Charting a definitive path
Canby's new Chamber of Commerce Director is making strides and changes in the way the Chamber operates. After joining the group in mid-April, Kyle Lang has taken the time to meet with and hear what members want and need to make the organization a better partner.
In the approximately two months since Lang joined the chamber he has spent time analyzing members' wants and needs as well as welcoming six new members since May 1.
Lang invited members to the group's June 5 luncheon to map out some of his plans. Several of the issues he covered include new and renewed Chamber programming, new community-facing outreach to better connect local business with local residents, new tourism partnerships and a more comprehensive social media practice that features all Chamber members.
His talk was designed to get members busy, stating that "We've got a lot to grow…" and encouraging them to work hard for something they love as well as understanding Chamber values.
"We believe local business are the backbone of a healthy community. We value community. We embrace and encourage new ideas and creative thinking," Lang told members. "The Chamber should drive values, turning them into verbs while believing our purpose is to serve."
He told attendees he wants to treat community members like partners, staying curious and ready to upset the status quo.
The Chamber, he said, strengthens Canby's economy by providing programs and services. Lang has a goal to get Chamber members to value community by connecting businesses to each other as well as to prospective customers.
"These essential resources allow us to facilitate connections to long term business relationships built on trust," he said.
Lang also noted that members can create and encourage new ideas and generate creative thinking by asking, "Why?"
He also asked how they can get these ideas done. Using a member focus he wants to expand member programs, develop deeper community partnerships, be better resources and make messages clear. For the community, the Chamber needs to engage directly with the broader community, be a good and better resource and clarify messages, he said.
His method of reaching this goal is to provide members with legislative advocacy, expanded programs, expanded Chamber communities, social media revision and expanded interaction potential. He plans to provide educational seminar programs, member-generated topics and presenters and to expand community partnerships. He also plans to expand and develop Chamber sub-communities such as a Women's Chamber this year, young professional's partnership and a Hispanic Chamber.
His said he wants to focus on the community with tourism marketing partnerships, bringing publications up to date, use the website as a resource and social media for messaging. Lang wants to expand local tourism reach and elevate the Chambers media presence as well as finding co-marketing opportunities at events. He also wants to redo the Relocation Guide and produce the Best of Canby.
Since starting at the Chamber, Lang says he's been increasing networking events and local relationships as well as updating current resources.
He's working on restructuring funding, website branding and publication analysis, building up the staff and constructing community partnerships.
He's already put together next month's luncheon program on July 3, which will feature U.S. Congressman Kurt Schrader and Oregon Senator Alan Olsen. Lang wants to ensure the Chamber provides the information and resources to give its members access to state and federal influencers. He says he hopes these changes will begin to delineate the Chamber's mission to better meet mandates from its members.
Besides the luncheon, Lang will hold Membership 101 on June 15. He plans to use the session to educate members regarding what the Chamber is all about. It's a one-hour course that's mostly informational.
But he also expects members to interact with what he says, because those interactions will be meaningful to he and new and old members.
Beginning at 9 a.m., it will be held at the Chamber office, 191 SE 2nd Ave., and requires an RSVP to the office.
Other Chamber activities this month include Good Morning Canby on June 14 from 7:45 to 9 a.m. and June 21st for After Hour from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on June 21 at Pizza Schmizza Pub and Grub at 851 SW 1st Ave.