patronize local companies, with an interactive mobile app, to be launched at an “Appy Hour” April 5.
Chamber representatives also discussed enhancing volunteer recognition; revamping the Career Connect program, which connects high school students with work opportunities; developing a mentoring program within the Young Professional Network; enhancing member services via a new chat feature on the chamber website and other means; and evaluating the chamber’s office needs in anticipation of possible relocation.
Lastly, “our No. 1 priority is you,” chamber President Tom Baldrige said.
At several points in the presentation, audience members were asked to text or tweet answers to poll questions, with their answers aggregated and displayed in real time. A question focusing on Think Local, asking if members were doing more business with local companies than two years ago, garnered at least 236 responses, with 74 percent saying “yes.”
Adams said he was “personally excited” about the chamber’s goals.
“It’s a big slate of priorities, and it’s a lot of work that we have to do.”