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West End update – Bob Hendrickson – GINCC

Bob Hendrickson, executive director, GINCC

ISHPEMING — The Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce is a member driven organization that bridges businesses with the community, champions the buy local philosophy, promotes the West End of Marquette County as a whole to visit, live and explore, along with embracing the historical roots that make this area great.

Here at the GINCC we’re also looking forward to the opportunities ahead. Renewing partnerships with member businesses, welcoming new members and sharing stories of success while working on solutions to local challenges.

We host a Business After Hours throughout the year and encourage fellow business owners, community members and leaders to attend. Typically hosted by a member business, BAHs offer a chance to network not only with the business owner but other business owners and community members.

This past Tuesday, we hosted our first BAH in over 18 months with TruNorth Federal Credit Union at River Rock Lanes and Banquet Center. Ironically, TruNorth was our last BAH we hosted prior to the pandemic on March 3, 2020 at the same location.

The most recent event honored community organization who were selected for the TruNorth Community Grants which gave $15,000 to the community. Awardees were Cancer Care of Marquette County, Ishpeming Noon Kiwanis, Trillium House and Project Jade.

Each organization will use the grants to support their community causes.

BAHs are held from 5-7 p.m. on a week night (typically Wednesday evening). The atmosphere is casual, there are light refreshments served and an opportunity to win a few door prizes. Most importantly they are open to the public, free to attend and welcoming to all.

In addition to BAHs the GINCC hosts ribbon cuttings, open houses and additional special events to provide media exposure and recognition for chamber members.

Typically ribbon cuttings are associated with an opening of a new business but have evolved into a special event to celebrate milestones, new avenues of venture and business owner changes. These are free of cost to chamber members and offers an excellent opportunity to obtain public recognition.

Open houses are formatted similarity to BAHs but typically feature non-profit organizations or other entities where typical retail or service doesn’t take place (examples are apartments, campgrounds and agencies). However, we have promoted open house with retail member business to help boost business.

The GINCC also works with many organizations on the West End to assist with event promotion and publicity. If you are a member of an organization, contact the GINCC to find out what a membership can do for you.

To learn more about the GINCC, visit our website at www.gincc.org, give us a call or stop in. Office hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

We are at times out of office on chamber business. Please call ahead to confirm a visit, 906-486-1111.

Editor’s note: Bob Hendrickson is the executive director of the GINCC. He currently resides in Negaunee with his wife, Laura, and daughter, Sierra. He enjoys mountain biking, skiing, fishing and hunting along with family time.

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