2017 Annual Conference Sessions

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Click here to view list of conference speakers

Conference Opening Remarks

10:15 – 10:45am
State of the Business Coalition

10:45am – 12pm
Keynote Part 1:
Chambers as Solution Brokers – Their Role in the Value Chain
Speaker: Cathi Hight

Are we as essential as Starbucks or Facebook? Why would businesses and the community value the Chamber? What do our members need to be successful?

Let’s face it: your members can’t imagine their day without Starbucks or Facebook. It’s where they get their mojo or know what’s going on around them. With so many competing sources in today’s world, it’s getting harder to position chambers as the most important entity in town. How can your Chamber become so essential as THE source for information, connections and solutions?

In this session, you will:

  • Recognize how trends will create the “winners and losers” in town
  • Explore what it means to be a Solutions Broker
  • Discover three strategies to employ to be the Chamber your members and community can’t do without

12 – 1pm Lunch
State of Advocacy Update – What’s on the Horizon for 2018

Breakout Sessions: 1:15 – 2:30pm

Government Affairs 101: Legislative Primer – How Chambers Can Influence throughout the Legislative Process
Speakers: JL Wilson, Public Affairs Counsel and Alison Hart, Oregon State Chamber of Commerce

Have you wondered how a bill really becomes a law? Have you asked how your Chamber can influence policy? When is the best time to engage in the process?

Chambers are in a unique position to participate in grassroots engagement to shape policy. Learn how to influence the making of a bill every step along the way and the importance of lobbying. Topics include:

  • The complicated nature of pass a bill
  • The importance of having representation at each step of the process
  • How Chambers and lobbyists are resources for legislators

Membership 101: Strategies to Improve the Membership Life Cycles
Speaker: Cathi Hight

How we recruit members that are most likely to renew? How do we improve 1st year retention? What are the best ways to increase engagement?

Managing the Membership Life Cycle successfully ensures that you have a positive net gain of members each year, early engagement of new members, and ongoing renewals. Explore the best strategies for acquiring, integrating, engaging and renewing members!

In this session, you will:

  • Explore the top three strategies for recruiting members that “stick”
  • Discover ways to increase 1st year retention through onboarding practices
  • Recognize what it takes to increase member engagement
  • Learn strategies to increase renewal rates and get members to renew timely

2:45 – 4pm
Keynote Part 2:
The VOI of Membership is Greater than the ROI
Speaker: Cathi Hight

Are more and more members questioning their ROI of membership? Why do members
who “get it” see value and others don’t? How can we communicate the value of membership?

Members who ask about ROI don’t see the value of their membership.  Members who love you talk about VOI, not ROI. Although you can’t always deliver a return on $$, you have delivered on the Value of I, where I means more than Investment.  Explore the power of VOI and how to change the way you communicate the value of membership.

In this session, you will:

  • Discover the power of VOI and why it means more than ROI ever will
  • Identify the top 12 VOI benefits chambers deliver to stakeholders
  • Consider how to leverage your VOI to communicate the value of membership
  • Explore how to develop a VOI campaign to recruit and retain more members

4:15 – 5pm
Round Table Discussions

  •  Tourism: Defining your tourism niche – Mike Glover, Hood River County Chamber
  •  GA: What is the biggest obstacle in your Advocacy Program? – Alison Hart, OSCC
  •  Young Professionals Programs: Attracting Young Professionals and growing YP programs – Brittany Quick-Warner, Eugene Chamber
  •  Non-Dues Revenue: Programs and ideas that are not event centered – Justin Aufdermauer and Sierra Lauder, Tillamook Chamber
  •  Workforce Development: Programs and ideas for Chambers – Sheryl Kelsh, Chehalem Valley
  •  Communications: How to get your message out to membership and community, what works, challenges, etc. – Jessica Chambers, OSCC
  •  Small Business Development Center Resources: What are Chamber members business education needs and how can Chambers partner with the SBDC to provide them – Trevor Steele, OSBDC
  •  Polling: Bring your community into focus. How polling can inform messaging and campaigns – and how the Chamber can drive the process. – JL Wilson, Public Affairs Counsel
  •  Operational and Organizational Challenges: What is keeping you up at night – What is your biggest operational or organization challenge? – Colene Martin, Grants Pass and Josephine County Chamber

Dinner, Annual Meeting and Auction

Thursday, October 26, 2017

8:30 – 9:00am
Conference Opener

9:00 – 10:15am
The Influence Edge – Getting Work Done without Authority
Speaker: Dan Goldes, Strategic Planning and Membership Consultant, Trainer and Facilitator

Need to sell your ideas? Want to build good working relationships and get results? Need to be successful dealing with difficult people?
The most effective way to do this is through the strategic use of influence skills. The truly effective leaders, employee or manager uses influence skills to achieve results. How do you get people to buy into your ideas and your needs? By using influence skills strategically, others will be more willing to help move organizational process along with less resistance.

