I must begin this newsletter by apologizing for it being over a week late. COVID finally hit my family and I was out last week quarantined at home. My ten-year-old tested positive last Monday and is still dealing with some of the long-term effects. I tested multiple times and was negative each time. However, I felt worse and worse as the week went on, leading me to urgent care Saturday morning. Again – negative for COVID, but positive for a kidney infection. I had convinced myself that I had all the symptoms of COVID and ignored what my body was really telling me. I'm feeling better now and back to my usual self. My grandfather used to tell me I had one speed and it was “GO” and that seems fitting today.

At the end of December, Candy resigned from her position at the chamber to go back to a job she previously held, and we wish her nothing but the best! We recently hired a new administrative assistant; Karsyn and you will start to see her at the office and get a chance to meet her at upcoming chamber events. We will share more about Karsyn in February’s Newsletter.

Most of you may not realize, but I have now been at the chamber for over 5 years. I started in November of 2016 helping to get the chamber more visibility on social media. I truly love my job and will continue to collaborate with other organizations and businesses to ensure our membership and area businesses continue to grow and succeed.

This past December, my Board of Directors challenged me to come up with goals for 2022. I have always been a firm believer in making sure that goals are shared. That by sharing them with others, there is a sense of accountability. I would like to share my goals for 2022.

·      I have a big goal of getting our chamber to over 400 members. I believe it will take the next two years to complete this goal. It will require focusing on member retention and also increasing membership by ten percent each year. We currently have 345 members. My goal is to add at least 35 new members to that and end 2022 with 380 members.
 
·      I would like to engage the chamber board members one on one more. I believe that I have done a good job getting our committees more involved and meeting regularly, but I would like to sit down with each board member at least once and get feedback from them individually.
 
·      Our ambassador program needs to be reworked and reorganized. This is another goal for either myself, or I need to turn it over to the administrative assistant so they can have a chance to mold it into what would work best for helping with events.
 
·      Another goal is to truly get the chamber office organized. We have files of stuff from 2004 and some of it just needs to go. We have a storage space in the basement of our office that needs cleaned out. This will allow me to move totes of stuff we need for specific events to the basement and free up some closet space.
 
·      I want to see an improvement in our business districts. The Galion Uptowne business area needs revitalized. While most of the store fronts are filled, we just need it to look pleasing to the community and entice visitors to visit our towns. The Crestline business area has come a long way, but we cannot stop the momentum now, especially with Amtrak on the way!
 
·      Lastly, I want to see my goal of having set office hours in Crestline come to completion. This past year, I struggled with this, and I need it to be a priority. We have worked hard to build up our membership in Crestline, but we could improve our visibility in Crestline more and increase involvement with the businesses.
 
I have always been a very transparent person and I believe that together we all can achieve more! I hope that by sharing my goals with you, that I will have more than just my 15 board members holding me accountable. I will have our entire membership and community members making sure that the chamber is truly moving forward in a positive direction by continuing to promote the growth and success of our business communities.
 
If at any time, you have an idea or suggestion on other goals we should be working towards, please reach out to me. I welcome feedback and constructive criticism. Our door is always open and I hope you feel comfortable sharing. This is your local chamber of commerce, and it is my privilege to serve as your Executive Director.

Thank you,

Miranda Jones