By Chris Messina
In the coming weeks, the Napa Chamber of Commerce will present a renewed brand and vision. Not just a new logo, this rebranding process required an evaluation of every aspect of the organization, allowing us to redefine priorities and achieve a better understanding of where we need to go in order to best serve our members and the greater Napa Valley Community. Reflecting an engaged, progressive, and agile organization, this rebrand represents the Napa Chamber’s role in a growing and changing community.
With roots that date back to 1889, the Napa Chamber has stood as a valuable asset to the Napa businesses through a multitude of changes and advancements. First called the “Napa Improvement Society,” back when Napa had only 3,000 residents, the organization quickly became known as “Napa’s voice.” Its first task: find a way to douse the increasingly busy streets with water in order to curb dust pollution. In the decades that followed, the Napa Chamber served as a powerful leader, organizing relief efforts following the 1906 earthquake, providing valuable services for a dwindling member base during the Depression, and organizing fundraisers for local servicemen during WWII.
In recent years, the Napa Chamber has grown to be the premier membership organization for businesses throughout the Napa Valley, promoting the community’s economic vitality and quality of life through leadership development, advocacy, facilitation, and education.
As we launch our new brand and vision, these core values will not change. However, as Napa continues to evolve, we are poised to take a more significant role, providing members enhanced and more meaningful services to ensure that they thrive along with our growing community.
We want to make it clear – the Napa Chamber of Commerce is open for business. Physically. Literally. Virtually. We are a progressive leader for the city of Napa and its surrounding region, serving as a dynamic catalyst for improving the economic environment. We are accountable to a vast and inclusive membership, from hospitality to hospitals, and corporations to start-ups. We exist to provide relevant resources for business on all scales, to collaborate when personal relationships mean as much as social networking, and to serve as dedicated, responsible advocates.
How did we convert that mission into a new look? After much creative collaboration, we selected a symbol that communicates a bold, thriving business organization with a heritage of success, and an innovative eye on the current business environment. It conveys a feeling of trusted leadership with a standard of excellence. Image detail offers a gentle homage to the river that originally brought business to the Napa region.
Our new brand rings true to the tenets that have kept our organization thriving for nearly 125 years:
- Political Action
The Napa Chamber of Commerce influences public policy on behalf of business. The Chamber also identifies, encourages and endorses business-friendly candidates in local, county, state and federal elections.
- Creating a Strong Local Economy
The Napa Chamber of Commerce promotes the local economy by encouraging Chamber members and Napa residents to buy locally. All referrals given out by the Napa Chamber of Commerce are members. The Chamber of Commerce website has detailed information about local businesses in the community. The Napa Chamber also provides many educational opportunities throughout the year such as: “12@12 – Roundtable Discussions with Napa Leadership” and “Peer to Peer Brown Bag Lunch Series”. Napa County Economic Outlook and a “Labor Law Workshop”. To showcase local businesses, the Chamber also sponsors the annual “Napa Valley Business Showcase”.
- Representing the Interests of Business with Government
The Napa Chamber of Commerce represents business concerns to local, regional, state and federal entities. While you keep your business running, the Chamber watches your back on issues like Workers’ Comp, Healthcare, and job killer anti-business bills.
- Enhanced Network Building Opportunities to Create Strong Business Relationships
The Napa Chamber of Commerce serves as a sounding board for small business needs, concerns and interests, while providing increased member-to-member network building opportunities such as “Business After Hours” mixers at local businesses. The mixers are an excellent opportunity to meet other Chamber members and future members to learn about their businesses. Look for these new programs to rollout this year: “Coffee Cup Connections” and “Leads Over Lunch”. Other special events such as “Innovation Napa Valley,” the Chamber’s economic outlook summit and the Women in Business and Technology Women’s Conference highlight the innovative companies and spectacular people that live in our region.
- Small Business Programing
These new programs will enhance development and growth opportunities for small and mid-size business members of the Napa Chamber of Commerce and serve as a catalyst for the small to mid-size business community of Napa County Region. Online forums like LinkedIn Group –established on LinkedIn specifically for small business members. Members-Only website – section of the website dedicated to member news, resources and benefits. Small Business Speaker Series – quarterly event featuring a business leader or expert on specific business/advocacy issues. Small Business Seminar Series – quarterly educational events focusing on topics to help small business develop and grow.
- Increase opportunities for emerging leaders
Leadership positions: “Small Business Advisory Task Force” – made up of 20 – 30 small business owners, led by Chair and Vice-Chair followed by four “leaders” based on areas of impact. “Small Business Programs Task Force” – open to all members interested in guiding programing, topics and speakers for all small business programs and events. The Task Force will also provide opportunities for members to engage with community or partner-organizations events and give feedback to advisory task force for issue discussion.
This organizational face-lift will align our public image with a more modern, streamlined internal vision for the future. We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to reinforce the foundation of the Napa Chamber. With a new team in place, a new brand about to be launched, and a more targeted vision, we are ready to take the Napa Chamber of Commerce to the next level.
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