On Thursday, November 7th, the Goddard Chamber of Commerce held their 2019 Annual Meeting at Pathway Church. The purpose of the Annual Meeting is to update members on the business side of the Chamber – what staff and the Board have accomplished over the past year and what is planned for the coming year – rather than presenting that information at the Annual Mixer, as had been done previously.
2019 was a banner year for the Chamber, with numerous accomplishments. 2019 Chairman Maggie Seiler (First National Bank of Hutchinson) and Vice Chairman Erinn Bock (Tanganyika Wildlife Park) recapped 2019, starting with the Chamber’s biggest accomplishment – hiring a full time President/CEO. Since coming aboard in November 2018, Angie Duntz has made an incredible impact on both the Chamber and in the Goddard community. Under Angie’s strong leadership, several huge projects were completed, including the creation of a strategic plan and formalizing and strengthening the Chamber’s committees.
Thanks in large part to the presence of full-time staff, the Chamber grew in 2019, ending with a total of 76! members. Membership benefits were revised in 2019, thanks to feedback from the membership. Angie and the Board also worked very hard in 2019 to continue to strengthen relationships between the Chamber and the City, USD 265, community groups, and the business community.
In 2019, several changes were made to monthly events. The traditional monthly luncheon transitioned to a “lunch and learn” with presentations from both Chamber members and speakers from the SBA. The luncheon venue also received a refresh – having outgrown Pizza Hut, monthly luncheons moved to the beautiful meeting space at Dove Estates. Additionally, in order to give more members the opportunity to attend monthly networking events, Chamber Coffees and After Hours events were added each month.
2019 also saw the Chamber’s leadership of community events grow. National Night Out in August was incredibly well-organized under the strong leadership of the Chamber. The Amazing Race, a new event focused on driving community members to Chamber businesses, received a very strong response for a first year event. And, of course, the Chamber was excited to participate in Neighbors United and host the beer garden at Fall Festival.
President/CEO Angie Duntz treated Annual Meeting attendees to a sneak preview of the coming year, and as busy of a year as 2019 has been for the Goddard Chamber of Commerce, 2020 looks to be an even more exciting year of growth and change. The Chamber is a business built on relationships, and Angie and the Board will continue to work to strengthen the Chamber’s relationships across the community. New events for 2020 are already in the planning phase, including a Health Fair in February and a Disc Golf tournament in May. The Amazing Race will return for its second year and the Chamber will again lead the planning for National Night Out.
Part of 2019’s work for Angie and the Board included the creation of a Strategic Plan, and its implementation will begin in 2020. Thanks to input from members and a great deal of careful thought from Angie and the Board, the Chamber has identified five goals to intentionally work towards over the next three years. These goals include cultivating strong leadership from both the Board and staff; intentional communication efforts both internally and with the community; recruiting, engaging and retaining members; building relationships through community involvement; and development and retention of young professionals in the Goddard Community. The full strategic plan can be found on the Chamber’s website https://www.goddardchamber.net/strategic-plan.html.
2019 also saw Young Professionals of Goddard brought further under the Chamber’s umbrella as an official committee. Having operated as a subsidiary of the Chamber for several years, YPG has been extremely successful at bringing the community together for service through Neighbors United. Committee Chairman Rodney Elliott announced that in 2020, YPG will continue to help develop young professionals through a mentorship program and 2 leadership development events.
Leading the charge into 2020 alongside Angie will be the 2020 Executive Committee, elected by the general membership at the Annual Meeting. Maggie Seiler (First National Bank of Hutchinson) will continue to serve as Chairman, with Erinn Bock (Tanganyika Wildlife Park) serving as Vice Chairman. Kimberly Becker (Meritrust) will return as Treasurer and April Hernandez (Goddard Public Library), who had been serving in an interim capacity, is the official Secretary for 2020.
City Planner Micah Scoggan treated Annual Meeting attendees to a “state of the City” review as well. Micah reported that Goddard is growing – with an expected 605 new dwelling units under construction (or planned), the population of Goddard should grow by about 1,800 people over the next several years. As the population increases, commercial growth will follow. With the continued construction of the STAR Bond district, more businesses will move to town. Additionally, the completion of the aquatic center and ball fields will bring more opportunities for commercial growth.
Angie and Maggie closed out the Annual Meeting with some tips to help maximize your membership with the Chamber. All attendees received a packet with updated membership benefits, including some great new opportunities for digital marketing. All of the 2020 sponsorship information for Chamber events is available as well – and you can select all of your sponsorship options in January and pay quarterly (regardless of when your membership renews for the year). Additionally, the Chamber’s full calendar of 2020 events is available now – attending these events is a great way to meet other members as well as interact with the community at large.
In 2020, the Chamber will be working to continue to strengthen their committees, so if you or anyone at your business is passionate about events, membership and marketing, finance, communications, or young professionals, the committees are a great way to get involved. Anyone that has questions about how to best maximize their membership benefits is more than welcome to set up a meeting with Angie.
Mike Walsh, with Farmer’s Insurance, closed out the 2019 Annual Meeting by highlighting the importance of joining the Chamber. Mike began looking at opening his business in March of 2019 and after talking with Micah at the City, Mike realized that Goddard was a “no brainer” as far as location is concerned. And, after attending a few Chamber meetings and events, Mike saw the value in joining the Chamber. The opportunities to network and meet other small business owners have been incredibly helpful to him as he began his journey of opening a business in Goddard.