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.
Have you started a new business in Merrimack? Do you need a way to meet new people, new customers or other businesses to network with? If so, you should consider joining the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce. If you are not ready to make that commitment, contact me or another member of the Board of Directors, and we can invite you to one of our events as a guest.
There is something going on all the time at the Chamber – at different times of the day – so most people can fit in some of the activities. There are AM and PM Networking, and Lunch and Learns. We have a Programs Committee that has put on successful events, such as the Spring Fashion Show at the Marriott Hotel, the Golf Tournament at the Amherst Country Club and is now planning the Annual Awards Celebration to be held in September.
Being a member of the Chamber will enable you to interact with people from a variety of businesses that can bring new insights to you and your business! Just participate – at the level where you feel most comfortable.
I have resided in Merrimack since 1998 and have been a REALTOR® since 2007. I joined the Merrimack Chamber (1) to help grow my client base and (2) to give back to the Community that I am proud to be a member of.
Donna M. DiPrima, ABR®, CNS
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
103 Ponemah Road
Amherst, NH 03031
Happy Summer! We are thrilled to announce the installation of the new Welcome signs on the Bedford and Nashua town lines! We are working with P&L Landscaping and Merrimack Garden Club to get the area around the signs cleared and planted with beautiful perennials. Thank you to All Seasons Promotions for designing and installing the signs, and thank you to our sustaining partners for making this possible.
Our 29th annual golf tournament was held on June 24th at Amherst Country Club. We had perfect weather, and the golfers had a great time. Thank you to our major sponsors, Able Ebenezer Brewing Company and Anheuser-Busch. Thank you also to our golf committee for your hard work putting this event together, and to all who volunteered the day of the tournament.
Planning for our Awards Celebration has begun. It will be held on Thursday, September 22nd at the Event Center at the Courtyard Nashua. If you enjoy event planning, or are looking to build relationships with other Chamber members, joining the committee is a great way to do so. Please let me know if you are interested. We will be asking for nominations for Small Business of the Year, Large Business of the Year, Business Leader of the Year, and Volunteer of the Year soon, so please keep that in mind as you interact with businesses in town.
Our first referral group is going strong, and we are now looking to fill the remaining seats for a second group. Information on the referral group can be found here. If you think this would be a good fit for you, or you would like more info, please contact me.
Have a safe and happy 4th of July!
Bonnie St.Pierre here again! I'm a member and Board of Directors and Committees Volunteer with the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce, my business being a commercial and storytelling photography studio that also offers professional copywriting services, writing the words that companies use to market their benefit/products and services. In addition to this, I am a children's books and journal books author.
Do you think it's fair to say that wearing all these hats... running my own business, marketing and making connections while also responsible for production of my services, and having any kind of personal life with its accompanying highs and lows... keeps me busy? Yes, like most everybody else I know, I am quite busy and there are just not enough hours in the day. Why then, would I ever ADD to that by volunteering my time to someone (or some organization) else?
Well, let me tell you why.
First, if I am a member of anything, I want full value out of it. Sounds selfish, I know. But I also recognize that organizations don't run themselves; someone is working hard to make sure that members get that promised value, and, that they can't do it alone. They need a good, dedicated team, for many, many tasks. So in order for ME to make sure that the organization is providing its very best to me, I feel a responsibility to chip in and do what I can to help make it as healthy as it can be, and be part of that team.
Second, it's about me again... gee, maybe I really AM selfish! Here's a confession. I know myself, and I know that I need structure to keep me motivated. It would be so easy for me to talk myself out of it and NOT attend that evening program tonight, or reach out to that other member by phone or email, for I'd really love to be sitting with my feet up with a good piece of fiction to read instead, if I have the time. But someone is counting on me. I've made a promise. And THAT ends up being something that is for my very own good, because my company needs me to be in front of, interacting and networking with others who will learn that I really do my best that I can with everything in front of me, and might someday be able and willing to connect me to the absolutely perfect client for the benefit that I provide.
