Holiday Greetings from Donna DiPrima, ABR®, CNS, REALTOR® at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, 103 Ponemah Road, Amherst, NH. They say “Membership has its privileges” and that is true with membership of the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce. I have been a member of the Chamber since 2010 and have been on the Board of Directors for the past four years.
There are numerous opportunities to grow your business with Chamber membership. There are networking opportunities in the morning, after work, as well as Lunch and Learns. There is even a referral network. It is a great way to meet people in the community you live and work in.
As a REALTOR®, I routinely have clients who ask me for recommendations for a home inspector, electrician, carpenter, plumber, painter or even someone to remove junk from their home before putting their home on the market. It is especially rewarding to be able to recommend someone who you know and trust and that you have met through your membership in the Chamber.
I have lived in Merrimack since 1998 and know the area quite well. If you are looking to sell your home or to buy your first home, please give me a call.
Donna M. DiPrima, ABR®, CNS
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
103 Ponemah Road
Amherst, NH 03031
When I attended my first Merrimack Chamber networking event three years ago, just after joining in 2013, I was unsure what to expect from my membership. I had friends who were members, and even executive directors, of various other boards. However, even in speaking with them the purpose and potential benefit to me seemed rather nebulous.
That evening, hosted by the Merrimack Flower Shop was the first time that I had entered their business, despite driving past almost daily since the 1980’s. I met “Florence, from Florence’s Restaurant, where I had never eaten, who provided a light buffet. (I’m so glad that Portofino’s is carrying on her tradition of great Italian dining.) I met small and large business owners, local politicians, and their guests. Since then I have visited those and other member establishments on numerous occasions. The benefit to those businesses is readily apparent through my new patronage. However, I have benefitted just from the new connections I made that evening and since.
Three years later I can tell you that the benefit to me as a REALTOR® (as one of thirteen present members) is different from those realized by proprietors of unique brick-and-mortar retail establishments – and different with each volunteer opportunity and event. I have gained referral business from relationships formed through the Chamber and specifically from the connections made as a member of our referral group. I can feel comfortable calling the local representatives to the statehouse who are members. I have gained a better appreciation of the ways to run various types and sizes of organizations and businesses. And through my volunteer positions have tried to make a difference within the Chamber itself.
Of course, when I need help in moving items out of my house, I’m looking for financial advice, a chiropractor, dentist, photographer, new flooring or stone countertop, want to speak with a lender or insurer, or to ask for insights from another business owner – I know whom to ask – AND I know the actual person behind the business.
My volunteer work on the Education Committee has provided the opportunity to work with the chamber scholarship and more recently with Carl Soderberg, present chair of the Education Committee (and co-founder of Able Ebenezer Brewery) in planning for a first-time bike race in Merrimack next spring. Seeing the work and planning that go into such a signature event has been helpful in planning my own business. Of course, the fact that the committee meetings are held at the brewery is just an added benefit.
I learned about one of Merrimack’s larger employers from the recent visit to BAE Systems, one of our corporate members. Also, I attended the launch of a new venture of another corporate member, Anheuser-Busch, the grand opening of their Biergarten in June – with a client, whose home sale had just closed that morning, as my guest.
So far this post has been all about me and how my membership has been much more than just a way to garner new business. I hope that through my experiences you can see how you can make your membership in the Merrimack Chamber to be about you, as well.
… Oh, and to answer my question in the title of this post, a chamber of commerce is the people and businesses that make our town a community and a great place to live, work, and play!
If you have any questions about the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce, please feel free to ask me.
Cheryl V. Liss
REALTOR®, ABR, SRS, ASP
Mobile: (603) 494-0225 (call/text)
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
166 Route 101, Bedford, NH 03110
Office: (603) 471-0777
Thanks for checking out our blog posts! As a Board member for the last three years, I highly recommend you get involved with the Chamber. Being an active and engaged member opens so many doors within our community. The Merrimack Chamber of Commerce has many ways to get involved. We host several special events during the year including our Spring Into Chic Fashion Show, Annual Awards Celebration, and Golf Tournament. It takes many hands to run these events. If you’ve never run an event, this is a great opportunity to learn how to do so, all while meeting members of the business community, in a fun and comfortable setting.
