Letter from Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Chair
Be a part of Anchorage!
A city is more than just a group of people that live near each other. Strong, successful cities become that way because they are full of citizens, not just residents. Citizens feel a shared sense of destiny, take pride in their community, and translate that pride into action. Anchorage does not sit on a gold mine or oil field, it isn’t the capital, and it only became a major port after decades of political struggle. The only reason it turned itself from a collection of tents in the Ship Creek mud into Alaska’s most vibrant and dynamic city is because of the citizens who believed in their marrow that this was a special place with a great future.
At our founding in 1915, local businesses almost immediately created a Chamber of Commerce dedicated to the betterment of the fledgling city. Over a century later, the Anchorage Chamber has become the largest, most prestigious business organization in Alaska, and an integral part of our civic life.
The Anchorage Chamber organizes Citywide Cleanup Week, cleaning up more than 400 tons of trash each year. It organizes the Gold Pan Awards, Anchorage’s premier business recognition awards. Its Military Appreciation Picnic is the largest civilian-hosted military event in the state, serving nearly 6,000 military families annually. Its ATHENA Society promotes and celebrates the potential of women as members and leaders of our business community. Its weekly Make it Monday lunches are on the cutting edge of local issues; providing members with the opportunity to hear about policy decision and trends that impact their businesses. If there’s a key civic event like the Anchorage Centennial, the State of the City address, the unveiling of the Governor’s budget, or a public debate about oil tax reform, chances are the Anchorage Chamber helped organize it.
The Chamber Academies provide high-quality training for managers and employees. Networking opportunities such as Business After Hours and the Chamber Train allow business people in Anchorage to have a great time and make connections outside their own company and industry. The burgeoning Young Professionals Group helps to accelerate the careers of professionals under 40. And the Anchorage Chamber’s advocacy efforts allow the businesses of Anchorage to speak with one powerful unified voice (for example, guess who led the effort to get Anchorage a port in the first place?).
The Anchorage Chamber exists only because of membership dues and sponsorships from Anchorage businesses who have chosen to be citizens and joined the Chamber. Without these businesses, the civic life we take for granted would unravel.
When you walk into a business and see the Anchorage Chamber logo displayed, you know you’re walking into a business that cares about Anchorage. If you’re one of the 50,000 employees who belong to one of our 950 member businesses, know that you’re a member too, and can participate in the many benefits of membership. And if your business has not become a member, you really need to ask yourself “why not”? That oversight can be easily corrected by going to anchoragechamber.org or calling 907-272-2401.
Be a part of Anchorage!
- JR Wilcox, Chairman of the Board, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce