By Deb Beddoe
Chairman of the Board
Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce
Getting the maximum benefit from your Chamber membership involves building relationships, staying in touch with other members, and participating in ways that will ensure a thriving business environment. The best way to accomplish these goals is to join a committee. Committing to one day a month is a small sacrifice to grow your business. As Chairman of the Board I have committed to attending each of the committee meetings at least once during the year. Here is my insight into what the committees are (and are not):
The Ambassador Committee was the first Chamber committee I joined. And while I was hoping to meet the Ambassadors to Switzerland, Panama, and New Zealand, I instead met some very enthusiastic, energetic, and dedicated professionals who understood the value of growing their businesses and careers through their relationships within the Chamber. I also met some amazing businesses by attending the ribbon cuttings, delivering the Business Resource Guides, and being a buddy to new members at the Happy Hour 2.0 events.
The Business Resource Committee sounds just like its name implies. If your business can be a resource for other businesses, or if you need resources from other businesses, then this is a great committee to join. There are two favorite things that I like about this committee. The first is that every meeting is devoted to business related best-practices. And the second is that it is the BRC committee that hosts the First Friday Breakfast. These committee members are your greeters, your coffee connection bag carriers, your timers, and your table facilitators.
Prior to joining the Education Committee, I thought this might be the committee that gets to preview the various workshops, speakers, and educational events that the Chamber provides to members. But to my surprise, I learned that this is a committee made up of actual educators from the various school districts and higher education institutions. The Education Committee is bringing academics and business together to build a stronger workforce for the future of our community.
The Government Affairs Committee sounds like it could focus on politicians who are unfaithful to their spouses, but if you are interested in such soap operas, this is not the committee for you. The GAC is focused on holding our politicians accountable to legislation that promotes a strong economy through sound business regulations. There are representatives from the City, State, and national governments that attend these meetings. If you see the Chamber take a position on proposed legislation, it is because the GAC has done a thorough study of the issue.
The Ready Carlsbad Business Alliance is the only Committee without the word ‘committee’ in its name. This is because it is a true ‘alliance’ between the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce and the City of Carlsbad to bring the business community into the City’s emergency preparedness plan. RCBA wants to educate businesses on the importance of preparing their employees and their business to recover from an emergency and ultimately be prepared to assist in a community recovery effort. If you want your committee efforts to make a significant impact, this might be the committee for you.
The Sustainability Committee may be most famous for its popular EcoTours, but beyond that, the committee is very dedicated to business practices that promote economic, social, and environmental longevity. The business leaders that are involved in this committee challenge each other to adopt innovative ways to accomplish these goals.
The Technology Advisory Committee isn’t just for techies. In fact, as the name implies, it is a great place for the non-techies to get free advice from the technology experts about more efficient ways to conduct business. From the basics to cutting-edge, the TAC analyzes and critiques all of the productivity tools at our fingertips to help us make our technology decisions easier.
The Chamber has made great effort to make sure there is a committee to fulfill various business purposes, various personalities, and various interests. To join a committee is a simple process…just show up at a meeting. I encourage you to start reaching out to the other committee members to get to know them over a cup of coffee. If you do this with no expectations for anything other than getting to know someone, you will be amazed at how much business recognition it will get you.