Oh, finally some redemption... something that is not just about me! I truly love to see others who are working hard to succeed, make that connection, get that job, reach that goal! Often, a little help from someone else tips the scale in the right direction for them, and I like knowing I can be one of the people that provided that support, by strengthening the opportunities and systems the organization, of which they are a member, provides.
And last, I enjoy working with others in a team effort, and through this, building a list of people that I can confidently refer to offer quality services to the people I care about, my family and clients. I meet so many people that earn my respect and admiration for their work and volunteer ethic, and I am pleased to get to know them ever so much more than I would if I just met them occasionally at a networking event.
So, is volunteering on committees hard work? Yes, sometimes it is. I won't lie to you. Is it a waste of time? Not in the least. Being part of something bigger than yourself makes you better, changes your perspective and changes your opportunities.
The Merrimack Chamber of Commerce is lucky to be FILLED with competent, hard-working, dedicated people who turn their attention to helping make the organization better and stronger for all its members, through volunteering. If you are considering joining a committee or helping out on specific events or tasks, you'll be in good company, and in the long run, while helping the organization as a whole, you are helping yourself as a member too.
Bonnie St.Pierre, B. St.Pierre Studio, Merrimack, NH 603-883-2517
Photo Illustrations: www.bstpierrestudio.com
Children's Author: www.bstpierrecollection.com/childrens-books-by-bonnie
On April 7 our Chamber hosted its first fashion show at the newly renovated Event Center at the Courtyard by Marriott. Our goal was to present a special event that was something our community hadn’t experienced. It was important that the event be fresh and fun and celebrate local businesses. We have always supported local students with scholarships, and we thought what a great way to showcase some of our youth on the runway and offer another scholarship. Our business community came together. We had fashion ranging from ball gowns, to cruise wear, to weekend wear and even wedding attire! We had local salons volunteer to do special hairstyles for the models and local make-up artists add a bit of glamour to the event. Adding to the glitz factor, Tulley Automotive group showcased some luxury automobiles at the red-carpet entrance way.
The event was as much about celebrating fashion as celebrating our community, and what a great place Merrimack is. Where else can you see a town councilor, the police chief, and the superintendent of schools walk the fashion runway?
As chair of the Program Committee, I’d like to again sent a special ‘thank you’ to our committee: Karrie Boskee, Yvette Couser, Aylin Felch, Cassidy Forsley, Mary Hendricks, Karen Keating, Michelle Landry, Dawn Shepherd, Paula Telage, Judi Perkins, and Joyce Young.
If you’re interested in joining this committee in planning for our 2017 Fashion Show & Expo event, or joining another of the Chamber’s committees, please reach out to our President Dawn Shepherd. I highly recommend volunteering with this Chamber. It will give you the opportunity to expand your professional network, make a difference in our community, and last (but not least!) have fun.
Beth Covino, Secretary of the Chamber’s Board of Directors and Program Committee Chair
Director of Community Relations, YMCA of Greater Nashua
Our third quarterly Community Relations Council meeting took place in our Culinary Café ‘restaurant’ on June 2nd. Center Director Tamer Koheil welcomed guests and gave some great updates on our center including the upcoming trip of 4 students along with Chef Zingales and himself attending the “Experience New Hampshire Event” in Washington D.C. on June 15th.
Cassie then introduced CMA Student Baylee Dumont who gave a great talk on her experiences since attending Job Corps and her recent interest in phlebotomy, which is what she is currently learning in CMA. Her future goals are to finish at NHJCC and attend college where she would like to further her career in phlebotomy.
The main event of the luncheon was our interactive brainstorming session. Guests had to work for their lunch and were instructed to introduce themselves, and discuss possible cross promotion & outreach ideas. They were asked to write down these ideas and nominate a speaker from the table to discuss the ideas they had come up with.
The 9 tables of guests share over 20 cross promotion & outreach ideas involving different organizations. We are very excited to get started on these new partnerships that will work to support our students & community.
