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Q1 2024 Board Chair’s Letter

Happy New Year!  My name is Kristen Shelley-Chapin and I am honored and humbled to have been selected to serve as your Board Chair for 2024.  One of my goals for this year is to ensure that all Chamber members realize the full impact of their Chamber membership.  And I’ll need your help to meet this goal.

I first became aware of the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce when my then-husband, Brett, who was working for Evans & Mullinex at the time, went through the Shawnee Tomorrow Leadership program.  It was such a great experience that when we opened our own Law Firm in Shawnee, there was no question that we would become Chamber members.

I have now been a Chamber member for over 17 years.  Over the years, my membership in the Chamber has benefited not only my business, but the relationships I have formed with so many members have been an enormous blessing to me personally as well.

The Chamber has had both directly and indirectly impacted you by bringing new businesses to Shawnee, brought important issues before our lawmakers, and continues to work to improve the spaces where we and our employees live, work and play.  And through you by the connections that you make with fellow Chamber members that enhance your work and personal life.

As we begin this new year, I would like to challenge each of you to not only identify how the Chamber has benefited you and your business, but also to challenge yourself to make the most of your membership by doing at least one of the following in the next month or two:

  1. How well do you know your Chamber Staff or Board members? If not very well, please reach out to myself, Ann, Eric, Kaleigh, or any staff or board member and let’s sit down for a cup of coffee to get to know one another better.
  2. If you are pretty involved in the Chamber already, reach out to a new Chamber member and make a new connection for both yourself and for them.
  3. Find a new program/event that the Chamber hosts that you haven’t tried before and attend! Some great options are AM Connect, Women Inspiring Women, Monthly Luncheons, Annual Dinner, Shawnee Tomorrow Leadership, or attend a meeting for an arm of the Chamber that you are less familiar with such as EDC, Visit Shawnee, Governmental Affairs, just to name a few.

I have faced some pretty big hurdles the last five years that the Shawnee Chamber and its many wonderful members helped me and my business to not only survive but to come through better than I could have ever dreamed.  I look forward to hearing your stories of how you and your business have benefited from your membership in the Chamber as well as your new experiences from trying something new with the Chamber.  Will you accept the challenge?

The Shawnee Chamber is not a one size fits all…our businesses are unique and its up to you to discover how the Chamber can and will benefit you.

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