Meet the Troy Chamber of Commerce
Recently, I had the pleasure of working with the Troy Chamber of Commerce as they updated their staff headshots.
As a small business owner, the local Chambers of Commerce have been vital. So I asked Sheila Denstaedt, the Director of Member Services, to tell you more.
Scott Lawrence: Tell us about your organization.
Sheila Denstaedt: Established in 1959, the Troy Chamber has been serving the business community for more than 55 years. One of the things that has not changed over those years is the diversity of our membership, which ranges from sole proprietors and entrepreneurs to large corporations. Because of the layout of Troy, no downtown area, we are more of a business-to-business Chamber. However, we are very fortunate to have many fantastic restaurants and retail outlets within the Chamber and the City of Troy!
SL: What’s unique about how you do what you do?
Sheila: I think what makes us unique is that we recognize that we can’t be all things to everyone. Over the years we have listened to our members and tailored our events to meet overall needs like: networking, economic development and education. We constantly review and monitor our committees to ensure they make sense for our members. We don’t want anyone to feel they have wasted their time participating in these groups.
We have also looked at ways to better incorporate our members into our events and presentations. We always look to our database first for event locations and speakers. We are very fortunate to have large scope of talent in Troy.
SL: What’s the one thing most people don’t know about your industry, but should?
Sheila: Chambers of Commerce aren’t a fit for every business. I say that in the most sincere way. To receive ROI on your Chamber investment you have to get involved. I think that goes for any Chamber, Association or membership organization. Take some time to research the group, attend a meeting, schedule a one-on-one with a member and then evaluate if it’s the right fit for you!
SL: Let's say I just made a move to Troy from a neighboring town. I have friends in Troy to help me find my bearings, but is it still worth calling the Chamber for recommendations and community tips?
Sheila: When moving a business to Troy I think starting with the Chamber is a must. Friends and family can give you suggestions (sometimes based on hearsay) on restaurants, potential office locations and potentially your competition, but the Chamber can give you boots on the ground insight. We have connections to City and County employees that can help you not only with your relocation but with making sure you have the best possible start at that new location. The Chamber can also help you connect with vendors who can make the move so much simpler!
SL: What can you help with that social media recommendations might not cover?
Sheila: We can make the introductions - we can connect you with people who have actually used the recommendations and will be honest with their results. We have been fortunate over the years to have seen what works and doesn’t work for businesses of all sizes and we want to see our members succeed! So we are here to share that information.