Redefining Membership

 Redefining Membership

Members of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber are afforded many opportunities to shape the region’s futureKevin Michell Several new initiatives offered by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber showcase the collaborative opportunities that come through membership.

Momentum Investor membership—a new tier of chamber membership introduced last year—allows businesses to become more active participants in shaping the Cincinnati area’s growth. Momentum Investor members receive exclusive or discounted access to events and opportunities to interact directly with chamber leadership.

Chamber President and CEO Jill Meyer delivers a regional strategy update to Momentum Investor members at an annual event. Members also are able to meet individually with the chamber’s senior leadership to have a detailed, in-person discussion of their goals and ideal involvement as members.

“It grew beyond our expectations the first year,” says Beth McNeill, senior director of Sales and Engagement at the chamber, “and we’re really excited for how it continues to grow in its second.”

Chamber members of any level can utilize an array of regional events for networking and collaboration. The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber operates in 16 Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana counties and has joint partnerships with seven other area chambers.

These partnerships set the collaborative tone of events happening through the year. Regular meetups like Member Benefits 101 and the Converge Networking series offer a chance for members to learn from one another and forge new partnerships. The annual Manufacturing Exchange provides an opportunity to experience the industry in cities outside of the Ohio Valley and bring new insights home.

Outside of those events, the chamber is always willing to facilitate connections between members. “We guarantee that, if you ask, we will connect you with who you’re looking to meet,” says McNeill.

The chamber also offers a fleet of programs for members and non-members alike to engage with the region’s economic development and public sector.

Vox Futura is a way for young professionals to intimately collaborate with the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s leadership team to identify focal points and goals for the area’s economic future. Membership consists of up to 15 emerging leaders from throughout the region selected after a springtime application period.

“Vox Futura is going to strategically help us define the work of the chamber,” says Brendon Cull, the chamber’s senior vice president and chief operating officer. “It’s been a theme here, recognizing that we’re building a chamber that’s going to be around for the next 180 years. To do that, we’ve got to have a constant influx of new voices and new perspectives at the table.”

In a similar way, the chamber’s Influence Cincinnati program is providing a leg up to anyone interested in shaping public policy through collaboration with municipal and government leaders. Influence Cincinnati members will meet regularly to engage with policy makers and develop their influence to stoke civic engagement in their own communities.

“What we want is to make sure a wider array of people in this community have an opportunity to weigh in on policy and community initiatives,” Cull says.

Influence Cincinnati serves as a great entry point for people who encounter policy and want to affect it but don’t know how best to be heard.

“What my hope is that it makes being engaged in policy and politics more relevant to even more people,” says Cull. “I’m so excited about what this program is going to look like over the next few years.”