Both the Lost Sierra Chamber of Commerce and the Quincy Chamber of Commerce were well represented at the 1st Annual Rural Chamber Summit held in Murphys, California last month. Jan Tew from the Lost Sierra Chamber and Cheryl Kolb and Susan Scarlett from the Quincy Chamber attended with notebooks in hand.
The fun began on Thursday, October 13th with back-to-back speakers including Tara Lynn Gray, Director of GO-Biz (the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development); Heather Luzzi, Sacramento Director of the SBA; Les Fong from the San Joaquin Small Business Development Center; Morgan Gace, Owner of the Gold Rush Tour Company and Former Chamber CEO; Mark Luster, Community Outreach Coordinator at Sierra Pacific Industries; and Frank Kenny, Chamber Consultant.
Workshop recommendations included having a very active board, starting a 501(c)(3), collaborating with the local Visitors Centers, partnering with state and federal agencies such as the Small Business Development Center and the Small Business Administration, and more. We received a tremendous amount of useful information including social media planning, fundraising ideas, developing a Government Affairs Committee and planning and goal-setting for the future. At the end of the day all the Chamber representatives in attendance were given the opportunity to network and share questions, thoughts and ideas…what a wonderful opportunity that was!
One of the highlights of the day was hearing from Keynote Speaker Roger Crawford, an author, tennis player and world-renowned speaker. He asked three questions: Where are you coming from? How long were you there? Where are you going?
These same questions had been posed to him as he crossed the American/Canadian border for a vacation in Canada. It made him pause for a moment and consider; where was he coming from? What was his history? His background? What made him tick? How long had he been there? Is that where he wanted to be? Where is he going? Is he headed in the right direction? Viewing these questions through the lens of Chamber staff was thought-provoking indeed. Where is our community coming from? How long has our community been here? Where is our community going? In light of the information presented, the speakers in attendance and the contacts shared, it is hard not to feel motivated and energized as we begin building a better Plumas County together.