Happy July and Happy New Fiscal Year to the Chamber.
As we continue to celebrate our 95th Year on the calendar, the Chamber has moved to a new cycle for our new year. In fact, the remainder of 2021 is a short year, and we will begin a fiscal cycle beginning January 1, 2022. Therefore, our proud and dedicated board of directors is operating one 18-month term. This is exciting for the Chamber as we will have a better handle on event management, dues revenue and more critical – budget projections so we can continue and expand our offering of world-class programs and services to you, our members.
In the past several months, I have seen our communities open their doors and business is starting to flourish again. I am getting out more and visiting restaurants, retail, industry, and other commercial businesses in areas like the Woodmont Triangle, Bethesda Row, Chevy Chase, Potomac, Pike & Rose and North Bethesda. I am seeing and meeting these business owners and managers who are anxious to return to pre-pandemic numbers. These great folks are members and prospects of the Greater Bethesda Chamber, and I am doing my part to help them thrive. So can you!
We recently published the 95th Annual Membership Directory. I hope you received your copy in the mail but do let me know if you need a few copies and I will make sure they get to you. A digital copy of this is located on the Chamber’s website as well. I do hope you are taking advantage of the many Member-to-Member discounts offered. It is important that we continue to buy form one another to ensure comradery within the membership and demonstrate value to one another.
This summer, we will be launching our new three-year strategic plan and many of you participated in a market study conducted by Dr. Mary Beth Merrin from Decision Making Research. These results will help me and our VP for Strategic Planning, Mary Robinson of Capacity Partners start the process with an engaged task force of volunteers.
Beginning in September, all meetings will be held in-person and most from the Chamber Boardroom. For the immediate future, a Zoom link will be provided for those not ready to return in-person, but we do hope the effort will be made to return to Suite 1204.
As always, I am available and welcome your call, text, email or visit as together, we are Building a Greater Bethesda.
Excerpts from my speech at the 95th Installation Dinner
Thank you for placing your trust in me to head this Storied Chamber for the next 18 months.
And to our members of the Board who are Not here tonight well, thank you in advance for being Voluntold to sit in on the next County Council session!!
My Goal for this presentation tonight is simple: When you leave here you will have a renewed vision for your continued support of the GBCC and you will be asking yourself “How/What can I do to support this Board and its mission this year?
Guest Blog by Elise Ambrose, President of Elite Personnel
Embracing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) is not just the right thing to do, it is also an integral component of organizational success. Organizations with diverse workforces have access to broader perspectives, increased innovation, expanded market share, and a wider pool of talent.
As a nation of diverse backgrounds (race, religion, national origin, gender) employees bring different viewpoints, priorities, expertise, and knowledge to the workplace regardless of whether they are regular full-time employees or part of a contingent workforce. Organizations also stand to gain and prosper from the aggregation of these multifaceted attributes. Narrow demographics leads to a narrow point of view, a narrow body of knowledge, and a narrow perspective of how people work.
Guest Blog by Kay Loughrey, Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist, Sweet Life Wellness
When you've had a stressful day, one way to slow down and feel less stressed is to enjoy eating mindfully. In a fast-paced world, how can we pay attention to the process of eating and enjoy eating mindfully? After all, eating is one of life’s simple pleasures. Instead, it often seems quicker to eat while multi-tasking so we can get on to “more important things.” Then, we tend to overeat and gain weight. Why should we take the time to enjoy eating mindfully?
Mindfulness means paying attention the present moment. Mindfulness can help you make better food choices. Mindfulness can help you tune into whether you are hungry, decide whether, what and how much to eat, and stop overeating.
When we slow down and enjoy eating mindfully, it benefits us in three other ways. We take more pleasure in our food. We also tend to stop eating before we’re full, and can more easily lose extra weight.
“We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.”
- George Bernard Shaw
As we enter our 95th year of service to the business community, the leadership and staff of the Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce take Mr. Shaw’s words to heart. Our responsibility and future is NOW. We have advocated for the Bethesda region during times of growth, recession, war, and change. We continue to advocate for business by providing a strong voice of clarity through the uncertainties and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve been a helping hand, a (virtual) shoulder to cry on, and an encourager, while providing clarity about the confusing maze of resources designed to help sustain businesses.
Happy Spring! March marked the 1-year anniversary of the COVID-19 World-Wide Pandemic. It’s hard to believe that it has been one year. At times, it felt like 10 years and in other aspects, it felt like the last 12 months flew by.
During that dreaded and fearful March of 2020, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had dropped by nearly 36%. All of us were in fear for our health, our families, our children, our jobs and our savings. With that historic market drop came a scary time for small businesses. Restaurants that rely on patrons to enter their doors were forced to close. Some for numbered days while others forever. Every business in Bethesda (and worldwide) was affected in one way; most in a painful way. I remember putting my children to sleep one night in late March and just sitting outside their bedroom door, on the floor and wondering what will be. What will become of our family, our community, our county and even what of our world. I cried silently in the darkness of our home. That day I was not able to see the light.
Guest Blog by Mike Shelah, Director of Marketing and Business Development, Advantage Industries
Back in December 2020, My colleague Russell and I shared a webinar with Chamber members (you can watch it here https://youtu.be/Wsidf2Q-wYM ) about simple , effective and low cost cyber security tips that every business should follow.
Here is a hard truth, the days of having an “IT break fix guy” that puts out fires for you when something breaks are long gone. It is super easy for a hacker to steal your information today, you really need to be proactive and work with a team to keep everything up to date. That said, there is plenty you can do as a business owner to better protect your company, your data and your reputation.
Today, The Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce celebrates standing with our local business community for 95 years. We have advocated for the Bethesda region during times of growth, recession, war, and change.
We continue to advocate for businesses, providing a strong voice of clarity through the uncertainties and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve been a helping hand, a (virtual) shoulder to cry on, and an encourager, while also providing clarity about the confusing maze of resources designed to help sustain businesses.
Guest Blog by Ellen Coren, President & CEO of Chesapeake Public Strategies
Successful public policy efforts call for sincere engagement with community residents and civic leaders. Whether for a development project or a legislative issue, effective outreach campaigns establish meaningful dialogue, stakeholder agreement and active support. A successful civic engagement strategy will help you ascend the Community Engagement Ladder.
One of the most rewarding benefits of my position is getting out and meeting with our community leaders. During this unprecedented year of uncertainty related to the global pandemic, we are all hindered with being able to safely and carefully do so.
In the past few weeks, I have been fortunate to visit a few of our leaders and learn more about the impacts of effective operations.
I had a terrific meeting with Jim Willard, General Manager of Euro Motorcars Bethesda.
Our Chamber Blog is designed to provide you information about The Chamber, our members, advocacy and legislative updates, and important business tools.