The Spring Hill Chamber of Commerce is wrapping up a busy December month with our final Chamber events. Our biggest event was the December monthly luncheon which was our Annual State of the Chamber meeting. It was a great event sponsored by Vanderbilt Health and catered by Longhorn Steakhouse. With presentations from myself, 2017 Board Chairman Abbie Stofel and 2017 Vice Chairman Kayce Williams, our Chamber was able to reflect on 2017 as well as kickstart 2018.
I was able to communicate my appreciation to the membership, Ambassadors and Board of Directors for welcoming me into my new role this past year. In addition, I was able to report on our growth and milestones this past 2017. Our January member survey gave us valuable insight for our strategic plan that we successfully implemented this past year. First, we improved our monthly luncheons, an event our membership told us they find the most value. By changing the venue to the UAW Hall, seeking high caliber speakers and streamlining the registration process we’ve been able to average 150 attendees this year. Second, we’ve given our members more opportunities to build relationships and network. We hosted 24 ribbon cuttings, 4 mixers and 2 Anniversary celebrations. Our new joint mixer with Williamson Inc. and Maury Alliance was a huge success with 300+ in attendance. Third, we gave our members opportunities for more exposure. We now have agreements with three media partners, The Advertiser News, Wingate Media Group and Spring Hill Home Page, which offer exclusive discounts to Chamber members. Our new online directory, www.experiencespringhill.com, provides a dynamic platform for our community to access our members. The directory, sponsored by Vanderbilt Health, also provides our members with additional advertising opportunities.
Our Chamber leadership continued the focus on our members with some additional initiatives. First, we wanted our two signature Chamber events, the Business Expo and the Mayor’s Ball, to provide more value to our membership. Event Chairman, David St. Charles, created a strong committee that rebranded the Expo to Experience Spring Hill and attracted over 2,000 attendees to the event held at Summit High School this past July. Revenue generated from booth sales and event sponsorships grew over 70% from the previous year. Event Chairman, Kayce Williams, also created a strong committee for the Mayor’s Ball presented by John Maher Builders. The Connect theme provided for a beautiful event that included an interactive art exhibit from Spring Hill Arts Center. Attendance grew over 10% from the previous year and revenue generated from ticket sales and sponsorships grew 60% from the previous year. The growth of these two events allow our Chamber to give more to our members in the form of programming and service. Second, our Chamber worked hard to improve our image and to be more visible in our community. We revised our mission, vision and core purpose to address our members needs. We created a new logo with branding guidelines that visually represents our purpose consistently in the community. The rebrand project culminated in a new website that truly showcases our Chamber and local business community.
Abbie Stofel, 2017 Board Chairman, led the Chamber through the successes of 2017 and she accepted her award for serving in her position. She gave recognition to all those that served in her role previously, noting the foundation they provided for her to build upon. She thanked her fellow Board members for their dedication to making the Chamber better in 2017. She also recognized the specific Committee Chairs for their commitment and execution of the Chamber’s goals:
Rob Ferrara-Finance Committee
Wanda Guy-HR Committee
Pat Hairston-Membership Committee
David St. Charles (Experience Spring Hill)-Events Committee
Kayce Williams (Mayor’s Ball)-Events Committee
Barry Osborne-Ambassador Committee
Corey Gonzalez-Marketing Committee
Abbie also recognized the efforts of the Chamber Ambassador group saying, “This group of 30+ individuals are the lifeblood of our Chamber and their love and support for their fellow members is an amazing thing to witness. Thank you all for your hard work this year.” Additionally, Abbie thanked the Chamber staff for their commitment to the Chamber members, her number one request during her term. She recognized the amazing efforts of George Bobier, Chamber volunteer extraordinaire, who is an invaluable asset to our Chamber.
As Board Chairman, Abbie was tasked with giving out the awards for Ambassador of the Year and Chamber Board Member of the Year. For his dedication and commitment to the Ambassadors and Chamber membership, Barry Osborne (Costco) was awarded Ambassador of the Year. According to Abbie, “when out in the community, meeting and welcoming new businesses to Spring Hill, the first words out of his mouth are probably about the Chamber.” The Board member of the Year award was awarded to Corey Gonzalez (iNBrand Marketing), for going above and beyond but also made a lasting impact that will be seen for many years to come. According to Abbie, “Corey has fundamentally changed how we represent ourselves as a chamber to our members, our community and our City and ultimately helped us all in creating a better Spring Hill.”
Kayce Williams, 2017 Vice Chairman, presented two additional Chamber awards and discussed her upcoming role as Board Chairman in 2018. The Chamber membership voted on Chamber New Chamber Member of the Year and Chamber Member of the Year awards. Margaret Ziegler won the New Chamber Member of the Year award for the impact she has had in the community and the Chamber. Abbie Stofel was the winner of the Chamber Member of the Year award. Kayce reiterated Abbie’s fantastic leadership and described Abbie as, “a woman of impeccable character with a vision higher than any mountain and a heart deeper than any ocean.”
Kayce also recognized the new 2018 Board members and acknowledged the service of the Board members rolling off their three year term. Kayce announced her 2018 Vice Chairman as David St. Charles (State Farm Insurance). Kayce ended with, “It’s not often you connect with even a few people that share your hopes and dreams. I am so blessed to have found an entire village! And this village has big plans!”
Thank you for all of your support this past year. We wish you all a Happy Holiday!
Rebecca Melton, Executive Director