By Jim Giammarinaro
President & CEO of the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce
FRAMINGHAM – We have worked hard at our Chamber to support our membership throughout the year. Time has been utilized in December to reflect on our work and create plans for 2022. We are in regular contact with our chamber’s Executive Committee and over 30-person Board of Directors to review our programs and future initiatives. Our members have diverse needs, and our programs are member driven based on their feedback.
Below is a listing of the MetroWest Chamber’s plans for 2022 (in no particular order). If
you have any questions or are interested in chamber membership, do not hesitate to reach out to me (email@example.com).
1) Member and Prospect Outreach – We are in the process of modifying our database to provide an organized outreach program to both existing members and prospects. Keeping our members happy is our top priority and growing our chamber will provide members with additional connections.
2) Ongoing Diversity Efforts – We are fortunate to be able to add to our staff in 2022. Towma
Rastad has been added to our team in the position of Deputy Director of Diversity and Member Retention. Towma will be reaching out to underrepresented businesses to determine how best to serve this community as well as looking to underrepresented populations to help fill the void in employment at many of our members.
3) Networking – Networking is important to many of our members. Events (In-person or virtual)
are a great way to connect with people to hopefully begin long-term business relationships. We are planning monthly networking events. In addition, our chamber has a Referral Group which meets every other week for those members who want to connect with other members on a more frequent basis.
4) Training – It is impossible for our members to be experts in all aspects of running an
organization. We seek feedback from members and incorporate that feedback into our planning for monthly webinars. Additionally, we provide New Member Orientations either individually or in small groups so that new members can be effectively onboarded.
5) Major Events – In addition to our monthly networking events we have many major events
throughout the year. These events include: Annual Golf Tournaments (Big & Mini), An Annual
Meeting, our Legislative Reception, the Veterans Event at American Heritage Museum, a few
Exec Connects, and Taste of MetroWest (in some form in 2022 keeping in mind COVID
6) Marketing Services – Our job is to spread the word about services our members offer. We
provide publicity for our Members (Eblasts, Social Media Posts, Profiles in the Weekly
Newsletter, Ribbon Cuttings & Membership Directory) and we are working collaboratively with
the MetroWest Visitors Bureau to develop a Tourism Destination Marketing District which will
provide a big boost for our hospitality industry.
7) Member Participation on Committees – Many members have expressed interests in a variety of subjects where they would like to have influence. We have created committees which allow for regular feedback and participation. These committees include Public Policy, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Small Business and Events and Scholarship (at least 15 scholarships planned for 2022).
8) Advocacy – An important function of our chamber is to provide a voice for the concerns of our members. We are continually drafting Letters of Support for our members and sending them to appropriate parties (Congresswoman Clark, Senate President Spilka, Local Delegation, US Chamber of Commerce). In addition, transportation is a key issue, and we have the expertise to provide Transportation Compliance Services.
9) Beneficial Media Collaborations – We recognize the importance of good working relationships with the media. There are many times throughout the year where interaction with the media is important in support of our membership. We maintain good working relationships with the Framingham Source, MetroWest Daily News, Worcester Business Journal, MyFM Radio & The Patch.
10) Beneficial Business Collaborations – The MetroWest Chamber of Commerce is not the only
organization who works in support of businesses and non-profits in the region. We recognize
that and working collaboratively with: Other Chambers (Worcester, Marlborough, Corridor Nine, Charles River and LGBT) and Business Organizations (Ashland Business Association, MetroWest Visitors Bureau, 495 Partnership, Ma. Hire, MetroWest Life Sciences Network, and MetroWest Economic Research Center) is a significant expectation of our membership. Through
collaboration, we offer so much more to our membership.
11) Beneficial Community Collaborations – Our chamber of commerce is not solely focused on
business. This is true of our members as well. We maintain ongoing collaboration with several
community groups: Framingham Center Common Cultural District, Framingham Stakeholders,
Framingham Rotary, MetroWest YMCA, Leadership MetroWest, Natick Center Cultural District,
and our College Initiative with FSU.
12) Governance Activities – It is important for any Chamber of Commerce to maintain proper
governance and adhere to bylaws created by a Board of Directors. We have: Monthly BOD and
Executive Committee meetings, Nominating & Budget Committees, and Individual Vice Chairs
and Focus on Education, Non-Profits, and Large Business.
We believe our chamber has something for everyone. We are also open to anything additional which may be in support of our businesses and non-profits in the region. If you are not already a member, we hope you join us.
Editor’s Note: SOURCE and the MetroWest Chamber have formed a partnership. The Chamber’s column publishes on Tuesdays on the digital news media outlet.