1400 Oak Ridge Turnpike
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830
(865) 483-1321
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Oak Ridge Chamber Membership Campaign Continues


Under the leadership of two long-time community leaders, Keys Fillauer and Darrel Kohlhorst, the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce continues a new member recruitment campaign focused on identifying new members to bring into the Chamber between now and October 15.The campaign has brought in several new members so far and volunteers are still busy recruiting new members.

Captains of the five teams have been pumping their team members up and participated in some good-natured smack talk to keep the momentum going. Team members have embraced the competitive spirit and are working to come out ahead.

Part of the campaign consists of team members communicating the benefits of membership and why being a part of the Oak Ridge Chamber is so important. Team members share their own experiences along with the testimonials of other members of the Chamber.

According to the testimonial of Ann Bratton and Roger Clary, owners of Downtown Hardware, “Our family-owned business, Downtown Hardware Company, has been a member of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce since we opened in 1955. Over the years, we have participated in many activities that the Chamber offers such as retail focus groups, Christmas parades, and more recently, the Primetime Tailgate Parties. As our community has changed, our business has needed to adapt and the Chamber has continued to offer new and different opportunities for us to grow our business.

“For most small business owners, our success depends on our being present at our business on a daily basis. It is reassuring to know that while we are at work in our store, the folks at the Chamber are continuously working to create a healthy business climate in which we can grow successfully. We are proud to offer a heartfelt thank you to the Chamber and all of our customers for making it possible for us to celebrate our 60th year of serving our customers this month. We believe that partnering with the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce is a good investment.”

Don Hughes, Account Executive with William Knight Insurance Agency said of his decision to join the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce, “I moved to Oak Ridge in May 2014. I came from Ann Arbor, Michigan and knew nobody in East Tennessee at the time of moving here. My agency, William Knight Insurance Agency, became a member of the Chamber after I moved here to allow me the opportunity to network and get to know business people in the Oak Ridge area. I am an insurance agent selling auto, home, business, life and bonds. Knowing people is important to my personal success. I rarely go out into the area shopping without running into or knowing someone due to my membership and activities with the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce.

“I would like to stress one point to my success in the Chamber. I have been as active as possible, going to as many meetings, ribbon cuttings, open houses, educational events and other things the Chamber is active in promoting. Just joining is not going to give you the maximum opportunity for success; you must be active and volunteer to experience what the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce can do for you and your company.”

Eric Abelquist, Executive Vice President of Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) shared why his involvement with the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce has been important to him: “I’ve been with ORAU for more than 20 years, and ORAU has been a key member of the Oak Ridge community for nearly 70 years. We are encouraged to support local organizations and participate in community service. I joined the Chamber’s Leadership Oak Ridge Class of 2009 to expand my professional network and to learn more about the challenges facing Oak Ridge. I learned how important it is for communities to have strong, effective leadership. It was apparent that Oak Ridge needed deeper leadership bench strength – across all organizations, levels and demographics.

“My Leadership Oak Ridge experience provided both the incentive and necessary network of contacts to increase my community engagement. I joined the Board of the United Way of Anderson County, and also became actively engaged in the Chamber’s Center for Leadership and Community Development (CLCD). I began to see firsthand how the Chamber’s leadership programs were helping to fill Board positions on various non-profit organizations across our county. I witnessed how the inaugural Oak Ridge Youth Leadership Program class of 2010 (20 students) enthusiastically passed the torch to their successors – and today’s Youth Leadership class is as strong as ever with 25 students. A lot of credit goes to the Chamber’s CLCD for successfully building the leadership bench strength in Oak Ridge – a key factor for ensuring that we have a vibrant, growing community.”

The campaign has several sponsors who are helping to keep the campaign cost low by contributing products and services. Special thanks to: Riverside Grille, host of the Kickoff Breakfast for volunteers; Minuteman Press for campaign material; and to Centennial Golf Course, Kroger, Fulin's Asian Cuisine, CaptialMark Bank & Trust and Doubletree by Hilton for hosting campaign reporting sessions.

For more information on how to be a part of the campaign or for information on how to join during the campaign, contact Lauren Fritts (fritts@orcc.org) or Greta Ownby (ownby@orcc.org) at the Chamber. They may also be reached by calling the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce at 483-1321.

The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce is Four-Star Accredited Chamber of Commerce and the winner of the ACCE 2010 Chamber of the Year designation.


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