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ANDROSCOGGIN COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

2011 PLAN OF ACTION Susan Stacey, Chair of the Board of Directors

Mission Statement The Chamber is an independent, member-supported organization, which exists to promote a positive business environment that contributes to the community and economic vitality of the Androscoggin County region. The Chamber’s mission is accomplished through business advocacy, member support services, regional image development, and business-education partnerships.

BUSINESS ADVOCACY Peter Traill and Clifton Greim, Division Co-chairs GOAL:

To obtain greater commitment from elected representatives to address the needs of the business community by developing governmental policies that foster business growth and regional economic development.

Push for local action on collaboration and cooperation between the cities of Lewiston and Auburn.

Utilize Chamber Breakfast to highlight major policy issues.

Strong voice in Augusta on issues affecting Chamber members. Push hard for improvement in business and regulatory climate.

Continue active approach to keeping legislators informed about local and business needs. Continue approaches to encourage local legislators to actively participate in Chamber activities.

Work with other chambers and business organizations to advance The Chamber’s policy agenda.

Prepare and distribute “What We Stand For” position paper to local, state, and congressional representatives, placing particular emphasis on tax reform and affordable health insurance for employers and their employees.

Advocate for programs that will lower health insurance costs to members and their employees.


MEMBER SUPPORT SERVICES Kurk Lalemand, Division Chair GOAL:

Build and retain a membership base representative of the region’s diverse economy and respond to the information, business, and professional development needs of the membership.

Provide services (including mentoring) to new or fledgling small business members.

Present the work of Chamber committees at Chamber Breakfast.

Strengthen the Member to Member Discount Program utilizing The Chamber website.

Continue strong support of YPLAA and develop more collaborative programming between YPLAA and traditional Chamber divisions.

Help members share their expertise and business experience through seminars, “Brown Bag” lunches, and other mechanisms. Respond to educational and professional development needs of the membership through a variety of seminar offerings. Work to ensure that Chamber programs include a focus on members not located in Lewiston Auburn and that we examine how to provide programming to the wide diversity of members.

Continue energetic ambassador program to welcome new members and to provide support at Chamber events.

Keep members informed on a wide variety of subjects through the Chamber newsletter, monthly Small Business E-News, Cool Communities E-News, The Chamber Weekly, and biweekly E-events as part of intensive communication program with members.

Promote members through annual Business Resource Guide, newsletter inserts, the Chamber website, the monthly “Hospitality Host” and “Member in the Spotlight” programs.

Update membership on important business, economic and community initiatives by utilizing large varieties of networking activities to connect members with the resources that they need.

Utilize Chamber offices to provide higher visibility for The Chamber and member businesses and to enable the organization to provide more programs and support for members and the community.

Recognize member contributions through “Thank You Day” and Annual Meeting/Awards Program. Utilize written, phone, and on-line surveys, feedback at


Chamber events, and one-on-one meetings to continually assess membership needs and make changes in Chamber programs and services.

Continue Annual Meeting as premiere Chamber community celebration.

Continue “Not Your Normal Formal” as a first class social and fund raising event.

REGIONAL IMAGE DEVELOPMENT Jan Barrett and Peter Murphy, Division Co-chairs GOAL:

Promote the human resource, cultural, business, educational, and environmental assets, which contribute to the region’s quality of life and positive image.

Educate local residents about all that the L/A area has to offer.

Develop a signage plan for both the Turnpike and the local communities to improve the visibility and findablity of major local tourism assets.

Continue to let the rest of Maine know that the L/A area has changed dramatically and is a cool place to live, work, and learn. Support LAEGC’s “It’s Happening Here” campaign to broaden efforts to market the positive attributes and activities of Androscoggin County. Promote Androscoggin County as a tourist destination.

Keep up the public visibility of The Chamber with frequent press releases and photos of Chamber events, sent locally and around the state. Continue The Chamber’s monthly program on local cable to highlight The Chamber and its members. Start new TV program, L/A Area Business Showcase, to highlight the local area and the strength of local businesses.

Work with community groups to implement the Liberty Festival, Festival FrancoFun, Great Falls Balloon Festival, Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame, Greek Festival, and Moxie Festival.

Continue support of annual arts calendar and distribute calendars to Chamber members. Continue successful “Adopt-A-Spot” program

Continue “Cool Communities” initiative to help members save money and reduce the environmental impacts of their operations.


EDUCATION-BUSINESS PARTNERSHIPS Mary LaFontaine and Jennifer Willey, Division Co-chairs GOAL:

Support quality education in Androscoggin County.

Utilize Junior Achievement program to expand business/education partnerships in Androscoggin County. Work with FAME to bring financial literacy programs to local schools.

Utilize Scholarship Scramble as a key fundraiser to support local students pursuing post-secondary education opportunities.

Encourage Chamber members to access continuing education programs to help meet the educational and developmental needs of their employees.

Work with advisory committees of higher education institutions to develop and sustain degree offerings to area residents.

Strongly support College for ME – Androscoggin as a key mechanism to increase post-secondary achievement by residents of all ages.

Continue Chamber scholarship programs to: all area high schools; Central Maine Community College; and adult employees of Chamber members.

Continue to utilize the Career Fairs and the Job Fair to increase information to area students about careers that are locally available.

Work with local organizations to develop program for Entrepreneur’s Week.

Continue the premiere Androscoggin Leadership Development Institute to expand the pool of future leaders for the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Bold = Board Priority Activity for 2011 Underlined = New for 2011


2011 Action Plan