As 2016 comes to a close, Angie Eckman, President of the Youngsville Chamber, talks about the highlights of 2016 in her President’s Message. Eckman will also be serving as President for the upcoming 2017 year.
The Youngsville Chamber of Commerce has definitely had one of the most productive years on record!
This year, economic development in the city of Youngsville has had a huge impact on our lifestyle. We have more and more restaurants, clothing boutiques, retail shops, fast food, healthcare, and the list continues to grow. We are transitioning into a self-sustaining community. The chamber has worked diligently to promote our local businesses. We created member of the week and feature local businesses on social media. As a member benefit, the chamber boosts these posts to help our members build an online presence and create brand awareness for their business.
Our Annual Chamber Banquet was more successful than ever before, showcasing the brand new state of the art Youngsville Recreation Center. We also introduced a new buffet style to our banquet, showcasing our member restaurants and allowing participants to showcase their signature items to all of our attendees. This banquet was also the first banquet with a record number of tickets sold, declaring “sold out” for the first time. We received a tremendous outpouring of positive responses from our members, sponsors, and guests! We anticipate our annual banquet will only continue to grow in years to come.
Our second Annual Tennis Tournament at the Youngsville Sports Complex was a great success. We had 22 teams sign up to play. We offered a doubles tournament for both men’s and women’s teams. We had many sponsors this year and our tournament committee did a great job of recruiting sponsors as well as tournament players.
In an effort to support Shop Small Saturday and shopping local in our community, the chamber created “Shop the Sweet Life” and had as many as 36 local businesses sign up to participate. We held a scavenger hunt and over 65 shoppers participated. The grand prize was an Apple iWatch. We received so much positive feedback from our local business community and plan to continue this successful event in 2017.
Our Business Advocacy Committee worked on several important projects this year for our chamber including a major revision of our by-laws. Our board also adopted board termed seating so that as we continue to grow in a unified and positive direction, our board can continue to build upon the foundation we created. We are constantly evolving and adapting as we meet the needs of our growing membership.
Overall our membership has grown to 179 members. 108 members were renewal memberships and 71 of these members were new members to our chamber. We have seen our attendance at our monthly membership meetings grow to an average crowd of 75 attendees! Pastor Tommy Faulk and his team at First Assembly Youngsville have been so accommodating by allowing us to use their facility and equipment for our monthly meetings and we greatly appreciate everything they have done and continue to do for us.
This year we had a record breaking 30 ribbon cutting celebrations! This is by far the most ribbon cutting and grand opening events we have ever coordinated in a year. Many of these businesses were new to the community and we’ve had successful attendance at all of them. We also held two “Business After Hours” events.
We are marketing our Chamber and have aligned ourselves with the City of Youngsville and the Youngsville Sports Complex to all work together in creating a wonderful community to live, work and celebrate life.
I would like to thank all of our volunteers, including our board and our BAC for their hard work and collaboration of efforts, who put in countless hours of time and energy to support our Chamber. I would like to thank our sponsors who support us financially so that we can provide and meet the needs of our chamber. I would also like to thank our members for attending the meetings and doing your part to help encourage other businesses to join our chamber. We have a very active Chamber and we all share the same passion and commitment for our businesses and for our community. Thank you all for your continued support.
Youngsville Chamber President
Owner & President, ADWORX