Wow - the year 2018, what an amazing year for SPACC! We introduced our three-year strategic plan which is a catalyst for the exciting work ahead of us! We are building bridges to the broadest reaches of the community, delivering digital programming, and advancing priorities to ensure our region steps into its rightful place as a competitor in both the entrepreneurial and international arenas of business.
SPACC is undergoing a transformation and we invite you to respond with your energy and ideas, to partner with others in our marketplace, and become a part of what, together, we can do beyond our own potential vision. Our community looks better with you in it!
Warmest holiday wishes,
B Kyle and Team
If you have not had a chance to read our Strategic Plan, click here to download your copy. Here are a few highlights of ways we executed on our strategic priorities in 2018:
Economic / Community Development
Thank you to ALL of our members for your investment in the work we do. In 2018 170 NEW Members joined the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, including a record-breaking month in October with more new members joining SPACC than we’ve ever seen! We are very grateful to be ending the year with a strong 88% annual member retention rate - thank you to our renewing members.
We are grateful to our members showing a strong interest in participating and engaging with the employer community through our numerous committees. Each committee is making a special impact and we appreciate your relentless drive.
In 2018 we celebrated 34 Grand Openings and Ground Breakings with Ribbon Cuttings! We also presented awards throughout the year: starting with the Young Professional of the Year and 3 YPro Advocates of the Year, 9 Celebrate Business Success awards at Membership Meetings, 5 Leaders in Local Government awards, 5 Deubener awards and 2 Volunteers of the Year at Chamber Honors.
The past year of SPACC Events has been a whirlwind of landmark anniversaries, establishing strong foundations and breaking records.
Certainly a crown jewel of 2018 was launching our inaugural Equity Summit! What started as a vision materialized as a successful event convening leaders and individuals from across our region to learn how the employer community can be stronger together. We also launched the first Minnesota United FC Kick-Off Luncheon in March in partnership with the Minneapolis Regional Chamber.
We celebrated impressive milestones at both the 150th Annual Meeting in February and the 10th Annual Chamber Honors in November. SPACC saw record attendance for events such as the Golf Classic, Minnesota Wild Face-Off Luncheon, and Holiday Open House, while also offering more than one hundred recurring events throughout the year.
Click here to see upcoming events in 2019!
From engagement around Saint Paul’s new $15 minimum wage ordinance, to transit advocacy taking us from city halls to the state capitol to DC, to the televised debate broadcast statewide for Governor, U.S. Senate, and Attorney General races we produced in partnership with KSTP, to advocating for our member’s interests - 2018 was a SUPER SIZED year for our work in Public Affairs.
In 2018, we organized our work around our four advocacy priorities:
We also more fully utilized our Public Policy committee by using the collective wisdom of our members to tackle tough issues such as energy benchmarking and transportation funding structures. We created Public Affairs Series events that dealt with niche topics such as preparing your business for a road construction project and an informational panel on lobbying and knowing when your organization should use a lobbyist. We also expanded our partnership work by inviting 12 local Chambers to partner with us on our Leaders in Local Government Awards Luncheon.
In 2019 we’ll continue doing MORE -- executing the breadth and depth of our advocacy work around the same four priorities, providing more member value and more impact for the entire east metro business community.
For businesses to grow in this rapidly changing economy requires partnership and collaboration. Our focus for 2018 was to listen to the employer community and work with our regional economic development peer organizations to support business in areas where we could be stronger together. By working together we:
2018 proved to be another banner year for Leadership Saint Paul (LSP). 50 graduates in the cross-sector class CONNECTED with each other and the East Metro community, CULTIVATED knowledge of and relationships with organizations that they didn’t necessarily know much about before starting the program, and CONTRIBUTED through Service Projects over the course of 2018.
LSP Masters (Alumni) also gathered at six distinct events over the course of the year that brought alumni back together to continue learning about everything from entrepreneurship in the revitalized Osborn370 building to the history that took place between the walls of the Landmark Center.
In June we awarded the H.E.R.B.I.E. awards to Kris Taylor, Ecolab, and HealthEast Care System at our 19th Annual Foundation Luncheon.
Two additional things that the SPACC Foundation Board and Staff is proud of:
Finally, in addition to welcoming the 39th LSP class in January, we’re also looking forward to more successful fundraisers in 2019, including the REALLY BIG TIME RAFFLE (do you have your ticket yet?) and the Foundation Luncheon, scheduled to take place on June 21, 2019.
The Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce created new ways for members to connect and receive information in 2018 with a redesigned website launch in December, more options for receiving emails specific to your interests, an Instagram account in October, and utilizing LinkedIn more to share news about SPACC and its members. In an effort to reach our members through new and different mediums, we have expanded our digital strategy to include video and (coming in 2019!) a podcast with the help of our Creative Media Manager.
In partnership with Saint Paul-Ramsey County Public Health, a total of 39 Workplace Wellness grants were awarded to organizations in Ramsey County. These grants provided organizations with resources to create nursing mothers rooms, physical activity stations, giving gardens, and other projects.
Thank you again for your support and involvement in 2018. The Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce has the BEST members and we look forward to our continued work together in 2019!