Hardin County Chamber of Commerce – A Look at the Future

Kix.com is pleased to share a blog from the interim director of the newly formed Hardin County Chamber of Commerce.  Rik Hawkins reflects on the two year journey to arrive at this point and the outlook for the future.

The four chambers of Hardin County, Elizabethtown/Radcliff/Vine Grove and West Point, began discussion over two years ago about the possibility of merging our memberships. By December 2010 we had concluded the membership votes to move forward. We now stand up as The Hardin County Chamber of Commerce, one of the largest chambers in The Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Why did we move this direction, and, what do we hope to accomplish? Our area, as a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), was the beneficiary of a recipe for tremendous growth. It is amazing to actually witness that growth on a daily basis. However, to ensure that a single voice of advocacy emerged, it was the correct action that our chambers become one. Together, as a single voice, we will have more opportunity to present a strong case for the necessary funding to continue acquiring the support for growth.

So where do we go from here?  As we find our voice of leadership in all our (regional) growth, our Chamber of Commerce will need to emerge as an entity that is bigger than our historic activity. While festivals will always have a place in our activity, as they should, we will need to chart a course that is more supportive of the world of commerce. In the future, our agenda will need to be driven by legislative, regulatory and actions that support commerce. Our presence needs to be felt in Frankfort and Washington, D.C. We stand prepared to deliver the leadership that our memberships have entrusted us with.

The newly formed chamber meets for the first time on March 10, 2011.  Guest speakers are Governor Steve Beshear and Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President, David Adkisson.