Local Business

Chamber puts a face on Woodstock businesses

The Woodstock Chamber of Commerce has a new look – one that's looking right back at you.

Four businesses were selected to kick off its new marketing campaign "I Am The Woodstock Chamber." The faces of four business owners and officials are included in print and online promotional materials.

"We wanted to put a face on the chamber businesses," said Woodstock chamber Executive Director Shari Gray.

"When you hear chamber, you think of chamber as a collection of different businesses. We want to make it more personal, and give it a focal point."

"It's the business owners that make us an organization," said chamber President Todd Kinker, first vice president at Golden Eagle Community Bank. "By highlighting them and bringing them together, we make our organization stronger."

The chamber's new look began earlier this year when it changed its logo. "We wanted to continue the momentum of rebranding ourselves with an updated look and a fresh perspective on things," Kinker said.

Gray said the businesses selected "have been at the forefront in the effort to change our image and have been very active in the chamber."

Included in the chamber's campaign are a long-established business, home-based business, young entrepreneur and nonprofit. Selected businesses benefit through online and print marketing.

Selected as the campaign's first long-established business was Benoy Motor Sales, featuring a picture of its president. Dale Benoy. Dale's father, Ray, started Benoy Motor Sales in 1948. The family-owned business includes Tim Benoy, vice president.

The home-based business is Myriad Creative Services, which specializes in custom websites, SEO, printing and marketing. Owner Jon Wenzel said he was involved in the new campaign through the chamber's membership committee.

"We started by talking to a lot of members," Wenzel said. "One member said she had a negative connotation about the chamber. We felt we should address this head-on and show what the chamber really is, not what it had been."

The young entrepreneur for October is Abigail Powers of Simple Market. Abigail, 24, owns Simple Market with her sister, Brooke, 21. They have been open for two years.

Their shop features local food and products, gluten-free food, vitamins and supplements.

Abigail said while the chamber program is new, "it will help me get the word out to the community. It will give more of a connection to our store, our square and Woodstock."

The face of nonprofits is Suzanne Hoban, executive director of Family Health Partnership Clinic.

Kathy Rauch, volunteer coordinator for the clinic, serves on the chamber board.

"We all have a passion for what's going on at the chamber," Rauch said. "It's all about partnerships. The only way to get through these difficult times is to help each other."

Rauch said the chamber is trying to gather its resources.

"There are so many young, creative business owners," she said. "It's interesting seeing them merging with more established business owners."

Gray said there has been "a very positive reaction" to the chamber's new marketing campaign. "This sets us apart. No other chamber has done anything like this."

Four new businesses will be highlighted each month. For more information, call Gray at 815-338-2436, or visit woodstockilchamber.com.

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