We have working committees that help carrying the Chamber’s long range plans. These include: Membership Committee, Ambassador Committee, Program Committee, Education Committee, Nominations Committee.
Are you looking for a way to get more involved in the Chamber and increase your visibility in the community? Joining a committee is a great way to meet fellow members and get in front of local businesses. Some committees run year long, while others are only active for a few months.
I currently chair the Program Committee and serve on the Board of Directors as Secretary. Please feel free to reach out to me to learn more about volunteering for this worthwhile organization.
Secretary, Board of Directors
Director of Community Relations, YMCA of Greater Nashua
At the Merrimack Public Library, we focus on providing our patrons with two things: Information and Connections. So maybe it’s not surprising that I really appreciate when I leave a Board meeting or Chamber event with more information and more personal and business connections than I had when I arrived. Some of these connections are intentional, while some are serendipitous. Here’s a recent example: I have a new phone, but I’ve been dissatisfied with the built-in GPS and have been meaning to install a new GPS app when I get a chance to research it. After a recent Chamber event, a few of us were chatting and one happened to mention their new GPS app, and the second person concurred, agreeing that they knew about it and also used it. Wow, I was thrilled - a recommendation and a testimonial on a product that I was looking for, all in a matter of minutes.
But the information doesn’t end there. Like you, I’ve had to continue my professional development on the fly to be able to meet the new demands of my job, and this could be learning better meeting dynamics, fine-turning my “elevator pitch,” or asking how a fellow professional working at their non-profit manages Board relations. Attending Chamber events have been a great venue for aiding me in sharpening up these soft skills because the business professionals who attend demonstrate professional traits and if you’re paying attention, it’s an opportunity to learn from each other, either in a formal or informal mentor relationship.
And then there’s always a new connection – meeting that business owner looking to partner with us, or that company that could use help with training their staff with our library databases, or hoping to find that “someone who knows someone” with a skill or product that we’re looking for. You might know that the Library will be holding our 7th Annual Turkey Shoot: Night of Raffles Fundraising on Nov. 18th at 6:30 at the Wasserman Park Function Hall, and this year we’d like to try hiring a bartender to serve wine and beer. Since this is really out of my bailiwick, naturally, my first thought was to reach out to Carl Soderberg, a fellow Board member, and engineer/brewer/co-founder of Able Ebenezer Brewing Company located right down the street in Merrimack. I’ve gotten to know him a bit over the past few months, and have observed that Carl, like many of my colleagues in the Chamber, is a reasonable person who’s also an expert in his field, and sure enough, he was able to put me in touch with someone in his business circle to help with the event. I’m off and running with minimal effort and my fundraising event is shaping up to be even better than last year’s. –Check out the library’s website at www.merrimacklibrary.org for more details on the Turkey Shoot raffle and how you might win all or part of your Thanksgiving dinner!
Stop by an upcoming Chamber event and see how far your “six degrees of separation” will take you – I may see you there! - Yvette Couser, Director, Merrimack Public Library. Chamber of Commerce Board Member, Chair of the Chamber Ambassador Committee.
New Hampshire offers some of the most stunning views and breathtaking parks and beaches in the country, making it the perfect destination for a family trip or a romantic getaway for two. No matter what time of year you go, you’re sure to find something everyone will love, from sandcastle competitions to boardwalks full of fun attractions. Some visitors fall in love so completely, they make the decision to move to New Hampshire and call it their home state.
One of the best things about this state is that it offers so many different options for families, including affordable attractions with something for all ages as well as the chance to get outside and enjoy nature a bit. While many attractions have a sense of adventure to them, others give off a relaxed atmosphere that will allow you to soak up the history and beauty of the state. Here are some of the best of both worlds.
Morningside Flight Park
If you don’t have a problem with heights and want a bit of adventure, check out this park, which allows you to go hang gliding or zip-lining over a gorgeous forest area. You can even stay and camp out if you’re up to it, and there’s laser tag and kayaking for the kiddos.
Taking a trip in the winter? Head to Ice Castles in Lincoln, New Hampshire. This man-made wonder is created every year by an artist who makes a frozen land of icicles and caves, frozen waterfalls, and glaciers for visitors to trek through. There’s even an ice slide and spelunking!
Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train
On a romantic trip with your significant other? Make a date on the Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train and take a leisurely 20-mile round trip through scenic woods while you dine on fine locally-sourced foods and beverages.
