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, not to mention the benefits members receive even if they never come to an event.
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 and to retain the ones we have. It facilitates dialogue between businesses and the appropriate governmental agencies to address the challenges a company may be facing.
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.
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.
ADMINISTRATION & COMMUNICATION
The Administration Division provides coordination and direction of all organizational resources, financial services and building management and administers the computer system. The Communications Department is responsible for the management, planning and dissemination of Chamber publications and marketing. These publications include Connections, the monthly membership newsletter; press releases; event invitations; advertisements; and content for the Chamber’s websites, saintjoseph.com, choosestjoseph.com and uncommonlife.info and social media content creation and management.
SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER
Housed in the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce, Northwest Missouri State University’s Small Business 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 SBDC are free of charge and are not associated with Chamber membership.
ST. JOSEPH REGIONAL PORT AUTHORITY
The Port of St. Joseph is an intermodal port owned by the St. Joseph Regional Port Authority and operated by Transport 360 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. To contact Transport 360 about Port needs, find them under Transportation in the member listings.
ST. JOSEPH COMMUNITY ALLIANCE
The St. Joseph Community Alliance promotes a shared vision for the community through collective input from citizens. Its director is a part of the Chamber staff and is responsible for implementing the Imagine St. Joseph 2040 plan, coordinating government relations/advocacy and executing a community survey.
The St. Joseph Community Alliance is made up of the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce, the City of St. Joseph, Buchanan County, the School District of St. Joseph, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Mosaic Life Care, Missouri Western State University, 139th Airlift Wing of the Missouri Air National Guard and the United Way of Greater St. Joseph.
Staff works to foster 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.
2020 Board of Directors
Tolly & Associates, Inc.
R. Patt Lilly
St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce
Nor-Am Cold Storage
Col. Ed Black
139th Airlift Wing Missouri Air National Guard
Missouri American Water
E.L. Crawford Construction, Inc.
Scott Gann Construction
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
Americas Best Value Inn
Altec Industries, Inc.
LifeLine Foods, LLC
Missouri Western State University
City of St. Joseph
Mosaic Life Care
Larry Rideaux, Jr., Ed.D.
Perka Building Frames by Business Logistics, Inc.
Dr. Doug Van Zyl
St. Joseph School District
Immediate Past Chair
Rise by Design
Diplomats Club Representative
Conveyance Solutions by Continental
Director of Workforce Development
Director of Communications & Marketing
Vice President, Administration
Vice President, Economic Development
R. Patt Lilly
President & CEO
Senior Vice President, Membership
Director, St. Joseph Community Alliance