RENO, Nev. — The Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 100th anniversary throughout 2019 with free monthly programs for members, including “Business after Hours” and “Coffee & Commerce"; “BIZ BALL” taking place on the Virginia Street bridge on July 12; the Chamber's Post-Legislature Recap on June 18; “The 100th Anniversary Bash” on Sept. 13; and Holiday Reception for its 1,700 members on Dec. 11.
It also boasts a roster of 42 Chamber Ambassadors, volunteers from a wide swath of industries who meet monthly to celebrate business success stories and assist with events.
The Chamber, the largest business organization in Northern Nevada, is experiencing monthly, double-digit membership growth and maintains its commitment to advocating on behalf of local businesses with elected officials at the local, state and federal levels.
Included in membership is the weekly e-newsletter, networking events, business forums, its “HR Bootcamp," educational seminars and a monthly “member value orientation” for new and continuing members.
The Chamber's consistent presence throughout the 2019 Nevada Legislative Session has served as a voice for free enterprise and continued business vitality in the community.
The organization is also proud to begin the 36th year of its legacy leadership program, which will begin again in January 2020 and continue for nine months. The application process will begin in September; individuals are selected based on their level of engagement with their employers, their communities, and their paths to future leadership.
Ann Silver, the Chamber's first female CEO in a century of operations, works with a small team of three employees who focus on one key objective: the promotion of members to residents, visitors and worldwide consumers of its members' goods and services.
In 2018, the Reno + Sparks Chamber provided over 1.4 million referrals of its members through its Chamber Directory and anticipates a larger number in 2019.
“We want all 1,700 members to benefit from our promotional work and to experience business success," said Silver.
Taylor Russo, Director of Member Engagement, previously worked with Silver at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada, and they are quick to engage each other in dialogue about new members, key partner relationships and most recently, BIZ BALL, sponsored in large part by the NBA.
It helps that Silver's brother, Adam Silver, is the NBA Commissioner, but it was his recent visit to the Virginia Street Bridge and the staff's enthusiasm that convinced him of the event's potential to galvanize business participation in downtown Reno.
Connor Naisbitt and Gabby Harrison are Chamber Business Coordinators, working on new member applications, member retention and partner relations, providing tourism information and sending out relocation packages. Both staffers focus on member services and graciously greet every visitor to the office's contemporary space, where any member can schedule free use of a conference or training room.
Ribbon-cuttings are frequent events, and with new businesses opening and others expanding, the foot-long scissor gets a weekly work-out.
“We enjoy opportunities to welcome new members and celebrate their new sites, products, and staff," said Russo. “And we're always thrilled when our congressional representatives provide certificates of recognition and send members of their Reno staff to attend these events."
The Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce is led by a 22-member Board of Directors, with Darrell Plummer, President of Sierra Nevada Properties, serving as its Chair.
“It's a great honor," said Plummer, who has served on the Board for several years and remains an enthusiastic supporter of the business community.
He meets regularly with the CEO and monthly with the Board's Executive Committee to discuss Chamber matters, government relations, partnerships, and member activities.
“I'm fortunate to work with a great board of business people and a terrific CEO," said Plummer, who manages board meetings while running his own expanding real estate company.
The Chamber Board dissolved its Political Action Committee in late 2017, and launched a bold and deliberate “Public Policy Platform” that was distributed to all members of the 2019 Nevada Legislature.
“While we no longer raise campaign funds for selected candidates, we use our voice to endorse free enterprise, support reduced regulations on small businesses, and promote diverse business and employment opportunities in Reno and Sparks” said Silver. “The Reno + Sparks Chamber is pleased it initiated a more positive way to reflect its support for businesses and engage in constructive dialogue across party lines in order to sustain economic progress."
This article was provided to the NNBV by the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce. To learn more about membership, partnership, the upcoming BIZ BALL event or other scheduled member activities, call 775-636-9550 or visit www.thechambernv.org.