Bradley County Chamber Nearly Doubles Membership Goal

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

“Can we count on you to move this organization to the next level?” Chairman of the Board Steve Robinson, Cleveland Plywood Co., asked in January 2013 at the 87th annual meeting of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce. Then he issued the challenge: “We plan to increase our membership to 1,000 by year’s end.”

And with the enthusiastic help of nearly 14 chairmen, 81 team captains and 317 volunteers on Oct. 1-3, the Chamber surpassed that ambitious goal and now boasts more than 1,200 members.

“I’m still coming down off Cloud Nine after last week’s membership event,” Gary Farlow, Chamber president and CEO, said. “By working with Jimmy Cusano and Your Chamber Connection (YCC), and through the competitive leadership of our event chairs, team captains and 317 volunteers who understand our mission and support our programs, we are now number one in Tennessee and third in the country in YCC membership-event results!”

The theme for the October event was “Chamber World Series: Batting a 1,000.”

“The Cleveland/Bradley Chamber set a goal that would make most chambers blush—300 new members in hopes of being a thousand-member Chamber following this membership event,” the YCC staff noted. “But by early morning on day two, they shattered their goal and continued to rise.”

By the conclusion of the event Thursday afternoon, the Chamber had an impressive 558 new members—nearly double their original goal.

Mr. Farlow added, “Visitors who dropped by the Chamber last week probably thought we had lost our minds. Jimmy is a high-energy Italian who trained the volunteers who were here to make calls with ‘hands up’ commands, high fives, passionate explanations about the role of the Chamber in the community, and reminders that ‘it’s not about me—it’s about US.’ ”

The Chamber’s conference center brimmed with enthusiastic volunteers on their personal cell phones, making calls, wearing smiles, and encouraging local businesses, regional operations and vendors to join the ranks of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber.

“The energized room was abuzz with dozens of callers telling the Chamber story,” noted Chamber Membership Development Vice President Kevin Moore, AXA Advisors LLC. “Every successful sale was announced with ringing of cowbells—a sound we heard often as the teams worked against the clock and against each other. Competition was in full swing with bragging rights and a stronger chamber the only prizes to claim.”

The Chamber story included reminders that the work of the Chamber encompasses efforts that resulted in $2.6 billion in economic development in the past five years, 1,600 new jobs and 4,000 jobs retained. Efforts by the Chamber’s Convention & Visitors Bureau resulted in a number-one ranking in tourism growth last year for Bradley County out of the 95 Tennessee counties.

In addition, volunteers learned that the Chamber’s education programs help to improve the community’s workforce, particularly the more than 1,100 students enrolled as Tennessee Scholars and the 300-plus students who participate in Job Shadowing each fall.

“Anyone you do business with who benefits from the economic, community and business development advanced by this Chamber of Commerce should be a member,” Mr. Cusano told the volunteers. “When others hear about everything the Chamber does, all of a sudden you have a great deal of enthusiasm for the Chamber and a great deal of support.”

The Chamber of Commerce is a membership-based organization. For more information about membership, call the offices at 423 472-6587.


TriAlta Advisors Merges With Tandem Financial Partners

TriAlta Advisors, an Ameriprise practice, is merging with Tandem Financial Partners.   Corey Anderson, who will be an investment manager, and his wife, Tricia, an administrative assistant, bring experience in investment management as well as advanced estate planning skills.   Samuel Montgomery is also joining TriAlta Advisors. Mr. Montgomery is a graduate of Liberty ... (click for more)

Primerica Has Open House For New Location May 19

Primerica, Inc. will celebrate its new location with an open house and Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting on Thursday, May 19, from 4-7 p.m.  The ribbon cutting will be at 4:30 p.m.   Dewayne Crawford, a national sales director, and David Walters, a regional vice president with Primerica, Inc., have expanded their office and moved to 6025 Lee Hwy., Suite 326.  Mr. ... (click for more)

Teen Shot Multiple Times On Wilson Street On Wednesday Night; Injuries "Life-Threatening"

A teenager was shot multiple times on Wilson Street on Wednesday night. The incident was in the 1900 block around 6:30 p.m. The 911 caller said the victim was on her porch. The shooter was said to be in a silver vehicle. Chattanooga Police arrived on the scene, initiated first aid and attempted to locate a crime scene. Hamilton County EMS transported the victim to ... (click for more)

Woman Tells Of Having Shots Fired At Her When She Walked Into Disorder At South Germantown Road Apartment Complex

Officer Joel Gunn of the Chattanooga Police Department and a woman who was fired at after she walked into the scene of a shooting testified in court Wednesday concerning the shooting at the Chateau Royale Apartments on South Germantown Road on April 22. Coy Sims, 48, was arrested by Officer Gunn after police were called by residents of the apartment complex. On the night of the ... (click for more)

Thankful For The Vital Role Teachers Played In My Life

Re: Roy Exum: Teachers Day Tomorrow Roy, I am especially appreciative of your poignant column written in tribute to teachers.  It made me tear up, as I have encountered both as a student and a career educator-- teachers like the second-grade teacher who said, "I wish you were my little girl" and teachers like Mrs. Poindexter.   My teachers have played such a vital ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The DA’s Cold-Case Quest

It is clearly a job nobody can do for over an hour or two, but Neal Pinkston, working in hand with precise professionals from the county’s auditing department, is intent on doing the right thing. As I watched a revolving team of four people at a time open and study envelopes of autopsy photographs on Tuesday, the scene would have made a fascinating television documentary. But ... (click for more)