2023 Affiliate Chamber Spotlight: Madison County Chamber of Commerce
Chamber Name + Website:
Madison County Chamber of Commerce
Elected leader for 2023
Ashton McKeever, Board Chair, Farmers & Merchants State Bank
Professional Staff Leader of the Chamber
Amara Huffine, Executive Director
Number of Members
How Does a Business Join Your Chamber?
Membership in the Madison County Chamber of Commerce is open to anyone and everyone! Our website, MadisonCounty.com, is loaded with information about our organization, how to become a member and benefits of membership along with added value from the Dual Membership Model with the Greater Des Moines Partnership.
What Inspired You to First Get Involved with Your Chamber?
I was in Winterset after leaving my current job opportunity and noticed the Chamber. I had fallen in love with Madison County during COVID and was looking for an opportunity to expand my professional skills in a community that was representative of Iowa Nice. I found that when I applied for the Executive Director position in 2021.
What is a Signature Offering of Your Chamber?
We communicate weekly to the membership through the Chamber Chat newsletter, which includes member information, tips for business owners, details about chamber-sponsored and community events and a platform to celebrate members’ successes. Additionally, we gather each Friday morning at a different member business for “Chamber Coffee” events, which offer quick networking before work and opportunities for hosting businesses to show off facilities, operations and staff. These events are well attended by Chamber members and are a great way to be engaged in the Chamber membership.
What is Your Chamber’s Biggest Accomplishment in the Past 12 Months?
Our Chamber secured the Winterset Cultural Designation award from the Department of Cultural Affairs. Winterset’s proposal included projects to further cultural and arts in our community. Projects completed thus far include:
Implementing more diverse entertainment during Covered Bridge Festival
- Adding artistic and cultural opportunities to our Winter Solstice Market
- Adding an En Plein Air artist during our annual Wine Walk.
As we move forward this year, the projects in process will enhance a strong base of cultural attractions that make Madison County a better place to work, live, play and conduct business. The Chamber, in partnership with community leaders, has steadily worked to build a brand for Madison County as a cultural and tourism destination and numerous new attractions and events over the past 10 years have been a result of those efforts with many additional projects on the horizon.
What Initiative/Project Are You Looking Forward to in the Upcoming Year?
We’re excited to bring our newest event, Paint Madison County, an En Plein Air Art Festival on Sunday, Sept. 17 to life. We are looking for local curated artists of all mediums to join us and to create art in the open air surrounded by the beauty Madison County has to offer. Any artists interested in participating can visit: madisoncounty.com for our artist application.
What Partnership Tools/Resources Have Been Most Beneficial to Your Chamber Members?
During the past six months, especially, we’ve been grateful for our affiliate membership with The Partnership. We’ve used the tools within DSM Forward, taken advantage of conference calls with leaders of The Partnership and elected officials and utilized every possible opportunity to collaborate with other Affiliate Chambers to bring value and information to the Madison County Chamber membership.
What Are Your Upcoming Events?
Our upcoming events are:
The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the fourth largest regional Chamber of Commerce in the nation. Learn more about Partnership Affiliate Chambers, browse the Membership Directory and read additional Affiliate Chamber spotlights.