More than 150 business and community representatives heard a year in review of the Columbus-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce and a short presentation on digital marketing at the Chamber’s annual luncheon Wednesday at Lion Hills.
The Chamber recruited 30 new members over the past year, Chamber of Commerce President Joey Bragg said. He added that in addition to the 30 new members, existing members became more engaged and active in the CLCC than in previous years.
At the luncheon, keynote speaker Jessica Broussard, the Southwest Region director of marketing at Comcast Spotlight of Nashville, Tennessee, gave businesses tips on how to launch a digital marketing campaign and engage with their target customers. Broussard stressed how important it is for businesses to know who their customers are and engage them on multiple platforms, especially through social media.
“Businesses have found a way to humanize themselves to their customers (on social media),” she said.
Bragg also updated the assembly on the successes of the CLCC this year.
In the past year, CLCC launched the Golden Triangle Leadership Program, which recognizes up-and-coming bushinesses and business representatives from Lowndes, Clay and Oktibbeha counties for their leadership roles in the community, Bragg told the luncheon attendees. The CLCC selected 15 members last year and are hoping to raise the membership to 20 this year, he said.
Bragg also spoke about the CLCC’s education and military affairs committees. The Education Awards Committee gave $10,000 in scholarships last year alone. The Education Committee is putting together initiatives at local schools to recognize teachers in lieu of last year’s Educators Are Essential program, which raised money for teachers at one central location at Mississippi University for Women. The CLCC also raised $25,000 in three months to replace the welcome sign at Columbus Air Force Base.
Bragg also talked about Columbus Young Professionals, an initiative that recruits professionals in their 20s and engages them in volunteerism and networking. This year, he said, they have volunteered at the Presidents Cup Soccer Tournament, Market Street Festival and Sounds of Summer, the latter of which Bragg said had seen some of its best turnouts this year since it began.
The CLCC also recognized two members for volunteer efforts, including Glen Lautzenhiser and Melinda Lowe. Lautzenhiser received recognition for his fundraising efforts, while Lowe heads the Education Committee and sits on the CLCC board. Bragg noted that Alison Alexander, a new member of CLCC, would have received recognition for her work with the Education Committee had she been able to attend the luncheon.
At the luncheon’s conclusion, CLCC unveiled the cover of its publication, “Columbus Magazine.”
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