NH Job Corps Newsletter
June 3, 2016
The NH Job Corps Center officially opened its doors September 22nd 2015 with capacity for 300 students (268 of which will live on center) providing technical training in 8 trades as well as social & leadership development. This federally funded program, through the Department of Labor, has big goals: producing skilled, confident, graduates to fill the skills gap in the most in-demand industries in our state, and empowering students to make significant contributions to the state and the community through service and innovative thinking.
As the Business & Community Liaison Director here at the center, I’m reaching out to members of the Merrimack Chamber in hopes of establishing partnerships that will result in a more educated, skilled and well-rounded work force here in our state, and a brighter and safer community. Here are some examples of how we’d like to partner with you:
Here are the trades offered at New Hampshire Job Corps Center:
Advanced Manufacturing | Facilities Maintenance | Security & Protective Services | Culinary | Hospitality | Clinical Medical Assistant | Medical Administrative Assistant | Electrical |
*We are anticipating opening our Licensed Nursing Assistant program in the next 6 months.
We are partnered with the Community College System of NH to provide advanced training opportunities in Cyber Security, Robotics and Hospitality Management as well. The potential secondary credentials available to our students (who work at a self-paced rate towards completion) are wide and varied, and therefore the career paths open to our students are diverse. We are looking to create linkages across many industries and see partnership potential in many areas.
Please reach out to me to introduce yourself, come take a tour, and let’s talk about how we can partner.
Cassie Gudek | Business & Community Liaison Director | e. Gudek.Cassie@jobcorps.org | t.603.695.8818 | NH Job Corps Center | 943 Dunbarton Road, Manchester NH 03102
Our annual meeting was held last month at Fidelity Investments, one of our sustaining partners. Everyone enjoyed the unique networking opportunity (and the turkey meatballs!). Our presentation covered changes that have occured over the past several months, such as updating our marketing plan, launching a new website, offering a quarterly member orientation, and bringing back the Lunch and Learn series. We also discussed the Board of Directors' vision for the coming year. Those initiatives include a 10% discount for veteran-owned businesses, a $50 referral credit toward 2017 dues for any new member referred to the Chamber, the launch of a referral group, and the relaunch of the Visitor and Relocation Guide. The Board has also set the goal of growing our membership to 225 by the end of the year. The aforementioned initiatives are a way to help us achieve that goal, as well as benefit our members.
The referral group offers a more focused networking opportunity. The group will be limited to 12 people, one per profession, and will meet weekly for six months, with the goal of bringing business to its members. We are in the process of putting this group together. Contact us if you would like more information, or are interested in joining.
The Visitor and Relocation Guide is also in the works. This is a great member benefit, with every member business being listed in the guide. Looking for ways to increase your visibility? Consider advertising in the guide. It's a great way to get your business in front of consumers and businesses alike. Please check your listing on our website to ensure your information is up to date. Any changes you make through the system will take effect immediately. Don't have time to deal with that? Contact the office, and we'll update your information for you.
We had a cancellation for our March Business After Hours event. If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity to host, please let us know asap. The calendar for the rest of the year is almost full.
Last, but certainly not least, is our upcoming 'Spring into Chic' Fashion Show on April 7th. We currently have 16 stores showcasing their clothing. We also have many models lined up, including Superintendent Marge Chiafery, Chief Mark Doyle, and Lt. Denise Roy. Lt. Roy has agreed to model a dress at the event if we receive one single donation of $2000. For a single donation of $3000, the Chief said he will also strut down the catwalk in a dress! Who is going to make this happen?? Did I mention a portion of the proceeds goes to scholarships for local high school students? This is an event you don't want to miss. For more information on the event, sponsor opportunities, and to purchase tickets, visit our website.
If you have questions or feedback, or would like to sit down to discuss how to get the most out of your membership, please don't hesitate to contact me.
I’m Bonnie St.Pierre, Commercial & Storytelling Portrait Photographer, Copywriter and Children’s Author.
