Chamber Connection

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Make The Most of Membership

When it comes to reaping the rewards of membership, the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce
packs a lot of resources and advantages into its yearly dues. From networking events to committees, members find that joining the Chamber brings in additional business, exposure and perks.


The St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Division serves as the lead economic development agency for the community. In partnership with the City of St. Joseph and Buchanan County, all strides are made to recruit new businesses to St. Joseph. Staff also has the important task of working with existing businesses. It facilitates dialogue between businesses and the appropriate governmental agencies to address the challenges a company may be facing. In addition, the department works to maximize growth opportunities for existing businesses.

The Economic Development Division is funded through a community partnership for economic development, with funds raised from both the public and private sectors. The Economic Development Investors Partnership includes the City of St. Joseph, Buchanan County and about 150 local businesses.

The division also recognizes what an important role both community and workforce development play in creating a community where people want to live and work, as well as where businesses wish to invest. Both are key components of a successful business attraction and retention strategy. As such, the division proactively facilitates this mission by implementing and supporting many initiatives designed to enhance quality of life and life-long learning. The Economic Development Division also partners to improve physical infrastructure and amenities, another key to growth.


Staff works to foster good relations with the various levels of government, and to represent the business community in addressing legislative issues. Government policies directly affect business, so the Chamber speaks out on behalf of the business community. The Chamber monitors a wide variety of issues and focuses on a number of key areas. The Chamber’s advocacy ranges from formal testimony to informal discussions with key elected officials.


The Administration Division provides coordination and direction of all organizational resources, financial services and building management and administers the computer system.

Within the Administration Division is the Communications Department, which is responsible for the management, planning and dissemination of Chamber publications. These publications include Connections, the monthly membership newsletter; press releases; event invitations; advertisements; and web content for the Chamber’s websites,, and


The Membership Services Division works to strengthen Chamber membership through effective retention and recruitment efforts. Also, this division provides networking and educational opportunities to members while increasing the visibility of the Chamber within the community.

Membership Services coordinates events such as the Annual Banquet; monthly Lunch & Learn seminars; the Chairman’s Breakfast; a New Executives Welcome; the Chamber Classic golf tournament; Economic Development Summit and a Small Business Summit. This division is also responsible for fun, networking events like Business Mixers and Parties on the Parkway.

The Total Resource Campaign also is organized by Membership staff. The Total Resource Campaign is a program that raises funds through sponsorships of Chamber publications, events and programs.


Housed in the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce, Northwest Missouri State University’s Small Business & Technology Development Center is available to assist individuals and businesses with issues involving start-up, expansion, purchase, sale, marketing, financial analysis and almost any other issue that presents itself to current or potential small business owners. The services provided by the Small Business & Technology Development Center are free of charge and are not associated with Chamber membership.


The Port of St. Joseph is an intermodal port owned by the St. Joseph Regional Port Authority that serves the agricultural and industrial markets of Northwest Missouri and Northeast Kansas. The port is conveniently located at the foot of the U.S. Highway 36 bridge into Kansas, with easy access to interstates 29 and 35 serving Northwest Missouri.

It offers full intermodal capabilities of barge, rail and truck. In addition to cargo transfer, the port can provide direct delivery of materials, or outside storage, for wire and other products. The Port Authority is governed by a seven-member board and is administered by an executive director housed in the Chamber office.

2019 BOARD of DIRectors

JL Robertson
Rupp Funeral Home

Sarah DeGarmo
Rise By Design

Bill Severn
News-Press NOW

R. Patt Lilly
St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce


Scott Albers, Nor-Am Cold Storage
Col. Ed Black, 139th Airlift Wing, Mo. Air National Guard
Jody Carlson, Missouri American Water
Brett Carolus, Hillyard Companies
Jennifer Kneib-Dixon, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
Rondale Dunn, American Family Insurance
Dr. Bernd Eichenmueller, Boehringer Ingelheim
Patti Eiman, First American Title
Kevin Kelly, Lifeline Foods, LLC
Carrie Koelzer, KCP&L
Bill McMurray, City of St. Joseph
Ronan Molloy, Innovation Stockyard
Michael Pulido, Mosaic Life Care
Amy Ryan, Commerce Bank
Lee Sawyer, Buchanan County
Stet Schanze, Gray Manufacturing Co. Inc.
Martial Thevenot, Perka Building Frames by Business Logistics, Inc.
Don Tolly, Don Tolly Insurance Agency
Dr. Doug Van Zyl, School District of St. Joseph
Dr. Robert Vartabedian, Missouri Western State University
Mark Woodbury, General Counsel, Polsinelli
Matt Robertson, Immediate Past Chair, CliftonLarsonAllen
Tony Luke, Diplomats Club Representative, News-Press NOW


Kristie Arthur
Director of Workforce Development

Kristi Bailey
Director of Communications & Marketing

Mary Brown
Programs Coordinator

Deanna Greiner
Membership Specialist

Shannon Jobes
Vice President, Administration

Brad Lau
Vice President, Economic Development

R. Patt Lilly
President & CEO

Natalie Redmond
Vice President, Membership

Camille Wallingford
Executive Assistant