I’ve lived in Hillsboro for 3 years now. I love my neighborhood and community since the moment we arrived. This past year I got more involved, participating in the Civic Leadership Academy and getting to know the ins and outs of the (almost) 4th largest city in Oregon! During the program we researched and presented to the City Council a proposal to bring an entrepreneurial incubator space to town. It’s an idea that’s near and dear to my heart from my years with the Seattle start-up community and I have visions in my head of why my town needs this!
During the program I learned a TON about the amazing resources available in Hillsboro and the awesome resources that the chamber is providing to businesses. I knew it was time to stop talking about it and finally join the chamber. So, I setup a meeting with the president to talk about all the opportunities and find where I could best fit in. She mentioned the Small Business and Entrepreneurial Council was going to be looking into our proposal and that it would be a great fit for me. In December I joined the chamber and jumped in with both feet.
I love it. The organization is awesome and the members are fantastic. I’ve talked to other local business owners who haven’t had as much success with the chamber and they’ve owned up to the fact that it’s because they aren’t consistently going.
When you join ANY organization make sure that you talk to the people running the show to learn about all the benefits and opportunities available to you. Take advantaged of the ad in the newsletter, take advantage of the radio show interview, take advantage of that first luncheon free. Do your follow up. Reach out to members and introduce yourself.
With any networking or membership organization you always need to evaluate if it’s the right place for you and your business. I love my town, and the more I can do business with businesses IN my town, the better!