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Business Perspectives100 Years of commitment from our members: making an impact locally.BY KARA BEER, PresidentOne hundred years ago, mem- bership organiza- tions were a cru- cial aspect of a professional’s ca- reer. They opened up opportunities for networking and pro-fessional development that simply weren’t matched by other sources. However, in this age of social media whereby a world of peers is only a tweet away, the benefits of joining a member- ship organization is rightly being ques- tioned. So, are we still relevant? The answer is simply, YES!Even in today’s hyper-connected global society, I recognize the follow- ing benefits (including many more) of our Chamber membership organization for working professionals and commu- nity supporters:Impact. Our membership organi- zation raises awareness of important issues facing our member businessesand individuals by hosting a plethora of professional development opportunities including workshops and webinars, and by publishing a quarterly and weekly newsletter offering impactful infor- mation that benefits our members and community. Member’s association with the Chamber’s brand sends the message that you’re serious about your business and community, and that you’re willing to allow your voice to be heard.Benefits. The Chamber offers member benefits and/or discounts member businesses may benefit from and save on their bottom line as well as Member 2 Member discounts that ben- efit their employee’s bottom line.Networking. Social Media may have already injected steroids into the sport of professional networking, but the real power lies within member- ship organizations like your Chamber through the plethora of opportunities offered for local networking at its best.Despite the benefits offered by the Chamber, competition for a share ofthe business investment is becoming in- creasingly intense. We offer something unique including a hyper-local infusion of energy and culture while continu- ing to evolve meeting the needs of our members. In turn, this provides mem- bers with increased value, credibility and trust through their annual invest- ment.In 2019, the Chamber celebrates 107 years, and more importantly, seven (7) member businesses who have been a member in-good-standing celebrate 100 years of membership with us. Join us on February 12 at our Eye Opener Breakfast to celebrate, honor and appre- ciate these seven members:• January 2019: SEMCO Energy GasCompany• March 2019: Consumers Energy• December 2019: Bachman HebbleFuneral Services, Inc.; Battle Creek Enquirer; Farley Estes Dowdle Fu- neral Home; Post Foods LLC, Battle Creek; Shouldice Industrial Manu- facturers and Contractors, Inc.BUSINESSES CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF MEMBERSHIP IN 2019SEMCO Energy Gas Company • Consumers Energy • Bachman Hebble Funeral Services, Inc. Battle Creek Enquirer • Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home • Post Foods LLC, Battle Creek Shouldice Industrial Manufacturers and Contractors, Inc.22 SCENE 4401 I MEN IN BUSINESS

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