If you’re headed to New Hampshire in the wintertime, make sure you take the kids to Santa’s Village, where they can see where Santa and his reindeer live. This amusement park offers rides and attractions, too, making it a great place to spend a sunny, winter afternoon with the family.
If you’re looking for a place to hit the slopes, look no further than Jackson, New Hampshire. Voted one of the top 10 Best Winter Towns in New England by Yankee Magazine, Jackson offers beautiful ski conditions under a non-profit organization, meaning anyone can get lessons on the slopes.
Although all of New Hampshire’s beaches are gorgeous at any time of year, Hampton is best in the summer, when the boardwalk is filled with activity and the beach itself offers sandcastle building competitions and beautiful waves. History buffs will particularly enjoy the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom, which was built in 1899.
Written by Megan Smith
Photo via Pixabay by TPSDave
18th Annual Champagne Luncheon on Sunday, November 6th at 11am, to benefit the Community Hospice House, at the Courtyard Marriott in Nashua
HI! My name is Paula Telage and I am a Board Member at the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce as well as the Development Associate at Home Health & Hospice Care. I run three annual fundraisers for Home Health & Hospice Care. These fundraisers provide critical care to those who need it the most. Our agency’s main building is right here in Merrimack, on Executive Park Drive, right near Cinemagic, and our Community Hospice House is over on Naticook Road. Our agency provides much needed care throughout twenty five cities and towns in southern NH but our home in here in Merrimack.
Currently I am planning our 18th Annual Champagne Luncheon on Sunday, November 6th at 11am, to benefit the Community Hospice House, at the Courtyard Marriott in Nashua.
This fun filled afternoon sells out immediately and has become known as the most popular women’s event in southern NH – although we do have plenty of wonderful gentlemen join us that day to show their support for HHHC. One of the highlights of this signature Champagne Luncheon is the extravagant silent auction that allows our attendees to browse and shop with their friends while sipping Champagne. The proceeds from this event benefit the important services provided at the Community Hospice House and other hospice services for individuals who do not have the ability to pay. As always, we will welcome our guests with a champagne toast, offer a lovely a gourmet sit-down luncheon and wine at all the tables, over 160 silent and live auction items….…plus more!
We have back by popular demand, beloved speaker and humorist, Gina Barreca, joining us as she discusses her latest book, If You Lean In, Will Men Just Look Down Your Blouse? Questions and Thoughts for Loud, Smart Women in Turbulent Times. Gina has appeared on 20/20, The Today Show, CNN, the BBC, Dr. Phil, NPR and Oprah to discuss gender, power, politics, and humor. Gina has been called “smart and funny” by People magazine and “Very, very funny. For a woman,” by Dave Barry.
Registration tickets are only $65 each. We also have 50/50 raffle tickets available for $50 each – only 200 will be sold – and the cash prize is $5,000! If you would like to join me and be a part of the FUN, buy a 50/50 raffle ticket or donate an auction or swag bag item, please call or email me at 603/689-2812 – firstname.lastname@example.org. https://www.hhhc.org/how-to-help/events/champagne-luncheon/
Hello, I’m Mark Bjorgen, a recently retired Air Force aviator and now representing BAE Systems on the Merrimack Chamber Board of Directors. After a dozen moves with the military (across eight states, and four countries); let me tell you: this is a great place to settle, live, work, and do business! It’s safe, clean, has great schools, low unemployment, four wonderful seasons, amazing people, a rich history, close proximity to a regional airport, and access to unlimited outdoor activities. What more could you want? Merrimack is centered on it all, and as Money Magazine has said "One of the Best Places to Live in America."... a testament to this exceptional area. It has been a pleasure for my family and I to have met many of you already. I joined the chamber to serve local businesses, meet new people, and build lasting relationships. I’m committed to making an impact in our community, and have a special interest in veteran entrepreneurs. Regardless of your background, niche, brand, or target market, the Chamber is an excellent vehicle to expand your business footprint. We have workshops, networking events, business resources, local discounts, support great local causes, and above all: have fun doing it. Hundreds of businesses have already taken advantage of these opportunities. Join us as we continue to shape Merrimack into a world class destination and expand our vibrant economy. Have a great September!
