It’s hard to believe that my time at the Chamber has now exceeded a full year. Over the course of my first year, I’ve had the opportunity to work directly with our members, and have developed a vast understanding of the Arlington business community fabric. Whether that be attending an Arlington County Board meeting to pass out stickers to support the Amazon incentive package or holding a forum for our nonprofit members to learn from industry experts – I’ve seen the impact that the Chamber has on the community.
Additionally, I’ve seen Chamber success stories on a smaller scale, such as members being able to rent the boardroom once a month. We’ve had a wide variety of events held for members, like recording radio shows and strategic planning meetings. A Chamber member was able to kick-start her podcast by using our small conference room to host and interview guests, including elected officials. We've also been able to promote various deals between member organizations through our online portal - a free resource that many may not know about! Our coupons range from special membership rates to VIDA Fitness to tuition discounts. Being able to play a part in spreading the word about the amazing things our members are up to has been extremely rewarding.
During my time at the Chamber, I’ve gotten to mentor our interns, ranging from high schoolers to international students. I’ve also been able to take on exciting projects, including the Chamber Travel Program, which will be sending six Arlingtonians to explore China for ten days this fall, and I’m leading the Chamber’s first ever Arlington Restaurant Week. Through Arlington Restaurant Week, I hope to continue deepening my ties in the Arlington community - while trying out some of the best bites our area.
From all that the Chamber, and our members, have to offer, I’ve realized we as an organization boil down to one word: connections. Connections between Chamber members. Connections between the business network and community. Connections to local government. Connections to people who are on your side and will do whatever they can to help you prosper. I’m feel very fortunate to be connected with the individuals I’ve met through my work at the Chamber.