Through a variety of committees and task forces, more than 1,700 volunteers help to carry out the Chamber’s mission and business plan for creating the best possible business environment for Columbia. Each committee is led by a volunteer chairperson selected yearly by the Chair of the Board.
Committees are organized into one of four main divisions, overseen by a Division Director from the Board. Each committee is also assigned to a Board Liaison to represent their concerns at Board meetings, and a Chamber staff member to assist them with reaching their goals.
The Chamber’s Annual Report features recognition of volunteers, programs, committees and accomplishments of the Chamber and its divisions over the course
To support and stimulate growth of agribusiness and biosciences and build awareness within the Chamber and surrounding community; concerning related issues including their effects on the quality of life, economic impact and scope of the area’s bioscience and agriculture industry.
- Actively recruit and encourage Chamber and committee membership particularly the involvement of traditional and non-traditional ag-related businesses.
- Promote Chamber’s legislative issues that directly impact agriculture and bioscience-related businesses
- Provide networking and educational opportunities through:
- Agricultural Recognition Dinner
- Semi-annual Food for Thought Breakfast forums
- Input and networking opportunities regarding current issues (i.e. Storm Water and Bio Tech Life Sciences)
- Recognize and celebrate individual accomplishments in agricultural and in the community.
- Agriculturalists of the Year Award
- Friend of Youth Award
- Support and reward youth activities, accomplishments and educational opportunities that encourage continued interest in bioscience and ag-related careers.
- Present $1,000 continuing education scholarship
- Support agricultural programs, organizations and events that contribute to the economic success and the quality of life in Boone County.
- Explore opportunities for more involvement with Boone County Fair
- Assist with the State FFA Career Fair
Continued development and support for the agricultural/biosciences industry in the region will maintain a more balanced economy, enhance the quality of life and provide benefits for all segments of the Chamber membership.
To assure financial solvency of the Chamber by preparing the annual budget for board approval and to monitor the fiscal performance as it relates to the approved budget and to recommend policies that enhance the Chamber’s financial status.
- Evaluate the Total Resource Campaign’s revenue with the Total Resource Campaign co-chairs to see if investment levels need to be adjusted
- Evaluate auditor’s management letter and make appropriate recommendations to the Chamber Board of Directors
- Prepare and present new budget to the Board of Directors by June
- Review the financial reports given to the Board of Directors
Through careful evaluation of the financial structure of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, there will be adequately funded Chamber programs and assured financial stability.
To plan the Chamber’s annual golf tournament. Like other income generating events hosted by the Chamber, this event is designed to fund programs that the Chamber can utilize to enhance the Chamber organization and accomplish the strategic plan.
- Create social involvement of Chamber members
- Provide networking opportunity
- Raise non-dues related income
- Generate enthusiasm for, and awareness of, the Columbia Chamber of Commerce within the Community
- Recruit new/additional committee members
- Provide benefit and awareness for tournament sponsors
Increase awareness of the Chamber and its member businesses and sponsors. This event should generate revenue and create awareness for the Chamber in the community.
To provide a forum to discuss critical issues that are affecting the business community; make an initial determination regarding a potential topic’s relevance to the Chamber’s purpose; and to provide a vetting process where a topic will ultimately be referred to Governmental Affairs or another Chamber committee for consideration, and recommendation to the Board of Directors.
- Meet with local, state and federal elected officials to build a better working rapport
- Meet with government agency and department staff members to discuss issues of importance
- Meet with community leaders from the education, healthcare, not-for-profits and others to proactively address any challenges that might affect the business community in the future
- Serve as a clearinghouse for issues to ensure they meet the Chamber’s mission
- Refer issues of concern to Governmental Affairs and other appropriate committees
- Refer time sensitive issues to the Board of Directors directly.
Allow member input into emerging issues that are adversely affecting our community in an effort to be more proactive and time sensitive.
To provide leadership, information, and advocacy that enhances the economic environment and represents the political interests of the Columbia business community. To develop cooperative relationships with organizations and to establish and nurture positive relationships with local, state and national elected officials.