My studio is in Merrimack NH, tucked away in beautiful wooded acreage, close to everything but private and by appointment only; a hidden gem. I mention this, because if not for the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce, my business would be invisible to the local residents and businesses.
I am a firm believer that it’s through relationships that we gain clients. And these are started and nurtured through repeated exposure to each other, and also actively helping others to get their message out and to reach their goals. The Merrimack Chamber is a very friendly organization, and it’s enjoyable spending time at events with its members, and on the committees where we get to know each other and our businesses even more strongly while we work at projects together.
I am Past President of the Merrimack Chamber (now a title defined as Chairman of the Board) and was on the Board of Directors for several years as well, back again many years later and starting my second year of return to the BOD. I am Vice Chair of the Membership Committee and helped also as Chair to get the Membership Committee re-energized with clear tasks and goals, while adding a revived Ambassador Committee for the benefit of the general membership to the Chamber. A strong Chamber Organization is the result of a dedicated, committed group working towards a healthy and happy membership, and I’m proud to be part of that effort.
Through all these activities I have made valuable connections. That has resulted in a larger informal sales force educated to my products and in speaking on my behalf when they recognize someone that can benefit from the unique services I provide in my photography studio, where I can produce images, right on set with the press of the shutter, that appear to be on location. It’s also been great as I trained for and added copy writing services for business marketing needs to my list of products, for I was able to introduce their value to an audience in person to local business people as I rolled it out as an offering online.
Another piece that I am grateful to the Merrimack Chamber for, is that the chance to get to know others more than in passing provides for opportunity. In one case in particular, I learned more about another photographer member within the organization, and as a result, became comfortable offering the prospect of their taking one of my annual accounts, a $6k gross value, that was taxing my schedule and outside of my business focus. I’d held onto the account for a few years longer than I preferred to out of loyalty to my client, until I felt confident bringing another option to them. What a great feeling it was to have found the right studio that could offer the level of services that my client has always expected from me, and know that they’d be a good fit to work together too.
I personally am a big fan of the ‘Networking before Nine’ and the ‘Lunch-and-Learn’ programs of our Chamber, and am so happy to have these in addition to our evening events. There’s something for everybody in the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce, and I’m pleased to be a part of it.
Won’t you come join us?
B. St.Pierre Studio
Spring is here! Not really, but it certainly feels like it today. The Merrimack PD won't need to arrest Punxsutawney Phil this year. Although it is the shortest month of the year, we are packing it with great events. Along with our Networking Before 9, and the first of our Constant Contact Lunch and Learn series, we are also holding our annual meeting at Fidelity on February 18th. The event has typically boasted a keynote speaker, but this year we will be focusing instead on the state of the Merrimack Chamber, and the direction we are looking to grow in over the next year.
We are also in the process of updating our Greater Merrimack Visitor and Relocation Guide for 2016. Please visit your business listing on our website directory to make sure all of your information is accurate and complete. We will be using this information for membership listings in the guide. These guides are distributed at the airport, town hall, the library, and many local businesses. They are also included in the welcome bags given to new Merrimack residents. This is a great way to get your name in front of people new to the area, as well as long time residents and business owners. Ronnie Schlender from McLean Communications will be reaching out to businesses soon regarding advertising opportunities in our new guide.
Have you checked out the trip options on our website? There's something for everyone, from one day trips to Boston, a weekend in Quebec, and longer excursions to the National Parks and Kenya. New trips are being added regularly, so check back often for new offerings.
Last but not least, we are making great headway in the planning of our first 'Spring into Chic' Fashion Show and Expo. A portion of the proceeds will go toward our annual scholarship fund. We are looking for sponsors for the event. What a great way to get your name in front of people in the community! Have you ever wanted to strut your stuff on a catwalk? Now is your chance, as we are also looking for models! Whatever your preference (or comfort level), there are many ways to get involved and help raise money for a great cause.
On a sad note, we lost one of our long time members, Larry Leavitt of New York Life Insurance, last month. Our deepest condolences go out to Larry's family and friends.
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