Chamber Launches Comprehensive Program of Work
Yesterday, the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce launched its 2010 Program of Work. The program features new initiatives developed from business and community needs, initiatives that build upon the Chamber's goals and achievements of 2009, and proven programs that continue to add value to Chamber members and the community.
"We're very excited about the new initiatives and goals we have set for 2010," said Liz Stewart, 2010 chair of the Board and president of Stewart and Associates, Inc. "They are very forward thinking and are a direct result of the fine work done this past year under the leadership of Joe Lewis and the 2009 Board," Stewart said.
"We have many quality events and programs for the upcoming year that support our mission of creating opportunities for members to build successful businesses and enhance the quality of life. At the same time, the new initiatives will address several opportunities that have emerged as a result of our evolving and growing community," Stewart said.
In 2010, the Aiken Chamber will:
- Continue to support the area's Equine Industry through new and ongoing initiatives that preserve and grow the horse industry - a $72 million economic engine in Aiken County
-- Hire a manager of Equine Development.
-- The Chamber's Equine Steering Committee will apply for a South Carolina Parks
and Recreation planning grant to produce an action plan with timeline for the
development of the International Horse Park Project.
-- The Equine Steering Committee will develop a plan with timeline for an equine
trail system in Aiken County.
- Continue to seek ways in which the community and the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) can support each other's success. In 2010, the Chamber will work with the SRNL to devise a strategy to advocate for state funding to support the Lab.
- Develop a strategic plan for the Aiken Chamber Young Professionals that will focus on the attraction and retention of young professionals and align the group closer to the Chambers mission and goals.
- Create a task force to research best practices of other communities that help entrepreneurs and small businesses expand.
- Begin recording votes of the Aiken City Council and Aiken County Council, establish a process to distribute this information to the membership, and evaluate voting trends and/or patterns.
- Execute the plan of the Work Force Development Committee to focus on meeting the future needs of business and industry.
- Support the City of Aiken's 175th anniversary, Celebrate Aiken, with a feature story in Welcome Aiken, an Annual Dinner theme that complements the yearlong event, a continued representation on the steering committee, and appropriate promotion of the Celebrate Aiken events.
"With the strong leadership of the Board of Directors, motivated volunteers, and a dedicated professional staff, the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce is poised to implement an aggressive plan of work for 2010," said Stewart.
The 2010 Program of Work focuses on five core areas of the Aiken Chamber: Leadership and Impact, Regional Advocacy and Community Focus, Economic Opportunity and Market Growth, Business Training and Education, and Fiscal Integrity and Operations.