2016 Chamber Vision And Goals

From Dennis P. Saunier, President and CEO

As the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce enters 2016 - the third year of our strategic planning implementation process – we remain focused on our mission to lead the region in business and community development through collaboration and innovation.

In 2015, our organization made substantial progress on objectives within each of our six strategic goals. I’d like to highlight one major achievement under Goal F, which was to realign our departments, titles and staff to better meet the objectives of the strategic plan. From new reporting structures to new desk spaces, 2015 looked very different for many of our employees. I’d like to thank them for embracing the change and trusting that a stronger organization lay ahead.

Looking forward to 2016, our organization will continue to embark on positive change as we work to better serve the needs of our membership and community. We will continue to implement objectives within the strategic plan, which serves as a roadmap for making informed decisions about our future.

We will also continue to evaluate new approaches to membership, such as a “tiered” membership dues structure based on various tiers of benefits and services, as opposed to our current method based on head count. As we investigate new models of membership, our goal is to bring better value to our members and give them access to programming and events to help serve their needs. Assisting our efforts is an outside consultant who specializes in membership growth strategies, as well as a Membership Task Force representing a cross-section of member businesses.

We will continue to work closely with the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the Hall of Fame Village Project. The Village represents some of the largest economic development news to come out of Canton in recent memory, and one of our priorities is to help establish a strong, viable connection between their campus and our center city.

We learned on election night that the City of Canton would have a new mayor, Tom Bernabei. The city is one of our primary community partners – from economic development efforts to downtown events. We are excited about Mayor Bernabei’s vision for the city and look forward to working with him and the entire city administration in the new year.

Small businesses are the backbone of our chamber membership, so we’re pleased to offer a new program in 2016: the Small Business Growth Network. The Chamber has created a strategic partnership with SCORE-Canton Chapter to offer our members a one-stop resource partner dedicated to the formation, growth, and success of entrepreneurs and small businesses.

We’re also pleased to announce a new program and alliance with MAGNET (Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network) that will bring greater value to the region’s manufacturing sector.

One of the most exciting changes on the horizon comes from a series of conversations over many months with the leadership of the Jackson-Belden Chamber of Commerce. Our organizations will continue to study ideas for collaboration, up to and including a potential merger to create a sustainable and highly capable business development organization. We have common desires to work on a regional level as we assist small business, manufacturing, retail, tourism and energy assets.

In our 2016 business plan – you will find our yearly goals, objectives and strategies by department/program. These are the day-to-day and week-to-week goals that keep our organization humming. Each of these business goals ties back to an overarching strategic goal, so that we know – and you know – that our daily work is supporting a larger purpose. I could not be more proud of our work in 2015 or more excited for what our future holds. It’s an exciting time to be a part of the Canton Regional Chamber, and I thank you for your unwavering support.

Dennis P. Saunier, President & CEO