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What will be New with the Tri Town Chamber of Commerce for March?

There is a lot planned for the upcoming month and 2012 as a whole.

We at the Tri Town Chamber are very excited about our new executive team and our plans for 2012. I am energized to start my second year as president in an increasingly robust local economy. One of my personal missions this year is to better educate local businesses on exactly what the Chamber is and does. So my next few articles will focus a little bit on what the Chamber is about while continuing to share what’s new.

 Tri Town has two stellar full-time employees. Executive Director Kara Griffin handles everything having to do with day-to-day operations. This includes managing membership programs, community relations, staying abreast of development that affects our local economies, and organizing events. She is also landlord for our three rental offices, two of which are still available for rent.

The offices are located in the Mansfield Crossing facility, behind Kohl’s, near the intersection of routes 95 and 495. Utilities and limited use of the Chamber’s Focal Point Coaching Conference Room are included in the rent. Email or call the chamber at 508 339 5655 for details.

Ruthie Briggs administers the office function. She is part receptionist, part bookkeeper, and does a lot of member service work. Ruthie is the often the first face we see at events or when visiting the chamber offices. Everyone loves Kara and Ruthie.

While it is downright amazing what these two women can do, the Chamber cannot succeed without member involvement. The role of all chambers of commerce is to facilitate an environment in which local businesses can prosper. It is a collaborative in the literal sense of the word: we excel best by helping other enterprises to succeed. A robust business environment helps to fund civic improvements that make our towns great places to live and work. Great communities attract more business…which sustains the communities, and so on. 

Our officers, board of directors, ambassadors and committee members are all volunteers, committed to donating  time to strengthen business and the communities of Foxborough, Mansfield and Norton. Even after six years as a member, I continue to be amazed at what two employees and a bunch of volunteers can accomplish. For example:

Our annual Home and Garden Show is being held Sunday, March 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mansfield Holiday Inn. Thanks to Yale Appliance and Lighting, admission will be free. This year we offer an interactive play area for kids, so bring the whole family. Patch.com will be the media sponsor. 

Tri Town’s Women’s Link series continued this past Valentine’s Day. Best-selling author Lynn Robinson presented “Trust Your Gut! How the Power of Intuition Can Grow Your Business” at Showcase Live in Foxborough.

The Economic Development Committee has already gotten their breakfast series going by hosting Dr. John Mullin, Professor of Regional Planning at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, to speak on Mansfield’s school/town strategic plan. The event was sponsored by Betro & Company and Foley & Foley and was also held at Showcase Live.

One of the highlights of 2012 so far was the annual meeting and Success and Service Awards luncheon Jan. 27 at the Holiday Inn. Joshua Kraft, Nicholas President and Chief Executive Officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, spoke on volunteerism and philanthropy…and just a tiny bit about a certain local football team.

All three of the local state representatives were on hand to recognize Ambassador of the Year David Santoro from New York Life, Business Person of the Year Ingrid Williams from Sharon Credit Union, Business of the Year North Easton Savings Bank, Good Neighbor Harbor One (Credit Union) University, President’s Award winner Teresa Hacunda from Covidien and Executive Director Award recipient Cindy Thorp from Showcase Live.

Greg DeSimone of Focal Point Coaching has been named new Membership VP. Greg, the membership committee and ambassadors are getting ready to launch a brand new business development series. This is so new we don’t even have a name for it yet! But we know what it will be about.

The program will help attendees learn how to more effectively indentify and approach prospective target markets and to better promote their businesses. Experts will cover personal branding, effective networking, social media, marketing strategy and public relations. All sessions will be free to members. The first segment, Personal Branding, will be presented by yours truly, John Bates the Job Guy, Thursday, March 22 at noon. Call the chamber at 508 339 5655 to reserve your seat.

New Community Relations VP Cindy Peterson from Brigham and Women’s Mass General Health Center in Foxborough and her committee are also hard at work. Look for chamber collaborations with a number of worthy local causes this spring including the School to Career Partnership, SAFE Foxborough, Tri Town Drug and Alcohol Coalition and American Cancer Society’s Relays for Life in both Foxborough and Mansfield.

Business After Hours this month will be held at the Village at Willow Crossings in Mansfield from 5 to 7 p.m. Attendance is free to members and guests and $10 to non-members. Contact the Chamber at 508 339 5655 or by email to sign up.

The third Tri Town Referral Exchange (TREX) group is now up and running. TREX provides a forum for group members to meet on a biweekly basis to collaborate on business development opportunities, share leads and mastermind ways to improve their businesses. The groups are popular because while groups do require specific membership, this one does not charge members an additional fee to join.

As President of the Board for the Tri Town Chamber of Commerce, I invite residents and local businesses reading Foxborough, Mansfield and Norton Patch to come to visit us during a chamber event or charity function. If you can’t make it in person, please follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and on Facebook. We want to hear what you have to say!

John Bates is the President of the Tri-Town Chamber of Commerce and operates Job-Guy, a career coaching practice in Mansfield. Since joining the Chamber in 2005, John has also helped out as an Ambassador and as Vice President for Membership Development.

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