To research, develop, educate, and recommend issue positions to the Chamber Board of Directors
- Hold discussions for members to establish the legislative concerns and opinions of the Chamber membership
- Sponsor forums that present both sides of an issue
- Provide speakers of stature and expertise on critical issues
To advocate issue positions in the interest of the Chamber within philosophical guidelines set by Chamber Board of Directors
- Annually review and update Legislative Policy Manual to reflect the concerns and opinions of the membership
- Identify, research, and address key issues
- Establish ad hoc committees, as necessary, to research and address issues of importance
To fully educate members about critical issues and inform members, the general public, and appropriate officials of Chamber positions adopted by Board of Directors
- Utilize current methods of communication, such as Voter Voice, to inform members
- Recommend and assist the issuance of press releases to media announcing adopted positions
- Sponsor public forums on issues and for candidates
- Provide support for positions taken by Chamber Board of Directors through communication with city council and county commission members and attendance at meetings
Establish positive, interactive relationships with organizations and elected local, county and statewide officials
- Host events to recognize public officials
- Provide networking opportunities between members and elected officials
- Encourage participation and support of MUPAC and MIZZOU PAC
- Foster cooperation and collaborative efforts between city and county leaders
A strong advocate in governmental affairs will maintain and advance the City’s business climate, attract new membership and be an effective, respected voice of the business community.
To motivate students and develop their potential for community leadership by acquainting local high school juniors with the opportunities, realities and challenges of this community.
- Develop interactive sessions that provide participants with awareness of career and community issues
- Develop leadership skills and increase the participant’s level of self-confidence
- Design sessions that show the relationship between community, businesses and organizations and individuals
- Create an atmosphere for participants to network with business, community leaders and classmates, thus encouraging long-term contacts
- Directly address the art of leadership and ways to utilize the information and contacts made through participation in the program
Develop and encourage young potential leaders in their commitment and acceptance of leadership roles thereby giving back to the community in which they live.
Leadership Columbia is a program developed by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce and the Fair Missouri Foundation to identify, cultivate and motivate future community leaders. This informative and thought-provoking program introduces participants to the community, exposes them to its challenges and requires them to fully participate in the 12-session curriculum which ultimately supports the Chamber’s strategic initiatives and goals.
By the end of Leadership Columbia, participants will:
- Cultivate and develop leadership skills, positively impacting them both personally and professionally
- Better understand the community and its leaders
- Recognize interactions between private citizens and public organizations
- See Columbia in terms of the “big picture”
- Know more people – from classmates to presenters to steering committee members
- Gain valuable networking contacts
- Be prepared to serve the community and know the service opportunities available
The Selection Process
Each potential participant must submit a completed application, resume, and a tuition check to be considered for the program. Scholarships are available in the Leadership Columbia Application.
Each application is reviewed by a Selection Committee. In addition to reviewing each individual’s qualifications, the committee will also look for a broad spectrum of experience and background. Selection for Leadership Columbia is based on the following criteria:
- Involvement in professional and/or managerial positions
- Demonstrated ability and desire to assume greater community leadership responsibility
- A clear willingness to make a commitment to the demands of the program and the community in subsequent years
- Proof of the full support of the organization or business they represent.
Identify and nurture future leaders who can guide our community to achieve the economic vitality that will provide lasting benefit for the future.
- Provide a leadership-focused program curriculum that exposes participants to a wide variety of elements affecting the Columbia community
- Create a thorough understanding of the mission and vision of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce and its overall impact on the community
- Build leadership skills and awareness among participants, helping them understand leadership in a variety of situations and applications within the community
- Educate participants about current and long-term issues facing Columbia’s business and community planning and challenge them to work toward solutions
- Equip participants with an appreciation of how security issues facing today’s leaders affect our community and its residents
- Create an inclusive environment and curriculum that embraces differences in beliefs, opinions, abilities, generations and cultures
- Provide opportunities for participants to establish long-term relationships with fellow participants, steering committee members, Chamber representatives and session presenters
- Gain extended commitment from all participants to take an active leadership role in a business, civic, non-profit or political organization upon graduation from the program
- Formulate, through the knowledge and experience gained during the Leadership Columbia program, recommendations to be presented to the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
Through education and development of program participants, Leadership Columbia builds committed and motivated community leaders, and promotes active participation in community organizations and leadership.
To gain and retain members by demonstrating leadership; to create and sustain an environment for economic opportunity for each member.
