Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oakland Chamber Non-Profit Roundtable Welcomes New Faces

By Jerry Metzker, Co-chair, Oakland Chamber Non-Profit Roundtable

Keeping agencies and organizations fresh and interesting to the community as well as current and potential partners begins by sharing what is new, and this was the theme of the October Non-Profit Roundtable meeting. Facilitator Ana-Marie Jones reminded those in attendance that we always have something new to share, whether it be staff, volunteers, activity or even feedback.

The Roundtable Committee, and the Chamber itself, always welcome new members and attendees with enthusiasm, relishing the different perspectives and ideas that each new company and individual bring to the conversation about helping Oakland thrive.

At this meeting, the Roundtable enjoyed meeting new Chamber Board Chair Shannon Pedder. In her business-life, Pedder is the owner of Brand Creative (http://brandcreative.mypromohq.com), a promotional product company. An Oakland native and long-time Board member, Shannon became Chair in July and will serve in this position for one year with the option to serve a second year. She shared with the attendees that she is committed to the non-profit sector and coalition building amongst all Chamber members. She is eager to learn more about the sector and follows and open-door policy.

While he has been Public Policy Director for more than a year now, Chamber Vice-President Paul Junge shared with the Roundtable his role and responsibility to represent all of the businesses to the city and county officials as well as share the business voice to the state. He noted that more and more often corporations are being evaluated by their corporate responsibility. As one of few Chambers that have a non-profit committee, the Oakland Chamber provides a unique opportunity to match private and non-profit companies and can offer leadership in this area.

The toast of the afternoon was Brandon Brooks, the Chamber’s new Membership Sales Representative and Non-Profit Roundtable liaison. Brandon relocated from Chicago after working for Urban Prep Academies. He shared his excitement in working with the diversity of Oakland and its chamber members, and his eagerness to connect more businesses of all kinds to the Roundtable.

The conversation continued with several ways the non-profit members of the chamber can use their membership – by networking, connecting with each other and other resources, by spreading the word about what the roundtable and the chamber are doing and even using the conference rooms for meetings and activities (when available). Extending the Roundtable’s mission and purpose to be the hub where the for-profit and non-profit sectors interact is crucial to strengthening the non-profit voice and the strength of the Chamber. Being new to others is always a great opportunity to be a reference and a leader.

Please note that the originally scheduled November 20, 2012 Non-Profit Roundtable committee meeting has been canceled. The next meeting will be on December 18, 2012 from 2:30-4:30 pm in the Oakland Chamber board room. We will be celebrating a terrific year for the committee and each other. Please join us for the festivities and food.

Oakland Chamber Non-Profit Roundtable

Co-Chair Ana-Marie Jones, Executive Director, Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disaster (CARD)

Co-Chair Jerry Metzker, Development & Marketing Manager, Biotech Partners

Brandon Brooks, Chamber Liaison and Membership Sales Representative

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