The Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce. Many people have heard our organization name said multiple times, or referred to by its acronym, GINCC, but may wonder: What exactly does our Chamber do, and which geographic areas do we cover?
These are some questions I had myself upon my arrival at the GINCC one year ago, so I would like to expand on these topics, in hopes to provide some insight about our mission and what it means when we say that we cover the West End of Marquette County.
By definition, a Chamber of Commerce should advocate on behalf of business, which is our main objective. If it weren't for the businesses here, the GINCC wouldn't exist, so it is our mission to always keep the best interests of our Chamber members in mind -you make us who we are.
We work to provide our members with many different services, such as exposure and marketing with weekly e-mails and bi-monthly newsletters, an online business directory listing on our website, coordination of free Business After Hours events, ribbon cuttings, distribution of press releases, customer referrals, the opportunity to display business cards and brochures in our office, and more. If you have an idea or an event you want us to know about, all you have to do is tell us.
It is also our goal to provide personal assistance to our businesses and to the community members. This is an aspect that makes our Chamber unique; we live in a place that allows us to be able to get to know you, and in turn, we want you to get to know us as people, not just as names. I run into people I've met through the Chamber all the time, and I enjoy that.
I grew up in a small farming community in Wisconsin where it was common to run into someone you knew almost every time you went somewhere, and I'm excited to be able to raise my son in a place where that is possible.
While our business name carries some hint as to what we do and to the two large areas we cover - the cities and townships of Ishpeming and Negaunee -it does not fully explain that we also cover the following townships, which house approximately a dozen Chamber member businesses: Champion, Ely, Humboldt, Michigamme, Republic, Richmond, and Tilden townships.
If you have never taken a ride through these areas, or have never visited any businesses located there, I would encourage you to do so. These areas are always beautiful, but even more so during the middle of summer or the peak of fall, where you will see some extreme natural splendor, and maybe even a moose.
Along with picturesque scenery comes many recreational activities to participate in, such as hiking and biking, camping, hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling. Plus, there is a rich history to go along with each of these places: mining, logging, farming, and the railroad industries all helped shape the West End of Marquette County, and many of these historic beginnings are still able to be seen throughout these communities today.
I would like to end by saying that we have new membership packets available at our office, detailing more of our mission and the services we provide. If you are interested, stop by the Chamber and pick one up.
Visit the Community Calendar on our website, www.gincc.org, to learn more about the West End events coming up, check out our Facebook page, or stop by and say hello. We'd love to meet you.
Editor's note: Ashley Geist is the Marketing and Communications manager of the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce