More than 1,200 of the area’s business leaders gathered at the Chattanooga Convention Center Wednesday for the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting, where Unum CEO Tom Watjen delivered the keynote presentation and Chamber leaders presented updates on Chattanooga CAN DO campaign activity.
The event took place from 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. and also featured remarks from Chamber President and CEO Ron Harr, as well as the Chamber’s outgoing board chair, Diana Bullock, and incoming board chair, Howard Levine.
Among the highlights presented during the annual review were the following accomplishments by the Chamber:
Provided direct job creation assistance to nine companies which announced more than 1,100 jobs
Took the lead in generating national press for Chattanooga, with efforts that reached 153 million people worldwide and garnered placements in Forbes, Wired, The Economist, CBS This Morning and Bloomberg TV
Supported Chamber Councils in hosting more than 150 events and raising $18,750 for local schools
Engaged more than 1,100 volunteers to bring the Chamber’s school-to-work programs to 13,000 middle and high school students
“We are the local companies that come together to make Chattanooga better,” said Mr. Harr about the network of 1,700 companies that comprise the Chamber’s membership. “We support job creation and education in ways that no enterprise could do on its own. We build each other’s companies and keep more dollars in the local economy by doing business together. We support new businesses in starting up, help existing industries grow, recruit new companies to Chattanooga and promote this community to the whole world.”
Mr. Harr cited the number and quality of connections within the Chamber’s membership as the network’s greatest strength as he announced a new campaign to grow the organization’s membership to 2,014 companies by the end of 2014.
The event also highlighted the Ooltewah/Collegedale Council as the 2012-2013 Chamber Council of the Year and honored David Hamilton of Santek Waste Services as the 2012-2013 Chamber Ambassador of the Year. Chamber Ambassador Dana Bolin of Comtrust Federal Credit Union also received the Chamber’s Diamond Award for her outstanding volunteer service, while ambassadors Eddie Wilkes of Banners by Lexi and Constance Coffman of Preferred Computers received the Double Diamond and Triple Diamond awards, respectively.
For a full synopsis of Chamber activity over the last year, click here to view the 2012-2013 Annual Report.