Strengthening Our Community: A Look Ahead to 2024

February 16, 2024

Dr. Maria Pharr taking the Board Chair Gavel for 2024

The Chair of the Union County Chamber serves a 1-year term. In December of 2023, we welcomed Dr. Maria Pharr from South Piedmont Community College as the 2024 Chair. At the annual State of YOUR Chamber Luncheon in January, she shared her vision for the year ahead. This is the final entry in our 5-part series that includes The State of YOUR Union County Chamber is Strong,  Building Tomorrow’s Workforce: The Impact of YOUR Chamber’s Workforce Development Task Force, Building a Business-Friendly Union County: The Chamber’s Public Policy Committee in Action, and Empowering Growth: Successes of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.

2023 was a busy year for your chamber. Dr. Pharr focused her talk on what this chamber will do to reach its vision of a thriving economy for all who do business or live in our community.

The Board has adopted a revised strategic plan that maintains our three focus areas:

Deliver Value to Members

This chamber adopted a tiered dues structure in 2022 which offers more benefits to our members for their membership investment.  The revised structure also provided members with the opportunity to invest in the chamber in new, meaningful ways.  Going forward the Chamber team will concentrate on sharing the details of this revised plan with current members as well as new members.

Last year, the chamber restructured its staffing model and added a new role focused on establishing a robust, segmented communications plan.  The communications plan will be focused on sharing the chamber’s mission, vision and work throughout our region, educating members on how they can leverage their membership investment, and telling member stories to our community to increase the visibility and understanding of the positive impact our members have in our community and beyond.

Dr. Maria Pharr headshot

Catalyze Business Growth

Last year, the Chamber’s advocacy efforts continued to expand to meet the needs of our business community. Looking ahead, we will focus on increasing engagement in our advocacy work and communicating the importance of having a business-friendly regulatory environment with the necessary infrastructure to meet the needs of business.

The Chamber will continue to work with education and workforce development partners to develop, retain, and recruit a talent pipeline to meet the needs of business and industry.  To build and maintain a thriving economy, businesses must have access to an available, qualified, ready-to-work workforce.

Growing and maintaining investment in Union County is imperative to meet our community’s growing needs.  We believe the Chamber’s role in encouraging people to spend, shop, and donate in Union County is the foundation for building a thriving economy.  Encouraging visitors to our community and encouraging those visitors to spend money in our community is an important economic driver.

Build Organizational Capacity

We have been intentionally working to build capacity over the past few years – creating a succession plan, adding staff, reviewing processes, and creating and implementing a strategic plan that is front and center at every board meeting. 

In 2024, the board will continue to work side-by-side with staff to review policies and by-laws to ensure the chamber is a world-class organization.  Under Pat Kahle’s leadership, every staff member participates in professional development opportunities throughout the year.  Maintaining a continuous improvement mindset in all we do will ensure this chamber is prepared for success now and in the future.

In summary, 2024 will be a year of continuous improvement, doing what we do well and doing it even better, and growing to serve this community we all love so much.  The Chamber Board and staff invite you to engage in this important work.  There are ways you can participate with little effort. Engage with the Chamber on social media: like, comment, and share posts from the chamber and invite your business connections to do the same.  Invite your fellow team members, business contacts, and customers to engage with the chamber by attending events or becoming members.  When you are in the community, share why you chose to be a member of the Union County Chamber.  Working together, we will achieve our vision that everyone who does business or lives in Union County will enjoy a thriving local economy and excellent quality of life.

Last modified: April 1, 2024

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