Today is Friday, October 24, 2014

Wilson Chamber tops 1,000 members

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From left, John Bryan, member of the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Jessica Bravo of Your Chamber Connection, and Kevin Croteau, volunteer and co-owner of Hot Spring Spas of Music City, tally funds brought in from the chambers membership drive on Thursday. Through new memberships, the chamber raised more than $60,000. Photo by Patrick Hall

Chamber membership now stands at 1,129.


The membership drive, which began on Monday, was organized with the help of Your Chamber Connection, an international company based in Fort Worth, Texas. Your Chamber Connection focuses on holding membership events for local chambers to help them increase membership and revenues.


Jimmy Cusano, senior vice president and EnterTrainer for YCC, said their efforts were focused on bringing business leaders together to contact other businesses that were not a part of the chamber.


Theyre selling why you have a chamber and its about job creation and economic development, Cusano said.


Vanatta said she heard about YCC from a neighboring chamber of commerce who said they had a lot of success utilizing the companys unique events to drive up membership. She said the Lebanon Chambers board of directors was willing to hire YCC and the results were better than expected.


Your Chamber Connection split the 150 volunteers and business leaders into teams, and added 305 new member businesses, amounting to more than $60,000 in new membership dues for the chamber.


Lebanon Chamber board member and team captain John Bryan said the membership drive has been both fun and educational for existing members and the board.


Bryan said he was a board member in the 1980s when the chamber held another membership drive, but noted their efforts at that time were nothing like the results seen during this weeks event.


The chamber is about community and we want our community to do well and it starts with the chamber being a positive influence, Bryan said.


by Patrick Hall

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