- Create a positive, welcoming atmosphere for new members
- Work with Chamber staff and TRC volunteers to maintain current new member rate of enrollment
- Increase retention of members
- Increase membership of minority business owners and managers to reflect the diversity of our community
- Promote participation of new members in Chamber committees and activities
- Continue to expand and utilize the ROI program
- Continue and encourage current successful recruitment endeavors
- Increase contact with new members in their first year of membership by assigning a first year mentor
- Initiate a personal visit to every new member from a Membership Committee representative to review membership benefits
- Develop a mentoring opportunity for new members
- Host New Member Welcomes to recognize new members and provide an opportunity to interact with other members and promote their business or organization
- Host networking opportunities for new members in small group roundtable
- Continue to utilize Quarterly Membership Breakfasts to recognize new members, ROI graduates and longstanding members
- Survey of second year members on their perceived value of their membership and suggestions to add value or meet needs
To ensure the health and sustainability of the Chamber, the Membership Committee works to achieve membership growth and retention and to create value for each member.
Continue the creative concept of the Showcase CoMo. To improve our image as well as foster new relationships with surrounding communities and law makers. Provide a networking/sales/marketing opportunity for business professionals, primarily in Columbia along with value-added activities to increase floor traffic. Help stimulate economic growth and enhance the quality of life in the Columbia area.
- Organize and develop a professional, enriching, entertaining and fun event where Columbia/Mid-Missouri businesses can showcase their products and services
- Recruit committed, responsible and excited committee chairs for Promotional Communications, Speaker, Exhibitor Relations, Volunteer Relations, Hotel Liaison, Mixer and External Relations
- Involve many committee people across all business classes in the planning, development and execution of the Business Showcase
- Provide networking opportunities for Mid-Missouri professionals through special events and activities during the Business Showcase
- Sell 100 percent of booths by February
- Increase attendance from last year
- Coordinate luncheon with keynote speaker
- Create a new name and/or tagline for the event
- Find a well known speaker for the keynote luncheon
To add value to Chamber membership while promoting and enhancing business opportunities for exhibitors and sponsors. Creates positive awareness of the Chamber from the community.
To promote the growth, profitability and recognition of business through educational programs, networking opportunities and special events focusing on the needs of small businesses in our community.
- Advocate for the issues and challenges facing small businesses in our community, and establish positive relationships with state legislators and other statewide officials acting jointly with the Governmental Affairs Committee and other Chamber officials.
- Develop informational and educational opportunities for Chamber member companies
- Implement the interest, needs, and program ideas from the comprehensive survey of Chamber members who are classified as small businesses
- Schedule monthly mini-seminars (20 minutes maximum) on professional development topics during the regular monthly meeting of the Small Business Committee
- Provide information to members about other professional development opportunities within the Chamber of Commerce and Women’s Network, as well as other organizations within our community
- Develop small business opportunities
- Plan and present the Small Business Exhibition
- Provide opportunities for members to interact, network and showcase small businesses
- Choose a business at each month’s meeting through a business card drawing to give a five-minute promo at the next meeting
- Increase members’ attendance and participation at monthly meetings
- Encourage existing committee members to recruit new committee members
- Recognize outstanding achievement of small business organizations
- Plan and present the “Small Business of the Year” Awards
- Participate in and support “Small Business Week”
Through the advocacy of economic development issues affecting all small businesses in our community, members will see their own businesses growth and become more profitable. In addition, educational programs, networking opportunities and special events will create an environment that is supportive of and provides access to the resources that further encourage the growth and profitability of all small businesses within our community.
To plan and implement the Total Resource Campaign.
To facilitate discussion and decision-making to improve highway and roadway transportation infrastructure in the Columbia area.
- Facilitate communication between Chamber, City, County, and MoDOT, and work to fashion acceptable and publicly agreeable goals
- Actively engage members in the implementation of transportation plans, emphasizing economic growth while improving quality of life in our community
- Establish and/or advocate appropriate City and County highway and other roadway transportation priorities and projects
- Educate the public on importance of infrastructure modifications and other highway and roadway transportation issues
- Gather and disseminate input from local officials and members
- Identify and cooperate with other entities, organizations or groups with a stake in transportation issues.
Improved development and implementation of highway and roadway plans and improvements will maintain and/or improve quality of life and economic growth, therefore benefiting all segments of Chamber membership.