Jo Schmeiser, Executive Director of The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford (CCGM), is excited about the possibilities that 2014 brings for the Milford business community. A successful year last year with a over fifty new Chamber members registered, the organization is looking to grow and increase their impact on the local economy. Last year alone CCGM raised over $10,000 for other non-profits in the community including the CanDo Playground, Riverfront Theatre, Mispillion Art League, Milford Parks & Recreation, Delaware National Guard, Carlisle and Slaughter Beach Fire Departments and the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.
“With us being the largest business organization in the community, we have close to 50 non-profit members,” commented Schmeiser when asked the importance of serving other non-profit organizations beyond themselves. “Without them the community would not be so vibrant, successful and growing.”
At the forefront of driving the direction of the Chamber this year is the Executive Board of Directors, which for the first time is composed of all women. Businesswomen Angela Dorey, President; Terry Favata, Vice President; Kristen Rust, Treasurer; and Stephanie Edwards, Secretary will continue the mission of the Chamber to “support a balanced economic development of Greater Milford by promoting civic, industrial, commercial, educational, agribusiness, social and quality of life interest” in the community. President Dorey believes the Executive Committee will not only encourage more women to seek business opportunities in Milford but that each businesswoman will also bring a diversity to the Chamber based of the industries they work in.
“These ladies I am serving with have a diverse background in banking, large business, realty and insurance,” commented Dorey. “They are each very educated and active in the community and they will help us strengthen and improve our community.”
On Wednesday, January 15 the Chamber of Commerce will host their First Quarter General Membership Luncheon with Guest Speaker Governor Jack Markell. The Governor will speak on the state of the State and economic development in Delaware. An opportunity to speak about the current economic situation in the state of Delaware, Director Jo Schmeiser believes this event will share her perspective that the economy is moving forward in a positive direction.
“It seems that things are picking up again, last year we saw a positive business climate come back,” commented Schmeiser. “Businesses have been more visible and getting involved in their community.”
The Chamber has already made some changes to their yearly events including the tradition of the Annual Smile For Freedom 5K that is normally held as the kick off event to the Riverwalk Freedom Festival in September. This year the event will be held in June and moved to Mispillion River Brewing off Airport Road. Girls Night Out, the annual fundraiser that supports the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition will be moved this year to the Harrington Raceway & Casino, one of the Chamber’s newest members.
Moving forward in 2014 the Chamber is looking to embrace additional community partners by helping businesses, big and small, connect with needed resources. “Whether it is a new or existing businesses in the Greater Milford Area, we can help connect them with the resources they need whether that is a creating a business plan or assistance with hiring employees,” commented Schmeiser. “We can point you in the right direction.”