In July 2002, when I started Arlington Promotional Products, LLC, I knew right away that I had to join the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. I also joined six other networking groups. That’s right – I joined every networking group I could identify!
Well, after 16 years, I am still active in the Arlington Chamber, but the other networking groups have come and gone. Why? The Chamber members made me feel welcomed. They get it. They understand the importance of networking, developing strong relationships, and the concept of people wanting to work with people they know, trust, and like. And very few are pushy. It’s you they want to get to know.
Sixteen years later, Leslie and I are still friends and I have developed a diverse group of customers. I am privileged to count, among my customers, hotels, banks, county offices, educational groups, real estate agents, hospitals, restaurants, and a cross-section of nonprofit organizations.
I wanted to make sure new members were welcomed like I was by Leslie, so I joined the Ambassador Committee. In addition to getting to wear a really nifty badge, I get to welcome new members, help them get acclimated to the Chamber, and facilitate their involvement.
I especially enjoy attending the Business After Business events and make every effort not to miss one. Since the BABs are hosted at a different Chamber member business every month, I have had the opportunity to learn about the range of Arlington-based organizations, from banks to hotels to law offices to ice rinks. Without fail, I am either keeping my relationships strong, meeting new people, and/or connecting people to each other.
Because of my Chamber membership, I have gotten involved in political campaigns, learned more about the homeless situation during Volunteer Arlington Day, attended swearing in ceremonies for elected Arlington Leaders, honored public safety personnel and first responders and stayed abreast of the issues facing Arlington during the State of the County & Public Safety Awards, found my dentist, and made many friends.