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Affiliate Chamber Spotlight: Greater Newton Area Chamber of Commerce

Newton Chamber in DSM USA

June 28, 2017

Newton Chamber of Commerce Q&A

Why should someone join your Chamber?

Joining the Newton Chamber is one important key in the success for any Newton business. The connections and the network that the Chamber already has established can connect businesses with its next client, co-worker, or collaborator in minutes. We provide many professional and fun events throughout the year to help businesses network with fellow businesses in the community. We have monthly breakfasts/lunches, as well as after hours events. We also have many community events at which employees can volunteer and help plan. Best of all, our Chamber members are like a family. They are all involved because they are passionate about the community’s success.  When businesses join the Chamber, not only are they going to grow, but also they are strengthening the community of Newton with their volunteerism, community awareness, participation and collaboration.

What is your Chamber’s biggest accomplishment in the past 12 months?  

After surveying our members to find out what works and what needs work, we changed up our monthly breakfasts, and started alternating every other month with a lunch. We were finding that many of our members just could not make the breakfasts and that lunch was much easier and really much better attended. Also, we have taken a good look at how our ambassador program was running and decided to make some positive changes to responsibilities and expectations. The result has seen many new people join who were looking for a great leadership opportunity. Additionally, it has resulted in more participation and volunteerism. We also increased our number of business visits during our ambassador meetings each month. We have accomplished so much in a year and continue to make positive changes.

Any initiative or project that you are looking forward to in 2017?  

We are looking forward to continuing to grow our relationship with our city and our businesses to improve our community and help it grow. The Chamber collaborates with a city stakeholder group, which includes Newton Main Street, and we are excited to be working on the recruitment of retail stores, as well as a tap room or brew pub. Economic development is a part of the Chamber that has not been utilized, and we are excited to be working in that realm again.

What upcoming events should people watch for?    

Summer is a busy time for the Newton Chamber, as we are involved in many exciting community events. NewtonFest and the Cool Cars Car Show have just wrapped up.

Also, another major Chamber event is our 4th of July celebration. This takes place on July 4th, and we plan a large parade that runs through downtown Newton. Thousands come out to our parade every year and we expect about 100 entries on average. New this year, we are collaborating with our city parks to bring the community some fun, free, family activities in the afternoon. There will be bounce houses, inflatable obstacle course, and family games at Agnes Patterson Park starting at 2 p.m. There will also be food vendors as well as a home-run derby. These events lead up to our city fireworks celebration in the evening. The 4th of July celebration has been a longstanding tradition and is an event that everybody in the community looks forward to each year. The Chamber enjoys being able to organize and plan this event, and it is always great to see so many families and community leaders volunteering their time to make this happen.

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.

Miranda Kulis

Miranda Kulis is the 2017-2018 Greater Newton Area Chamber of Commerce board chair. She also serves the community as an At Large City Council representative. Miranda has been serving on the Chamber board since 2015. She is very involved in the community and serves on several boards of directors and committees, including Thunder Nites. She relocated to Newton to open the Goodwill Career Connection Center in July of 2014 and in May 2016 she started as a Production Supervisor with Thombert Inc., in Newton. Visit experiencenewton.com.