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2024 Affiliate Chamber Spotlight: Pella Area Community & Economic Alliance

Pella Chamber

April 16, 2024

Chamber Name + Website

Pella Area Community & Economic Alliance

Elected Leader for 2024

Charlie Daugherty, CFO of Precision, Pulley, & Idler (PPI) and President of the PACE Board

Professional Staff Leader of the Chamber

Karen Eischen IOM, Executive Director

Number of Members

273 members

How Does a Business Join Your Chamber?

Find information under the “Join the PACE Alliance” tab at pella.org, email info@pella.org or call the PACE Office (641) 628-2626.

What Inspired You to First Get Involved with Your Chamber?

“I was drawn to PACE because of its strong sense of community and their invaluable connections. As a small business owner, especially a woman, I deeply appreciate the resources and support the PACE provides. Having an advocate and a team behind me feels empowering. I also love being a part of the numerous community, educational and networking opportunities offered.” – Andrea Buydos, Owner Pella Paperie

Thursdays in Pella 

What is a Signature Offering of Your Chamber?

The PACE Alliance thrives on collaboration. Through five working councils, we partner closely with members to leverage talents and resources within our community. We focus on identifying community needs, then provide solutions with creative innovative programs, initiatives and strategies that support employers, businesses and employees to achieve their highest potential.

What is Your Chamber’s Biggest Accomplishment in the Past 12 Months?

Our biggest accomplishment in the past 12 months has been the significant growth and engagement within the PACE Alliance community. We've achieved remarkable milestones, including welcoming 55 new members and our efforts in fostering economic development have resulted in the welcoming of 29 new businesses to Pella, demonstrating our commitment to the prosperity of our local economy. Moreover, our high level of member involvement, with 63% actively participating in activities and initiatives, showcases the vibrant and collaborative spirit of our alliance. Through the sale of almost $150,000 in Pella Bucks, we've contributed to keeping money circulating within our local economy, promoting sustainability and growth.

What Initiative/Project Are You Looking Forward to in the Upcoming Year?

In the upcoming year, we are excited to build upon the success of our existing initiatives while also introducing new opportunities for our PACE Alliance community. Building on the momentum generated by the launch of three new initiatives in 2023, including the Live Life Local Campaign, Let's Do Lunch and PBX: Pella Business Exchange, we are committed to further expanding and enhancing these programs to better serve our members and community.

We are eagerly anticipating the continued success of our latest initiative, Backstage Pass. This program offers an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the operations of longstanding PACE member businesses, which are integral cornerstones of our community. Through Backstage Pass, we aim to foster deeper connections between our members and showcase the invaluable contributions of these businesses to our local economy and culture.

Furthermore, the release of the new Housing Study, conducted in collaboration with Marion County, presents a significant opportunity for our community. We look forward to analyzing the study's results and leveraging the tangible data to address housing needs effectively. By making these findings available to businesses, builders and developers, we aim to facilitate informed decision-making and proactive solutions to meet our community's housing demands.

PACE Event

Moreover, we are committed to expanding our "Member to Member" offers for PACE Members. This initiative provides members with exclusive discounts, offers and opportunities for collaboration among our members, fostering a supportive and interconnected business community. By nurturing these relationships and promoting intra-alliance cooperation, we strive to enhance the value proposition of PACE Alliance membership and drive mutual success.

In summary, our focus for the upcoming year revolves around continued growth, innovation and collaboration within the PACE Alliance community. By building upon existing initiatives, introducing new programs and leveraging data-driven insights, we are poised to create meaningful opportunities for our members and contribute to the continued prosperity of our community.

What Partnership Tools/Resources Have Been Most Beneficial to Your Chamber Members?

The Partnership's educational events provide opportunities to learn strategies, tools and techniques for all of our members whether they are large corporations or small businesses. The Top Five for Small Business series is a great resource our small businesses can tap into for networking, advice from other business owners, discussion around common challenges, learning seminars and information.

What Are Your Upcoming Events?

  • PBX (Pella Business Exchange) – Held the second Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m.
  • Tulip Time – Thursday, May 2 – Saturday, May 4
  • Thursdays in Pella – Every Thursday in June and July (nine events!) in Central Park from 6 – 9 p.m. The first event kicks off on June 6 with #gamenight!

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.

Karen Eischen

Karen Eischen, Executive Director of the Pella Area Community & Economic Alliance, brings 25+ years of industry expertise. Driven by a commitment to community advancement, she catalyzes ideas into reality through collaborations and partnerships. Karen specializes in identifying locations for new and expanding businesses and facilitating smooth transitions for Pella newcomers.