Networking Night

Madison Area Chamber
plans 91st Annual Dinner

The event includes social hour,
dinner, awards presentation

(January 2015) – The Madison Area Chamber of Commerce has been holding Annual Dinners since 1924. That makes 91 years of Annual Dinners. And they have become one of the best business networking opportunities in Jefferson County, Ind., chamber officials say.
This year’s annual dinner is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 21, at Hanover College’s J. Graham Brown Campus Center. Activities will begin with the Annual Business Meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the Faculty Dining Room. The meeting is open to all members. It will be followed by cocktail hour at 6 p.m. in the lobby and then the Annual Dinner and awards at 7:15 p.m. in the Main Dining Room.
The chamber has been collecting nominations for the Business Citizenship Award, the Small Business Person of the Year Award and the Jeff Garrett Community Service Award. The  Business Citizenship Award is given to the outstanding business that has done well in many business aspects as well as being a good citizen. This business is recognized for giving back to the community.

Trevor Crafton

File photo by Don Ward

Madison Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Trevor Crafton emcees last year’s Annual Dinner at Hanover College. The event provides an ideal networking opportunity for members, chamber officials say.

The Jeff Garrett Community Service Award goes to a person in the community who is an outstanding member of the community. The Small Business Person of the Year Award is actually a new award this year but did not generate any nominations by the Dec. 5 deadline. This one award has the potential of being submitted to the Small Business Administration for its Small Business of the Year Award. The chamber used to have a small business dinner in addition to the Annual Dinner, but members felt that the two dinners duplicated things, so chamber officials decided to merge the two.
The chamber has added and upgraded services this year for its member businesses in the past year by instituting a new member management database system, thereby opening a lot of doors for things to offer its members, officials say. The chamber is a non-profit organization, and membership dues and sponsorships go back into the chamber to pay for operating costs and member business services.
“We have made a lot of improvements this year and are ready to show our membership what we’ve done and what we plan to do in the coming year,” said the chamber’s Finance and Marketing Manager Lindsey Obendorf, 28. “We’re really excited about all the improvements and their benefits.”
Executive Director Trevor Crafton will be going to a training meeting in Arizona just before the dinner, so he’ll be coming back with things to talk about and ideas for things to improve upon for the year.
Also, the chamber has upgraded and was able to provide its members with “My Chamber” App, allowing anyone to search businesses, find “Hot Deals” in the area and see the events that are going on.
Obendorf said chamber members are doing a great job using the online events tool that feeds into the calendar from the My Chamber App. “You can see both chamber events and member events, so it gives you a great, rounded picture of what’s going on in Madison. Anyone can submit an ad if the event is something that benefits the community at large,” Obendorf said. “Whatever the chamber can do that benefits the community at large, also benefits our businesses. The better quality of life we have in Madison, the better our businesses are going to be and the more productive they’ll be.”
The Annual Dinner cocktail hour is being sponsored by NuYale Cleaners. Dinner and awards are being sponsored by MainSource Bank. The cost to attend is $45 per person or $315 or a table of eight. To register, call the chamber at (812) 265-3135 or email: lobendorf@madisonindiana.com

•  This year, members can also register online at: http://business.madisonindiana.com/events/details/91st-annual-chamber-dinner-2143.

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