UP FRONT: Greater reach

Posted on Dec 3, 2014 :: Up Front
Sean P. Johnson
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Greater Green Bay ChamberWhat’s in a name?

The Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce announced at its recent annual dinner at the KI Convention Center Green Bay that it is now known as the Greater Green Bay Chamber.

The name change is an outward reflection of what is more than an identity change, says Laurie Radke, president and CEO of the Greater Green Bay Chamber. It represents the culmination of a three-year process that entailed attending hundreds of listening sessions, creating a new mission, vision and name, supported by an internal alignment enabling staff to support the new brand.

“This is a fundamental repositioning and rebranding effort intended to visually represent our collaboration, our inclusiveness and our desire to make a difference in the Greater Green Bay area,” Radke says. “In addition, changing our name is a purposeful effort to be inclusive of all the area’s communities that we represent, as we need the county’s offerings as a whole to be successful regionally.”

That mission is to strengthen member businesses by enhancing economic and workforce development, resulting in improved quality of life in the community and region. Greater Green Bay Chamber members represent 91,000 employees — more than two-thirds of the Brown County workforce.

“The chamber is the convener, bringing together resources to enhance economic and workforce development,” Radke says. “We are the champions of business development for Greater Green Bay because strong business builds a strong community.”

To further serve that goal, the chamber will focus on services that support its constituencies, handing off things that don’t fit the mission to more appropriate agencies.

The chamber’s internal alignment supports these outward activities, including a national search for a new vice president of economic development and plans to create a five-year economic development plan; how its Partners in Education branch is reconfiguring itself to complement and accomplish goals set forth for the Greater Green Bay community as part of the Achieve Brown County initiative, of which the chamber was a co-creator and is a co-anchor; and in the chamber’s other efforts in the areas of economic and workforce development.

Further illustrating the effort is the staff’s comprehensive and formal retention plan that focuses on the value the chamber provides members in the areas of engagement, investment, resources, solutions and access.

“I plan to continually engage members in listening sessions to ensure that what they deem appropriate is also what we’re executing in terms of our programs and services,” Radke says.