by Stevie Kearse, Executive Director, Rolla Chamber of Commerce
I am sure that you all agree with this statement, “how is it possibly 2020?” I can remember being much younger and thinking about 2020. At the time, 2020 felt so far in the future that it wouldn’t even happen! Well here it is and with it comes a lot of celebration. Starting with the Chamber turning 100 years old.
The Rolla Chamber of Commerce is going to kick off the year with a Centennial Celebration that will be held on Saturday, January 18 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Havener Center. During this formal event, attendees will get the opportunity to walk through the past 100 years of business in the Rolla area followed by a great evening of dancing with music provided by ChristiAna Ball. You do not need to be a member of the RACC to attend this celebration. We welcome everyone to celebrate with us.
The celebration doesn’t end with the Gala. Later in the year, we will host a special birthday party and the whole community will be invited. We are also working on a new special event for the Spring. Our committees have been working on growing several programs too.
Our Education committee continues to work on growing the Show Me Scholars program for RHS students. We have a goal to grow the scholarship donations and provide a record number of scholarships to graduates this year. This committee is also working on organizing a job fair for businesses that plan to hire high school students. This event will be hosted in April and provide an opportunity for high school students to apply for summer and year-round jobs. Keep watching for more details on how you can be involved in this effort.
The Small Business Committee continues to work on ways to grow small business in the community. 2019 brough new ideas for Small Business Week that we plan to grow in 2020. One of the most popular events during Small Business Week was the Professional Headshots. We had 79 business professionals take advantage of this free opportunity to update their business photos. We received such positive feedback from that effort that it is back for 2020. Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity this year.
Not all great things are NEW ideas, so we plan to continue doing the things that worked for our members in 2020. First Friday Coffees and the monthly luncheons are always successful events that provided much needed networking and educational opportunities. These are all booked for 2020 so make sure you add them to your calendar so you don’t miss out!
Over the past 100 years, the Chamber has continued to grow in membership as well as grow in the opportunities we can provide to the business community. We would like to thank all of you for making that possible. We ended 2019 with the largest membership enrollment ever and we look forward to serving the business community in 2020.
Happy New Year!