When I went from interim executive director to executive director of the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2010, there were many things I wanted to accomplish. The list was long and the challenges were plenty, but here we are three years later and I am proud to say most of those challenges have been turned into accomplishments.
A significant achievement for 2013 was the introduction of our redesigned website, www.woodstockilchamber.com. Thanks to the communications committee and Cindi Carrigan of Carrigan Design, the rollout of our website was the culmination of the efforts we began in 2012 to rebrand the Woodstock Chamber.
Our new website is the piece de resistance that compliments the chamber’s new logo and the marketing program that was implemented in 2012. It allows visitors to quickly and easily find contact information on any of our member businesses. News on our members is updated multiple times a week. The site has information on how to join the chamber and the many benefits of membership. An events section showcases the many annual events the chamber sponsors including the upcoming 69th Annual Woodstock Chamber Meeting & Awards Ceremony, which will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Woodstock Public House, 201 Main St., Woodstock.
Tickets are $65 and include networking, the awards ceremony, food and an open bar. To attend, RSVP with payment to the chamber by Feb. 13 by calling 815-338-2436. Tickets also may be purchased at the chamber office, 136 Cass St., Woodstock.
Also in 2013, we revamped our Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) Group with a new monthly meeting format that has resulted in a significant increase in attendance during the third and fourth quarters. If you missed any of these great events you can still view them on our YouTube Channel, www.youtube.com/user/TheWoodstockChamber. A monthly SOHO Group Newsletter, new in 2013, has received rave reviews as it chronicles information on the upcoming guest speaker and informative articles geared to help small businesses. Guests are always welcome at our SOHO Group meetings.
Another point of pride for 2013 is the chamber formed a new partnership with Adult & Child Therapy Services to bring the first Ale Festival to McHenry County in 2015. This exciting event will be a major fundraiser for the chamber and ACTS. It provides an opportunity to showcase Woodstock to an anticipated 2,000 attendees. This event is truly unique to Woodstock and will offer an exclusive occasion for our membership to gain great exposure.
These are just some of the highlights and accomplishments of 2013 and I am looking forward to continuing the growth of the chamber this year. If you are not already a member of the chamber, I invite you to get involved. Contact us at 815-338-2436 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Shari Gray is executive director of the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce & Industry.