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify when and how to use 12 specific influence behaviors
  • Strategically plan for influence situations and opportunities
  • Practice using effective influence skills
  • Increase effectiveness to overcoming resistance

Breakout Sessions: 10:30 – 11:45am

Technology: ChamberMaster Essentials
Speaker: Michelle Diamon, GrowthZone/ChamberMaster

The ChamberMaster Member Management Software is powerful, easy-to-use and designed to manage all the day-to-day operations of your organization. ChamberMaster has several integrated components and features to save you time and effort. This session will share tips, best practices, as well as time-saving tips for the integration of ChamberMaster with Constant Contact, Quickbooks and Office 365.

In this session, you will:

  • Learn how to connect your Constant Contact account with your ChamberMaster database and set up automatic synchronization so that lists can be populated with new contacts overnight
  • Do you send emails directly out of Outlook and wish to keep a copy in ChamberMaster? Learn how to archive your emails to your customer communication area for emails sent from Outlook
  • Learn how to record all of your income activity inside ChamberMaster, and then send that information to your QuickBooks file for financial reporting

Tourism: Leveraging Travel Industry Resources – DMO Relationship
Speaker: Harry Dalgaard, Travel Oregon

Seven Regional Destination Management Organizations (RDMOs) are recognized by Travel Oregon develop and submit regional plan proposals for use of state dollars via the Regional Cooperative Tourism Program. Each RDMO develops and enacts a two-year tourism destination management plan that involves the input of regional tourism stakeholders and Travel Oregon. In this session, you will learn about the Regional Cooperative Tourism Program, the RDMOs Destination Management Plan and how your Chamber or DMO can best leverage the investments contained within those plans.

In this session, you will:

  • Gain understanding of Travel Oregon’s Regional Programming
  • Obtain connections with Regional Destination Management Organizations
  • Learn how Chambers and DMOs can leverage RCTP investments

Government Affairs: The Modern State of Politics and Candidate Recruitment – The Hard Truths
Speaker: JL Wilson, Public Affairs Counsel

Are you considering candidate endorsement? Should your Chamber be doing candidate recruitment? Are you wondering what it really takes to get the right person into office?
In this session, learn how candidate recruitment really works and how it aligns with the major political parties. Hear about the hard truths of fundraising and supporting a candidate. Key discussion points include:

  • Why business is gravitating towards Republican candidates
  • Why you are not in the ball game, if you are not financially supporting candidates
  • What to expect from a new (freshman) legislator and the importance of policy alignment

12 – 1pm Lunch
US Chamber Update – What’s on the Federal Horizon
Speaker: Anna Slick, US Chamber

1:15 – 2:30pm
Workforce Development Panel: Programs, Initiatives and Resources that Improve Chamber Impact and Results


  • Celeste Edman, CEO, Lunar Logic in Eugene
  • Heather Ficht, Executive Director, East Cascades Workforce Investment Board
  • Courtney Griesel, Senior Management Analyst, Economic Development, City of Springfield
  • Erin Mahoney, Program Manager, Connect Lane County & Lane STEM
  • Kristina Payne, Executive Director, Lane County Workforce Partnership
  • Moderator: Brittany Quick-Warner, President & CEO, Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce

Are you wondering how your Chamber can address workforce challenges and get better results? Do you ponder how to build and leverage collective partnerships that have real impact for businesses and your community?

There is a natural alignment between Chambers and local Workforce Development Boards. In this session, hear perspectives from a business, workforce board directors, a Chamber, and an economic development professional about:

  • Strategic steps to building better collective partnerships that benefit your Chamber and your community
  • The importance of working collaboratively to make a big difference for your member businesses and the local workforce
  • How to use a coordinated business services strategy that improves efficiencies and effectiveness
  • How collaborative roles may vary – sometimes Chambers will be leading, sometimes following and sometimes support solutions in solving local issues regarding the economy, business and workforce development

Breakout Sessions 2:45 – 4pm

Communications: Strategic Communications Planning
Speaker: Russell Lahodny, Western Association of Chamber Executives (WACE)

Good communication goes beyond simply putting out content for your members. Telling your chamber’s story requires strategic planning. Learn how to build a plan and execute it successfully. In this session, you will learn to:

  • Understand your Chamber’s story and how to tell it
  • Build a strategic communications plan
  • Develop an editorial calendar

Leadership 101: Pillars of Effective Leadership
Speakers: Dan Goldes, Strategic Planning and Membership Consultant, Trainer and Facilitator and Alison Hart, Oregon State Chamber of Commerce

Are you wondering the most effective way to work with your Board? Do you struggle with strategic, tactical and operational boundaries? Who is really supposed to do what?

In this session, learn how to work collaboratively with your Board for optimal organizational results. Gain clear understanding of the role of the Board and how it intersects with the role of the Executive. Key takeaways will include:

  • Fiduciary and legal responsibilities of the Board
  • Defined roles for strategic, tactical and operational areas of your organization
  • Best practices for policies, procedures and practical application of supporting your Board

4 – 4:30pm
Conference Wrap-up and Closing Remarks

Click here to view list of conference speakers