ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles Chamber of Commerce wants to further connect with its members in the coming year.
That includes connecting through the St. Charles Chamber's newly redesigned website. During the chamber's annual membership meeting and breakfast on Thursday, St. Charles Chamber Board Director Deborah Gurley, chairman of the board's marketing committee, talked about the website.
"It is intended to be the central go-to resource for our membership and in time, the community," Gurley said. "We are very excited about how this resource will not only be a great tool for our members, but also our community at large."
Incoming St. Charles Chamber Board Chairman Ryan Anderson said the redesigned website was a long time in the making.
"The easiest way for me to describe it is it's not linear," he said. "The previous website was very linear, where you clicked and clicked and clicked. One of the things that we wanted you to experience with the new website is the ability to jump from one location to the next and be able to drill down and not make you feel like the website got you into a corner and you couldn't go any further and have to start over."
He stressed that the St. Charles Chamber is all about developing connections.
"[St. Charles Chamber President and CEO] Jim Di Ciaula is very much focused on that the chamber is here for you, the members, to develop connections to each other and connections to each other's businesses. Because at the end of the day, that's the focus of the chamber."
Anderson said the chamber hopes to build those connections in various ways in 2020, including through mixers, educational seminars and legislative updates.
"We are trying to put on events that help you make those connections and grow your business," he said.
A new St. Charles Chamber event will take place on Feb. 20 called "The Chamber Has Talent."
"The idea behind it is to do more than just networking," Anderson said. "It's about getting to know the people in the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce on a personal level."
St. Charles Chamber Board Director Dave Frolicstein is also chairman of the board's legislative committee, which continues to work to connect the chamber's members to area legislators.
"We're trying to continue to create those opportunities for the members to connect with a representative and remain current on various legislative issues and topics that may affect them personally or in their business," he said. "We've hosted various workshops on numerous hot topics that can have an impact on their business and the community."
Some of this year's topics have included minimum wage, cyber security and the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Next year, the committee will coordinate a quarterly chat with St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina, starting in January.
"There will be four events to allow the mayor to connect with us, not just the one time," Dave Frolicstein said.
Awards were also passed out during the membership meeting. Receiving the Rookie of the Year award was Michelle Bottino, owner of Fully Promoted.
The Member of the Year award went to Michael Shoultz, of Spirit Rising Coaching.