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Affiliate Chamber Spotlight: Urbandale Chamber of Commerce

October 11, 2017

Chamber name: Urbandale Chamber of Commerce

Elected leader for 2017: Lori Gelhaar, Chair

Professional staff leader of the Chamber: Tiffany Menke, President

Number of members: 764

Urbandale Chamber of Commerce Q&A

Why should someone join your Chamber?    

The Urbandale Chamber of Commerce is known for its strong programming that supports businesses at every stage and size. As the only 5-Star Accredited Chamber in Greater Des Moines (DSM), placing the organization in the top 1 percent of Chambers of Commerce in the Country, the Chamber serves more than 770 businesses throughout Urbandale and the region. 

Businesses join the organization for a number of reasons. For those interested in business owner engagement, the organization provides a track for business owners to connect and learn from each other. For those interested in building connections, the Chamber provides a wide-variety of structured networking events to ensure attendees meet new people at every event. Continuing education is a strong component of the Urbandale Chamber with high-quality educational sessions offered every month for those interested in growing. Bottom line, the organization listens to its members and is constantly adjusting to ensure we serve the needs of today’s businesses. 

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

Every day, the Chamber serves the business community in Greater Des Moines (DSM). The culture of the organization creates deep connections where the staff and members truly engage with each other. The Chamber has been instrumental at helping individual business owners take their business to the next level to achieve their own goals and that is our number one focus, priority and accomplishment. 

One example of the Chamber’s elevated program is the first-annual Central Iowa Business Conference which brought business leaders from across Iowa together to learn from keynote speakers Gino Wickman, author of Traction, and Vicki Halsey, co-author of Legendary Service. The conference will take place annually in the fall.

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

We are planning for 2018 right now by focusing on strengthening our K.E.Y. in Des Moines program (Keeping Educated Youth in Des Moines). This program connects all of the local Colleges and universities to the business community to help keep graduates in Des Moines. Businesses interested in more information can contact the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce.

What upcoming events should people watch for?    

Right now, we are focusing on celebrating businesses in the Urbandale Chamber membership at Sample Urbandale, A Celebration of Business. This event takes place Thursday, Nov. 16 at the Holiday Inn and Suites on Merle Hay Road. We will have roughly 400 in attendance celebrating Business of the Year, Citizen of the Year and our Best in Class awards for 24 different categories. 

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.

Lori Gelhaar

Lori Gelhaar is currently serving as the chair for the Urbandale Chamber board. In addition to her role with the Urbandale Chamber, Lori is a division manager at Palmer Group. She currently serves on a wide variety of other local boards and associations in Des Moines and is a past recipient of the Business Record's Forty Under 40.