Chamber of Commerce: Community Branding
Chamber Name: Knoxville Chamber of Commerce
Elected leader for 2018 (name and title): Megan McKay, President
Professional Staff Leader of the Chamber: Hannah Vander Veer, Director
Number of Members: 150
What inspired you to first get involved with your Chamber?
My passion for my hometown and desire to see a thriving community motivated me to apply for the job as Director of the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce. I gained some experience in community development in a different town than Knoxville and knew that I wanted to take my skills and apply them to the place that I loved. It took some time but after working in Knoxville for a little over a year, the position as Chamber Director opened up and I did not hesitate.
What’s a signature offering of your Chamber?
The Knoxville Chamber of Commerce is continuingly working to create opportunities for our business community to interact and collaborate with one another. As a community of 7,200 that hasn’t seen much growth in the last 20 years, it is important for us to work together to draw in people from the outside. Together, we can create a good experience and communities to live, work and enjoy.
What is your Chamber’s biggest accomplishment in the past 12 months?
Before me, the Knoxville Chamber hadn’t had a full-time director in almost 3 years. Our biggest accomplishment in the last year is proving relevancy again and being consistent with programming. This has led to an increase in membership and participation that isn’t slowing down!
Any initiative or project that you are looking forward to in 2019?
In 2019, we are working to lay the groundwork in becoming the sales arm of our community. This means owning community branding, creating a digital infrastructure for businesses, residents and visitors to go to and learn about all of the opportunities in our community. It is going to be a multi-year project with a lot of collaboration but we are excited to be thinking about the process.
What upcoming events should people watch for?
Monthly, we hold Lunch & Learn events that cover a variety of topics for the benefit of all types of businesses. In May, we will host a session on the Knoxville Nationals and how our local businesses can get involved to help welcome more than 25,000 people to town in August. In July, we are hosting hospitality training to remind our frontline employees on best practices for welcoming guests.
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.