Hello Chamber Members and Friends,

Your chamber’s Board of Directors met last Tuesday at their Annual Meeting where they approved the chamber’s budget, strategic plan, and board meeting schedule for 2016.  They also reviewed our current financial status, and looked back on the accomplishments of the Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce in 2015.

I’m proud to report that your chamber of commerce is in sound condition.  You can be assured that the chamber staff, board of directors, and volunteers are utilizing your investments in the chamber in a prudent way that offers strong programming while maintaining a reasonable fund balance.

Since the chamber belongs to all of you, as investors, we owe it to you to provide this annual report.  We tried to keep it as brief and easy to read as possible.



Launched new web site, in first quarter of 2015

Assembled and developed leadership team for a new Young Professionals Program, Thrive 45°, to launch Jan. 27th at Buffalo Wild Wings

Completed $60,000 building renovation project (new windows, roof, gutters, dormers/fascia, and painting)  We were able to pay for this with cash reserves

Membership growth of Net 10 (78-joins vs. 68-drops), retention rate 91% (National Avg., 86%)

Provided administration services for Air Service Task Force of the Pellston Regional Airport and coordinated Airport After Hours (210 attended)

Provided administration service for SCORE Business Counseling (103 counseling sessions)

Introduced Conscious Capitalism through Business Innovation Seminar (55-attended)

Coordinated Win by Losing weight-loss Competition (18-teams/250 individuals, lost 1,661 pounds)

Trained 184 front-line staff in customer service fundamentals through Hospitality the Little Traverse Way

Graduated the 16th Class of Leadership Little Traverse and launched the 17th Class

Provided administration services for two Petoskey Restaurant Weeks

Published 2015-16 Visitors Guide (Distribution 20,000)

Published 2015-16 Membership Directory, Little Traverse Bay Living (Distribution 3,000)

Major Chamber Events
-State of the Community Luncheon (Feb.), attendance 288, up from 229
-Business Expo (April), Booths/sponsorships sold out, attendance approximately 600
-Golf Outing (Sept.), Sell out at 144 golfers
-Breakfast for Champions (Dec.), sell out at 505 attendees

Networking Events
-Eight Business After Hours, avg. attendance 112, up from 101
-Nine Connecting Women in Business Luncheons, avg. attendance 86, up from 75

Community Events
-16-Farmers Markets
-Art in the Park
-Festival on the Bay

Receptions for U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (40), U.S. Senator Gary Peters (17), and Congressman Dan Benishek (6)

Hosted two forums with Enbridge regarding Line 5, the pipeline that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac

Blended the Government Relations Committees of the Petoskey Regional and Charlevoix Area Chambers of Commerce

Legislative Trip to Lansing with the PRCC/CACC Government Relations Committee

Continued participation with Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance (one of eight partnering chambers plus six associate chamber partners advocating for northern Michigan businesses)
·    Testified before Senate Commerce Committee to share the alliance’s legislative priorities
·    Attended the Governor’s State of the State Address (The alliance hosted a luncheon that day for the staffs of Governor Snyder and Lt. Gov. Calley)
·    Hosted breakfast meeting with the northern Michigan legislative caucus to share legislative priorities
·    Numerous one-on-one meetings with lawmakers from throughout the region

Introduced and hosted two Hot Topics Events:  Road Funding Ballot Proposal and Affordable and Reliable Energy for the Future
Key Advocacy Issues we followed in 2015:
·    State Budget (particularly the restoration of rural hospital funding)
·    Road Funding
·    Reliable and affordable energy for the future
·    Dark Store Issue
·    Enbridge Line 5
·    Maintaining Post Labor Day School Start
·    Opposition to HICA Tax Increase
·    Increase in jet fuel taxes to support regional airports
·    Ernest Hemingway Statue in Downtown Petoskey 

We are grateful for the kind support the members of the Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce give to their chamber.  Petoskey is a very engaged community, so our attendance at events is very strong and sponsorship support is generous.  Because of that, Petoskey was recognized for the second consecutive year as Michigan’s Outstanding Chamber of Commerce in the Mid-Sized Chamber Category.  The award was presented in October by the Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals at their annual conference in Dearborn.  We can all be very proud of this recognition and it is something we share with each and every chamber member.

Thank you for your continued investment in the chamber.  Your generous support is humbling.

Carlin Smith, President


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