Hello, I’m Mary Hendricks, Director of Sales for the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Merrimack. Summertime is winding down and vacations are coming to an end, signaling that back-to-school time is near. It’s a time that many children eagerly anticipate — catching up with old friends and making new ones, and settling into a new daily routine. Parents and children alike scan the newspapers and websites looking for sales to shop for a multitude of school supplies and the latest clothing fads and essentials. There is not a better time to add the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce to your to do list. Come join us for one of our monthly business after hours, before 9 networking or a lunch and learn to teach you the continuing changing social media marketing ideas. Your children are learning something new and making new friends each day, why shouldn’t you! The Chamber of Commerce is a great way to grow your business by building relationships. I have belonged to the Merrimack Chamber for over 10 years and have been on the Board of Directors for 6. During this time I have learned about businesses that I would never have known about. I have had a chance to make friends with people in town that I am sure I would not have had the opportunity to meet if not for the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce. The relationships I have built have helped me with not only my job but feeling I am part of the community of Merrimack. I wish you all a happy autumn! First day of school is September 6th. Please, drive carefully and watch out for our children.
Hello, I’m Karen Keating, AVP Commercial Loan Officer for Granite Bank and the Treasurer on the Board of Directors for the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce. I have been a member with the Merrimack Chamber for about five years now and can’t believe how it has helped me understand the opportunities of the area and become involved in the community. I have spent many years volunteering in several non-profit organizations as well as other local chambers so I am very familiar with how they work. Merrimack is a fast growing community that has many businesses both large and small and getting involved is so important.
As many business leaders would tell you, networking in the business community is the best way to build your business. It gives you the one on one time to meet and get to know each other and build a rapport that can be grown into a strong business relationship. The Merrimack Chamber of Commerce is the perfect size organization to join as it is large enough to meet and get to know the businesses and contacts yet small enough that you don’t get lost in the crowd. The opportunities to grow your business connections and become involved in one or more of the committees, which are great fun and a great team building experience, are vast.
Last but not least, E-blast advertising is one of the tools that the Chamber offers that has paid off for my business and brought in several new customers. Check out the many inexpensive and far reaching opportunities for advertising through the Chamber today.
We are excited to announce our first ever candidate series this month. Covering four Tuesday mornings, we will offer members and the community at large an opportunity to speak with those running for office one on one, to hear their platform, and to ask questions. Space is limited, so make sure you sign up today!
The Merrimack Chamber will also be working with the town in the planning of the Fall Festival and Business Expo for the first time this year. The event will be held at James Mastricola Upper Elementary School from 10:00AM - 2:00PM on Saturday, October 1st. More information on the Expo can be found here. Register now to secure a booth!
Our annual Excellence Awards dinner is right around the corner. It will be held on Thursday, September 22nd from 6:00PM - 9:00PM at the Event Center in the Courtyard Nashua this year. There are many sponsorship opportunities available. This is a great way to get your name in front of other businesses, in the time leading up to and during the event itself. We have added an additional category for awards this year - Small Business of the Year. Nominations for Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Business Leader of the Year, and Volunteer of the Year will be open soon, so please start thinking about who you would like to recognize.
Also in the works is a bike race through Grater Woods in Merrimack. The education committee is working with the town's conservation committee to put on this event. It is scheduled for Sunday, October 2nd, with races beginning at 8:00AM. If you would like to be involved in the planning of the race, the proceeds of which will go to our scholarship fund, please contact me.
We are still looking to rent out the extra office at our new location. Do you know someone who works from home who needs a place to hold meetings, and would benefit from the increased visibility of being in the Chamber office? Please have them contact me.
It's hard to believe that a year has already passed since I stepped into this role. It has been both challenging and rewarding. A lot of changes have been implemented in the past year, and we continue to work diligently to improve member benefits and experience, and to strengthen our role in the community. If there is anything you would like to see from your Chamber, please let us know. Feedback is always welcomed.
We're Easy to Find
You're invited to visit us.from 9:00am - 2:00pm Monday through Thursday. We are conveniently located on the back side of the Papergraphics building, on the second floor .
We'd Love to Hear From You
Any questions about the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce or the greater Merrimack area, please call us at (603) 424-3669.
Membership Has Its Rewards
Businesses receive a variety of benefits when they become members of the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce. Learn more