“The Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber is by far the most beneficial Chamber in the Pittsburgh area. The scheduling of networking meetings and events each week give the members many opportunities to promote their business and make connections. There are events that appeal to everyone and the best part is that most are at low or no cost! If you are assessing where to put your business marketing dollars, you can’t go wrong with The Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber.”
-Debi Arnett, Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber Member
That’s what one of the members of the Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber has to say about The Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber, and most members would agree. And much of the credit goes to the organization’s president, Jim Boltz, with whom MEDIA-zine had the opportunity to chat a bit about The Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber.
M – So how did your life bring you to the role of president for the Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber?
JB – When the position came open, I was a small business owner and very active in the chamber. I was on the Board of Directors, and because of that, I really saw what kind of influence the chamber of commerce could have on an area.
Pittsburgh is finally getting its due for being the fabulous city that it is. On top of that, I believe that the North Hills is the best part of Pittsburgh. I lived in the area for over 20 years and really developed a love for it. I think it’s a great in so many ways, a great area to raise a family.
Put it all together, when the opportunity was there, I really had to do some soul searching. Did I want to make the move and step away from my business? In the end, the passion that I had for the chamber and its ability to affect the community made me take the leap.
I was one of dozens of candidates for the position. I went through the interview process in front of the entire board like everyone else. I was fortunate enough to be chosen for the position.
M – And how’s it been so far?
JB – It’s everything that I expected it to be (Chuckles). It’s been very rewarding. I already knew our chamber of commerce before I took the position, so I knew what I was getting into. I knew the membership. I knew how supportive they were. We have a thousand members and over 160 volunteer to be on our committees. – that’s a lot of support.
On top of that, I have a great staff. We put together a lot of programs and events to really further the mission of the chamber and the community. So it’s really a very rewarding position.
M – What is one of your favorite things the chamber is working on right now?
JB – The educational stakeholder program. It’s put together to help develop the area’s talent. We have partnered with five of the area’s colleges and universities to prepare students for the business world. We give them the opportunity to be members of the chamber.
Millennials bring a lot to the table. They have a lot of skills. But we think we can help them develop the ability to network and build relationships. By putting this program together, we can better prepare them for the business world.
Another part of the program is to connect students with businesses for possible internships. I, actually, was in Harrisburg Tuesday and recently talked to our area legislators about that. We have businesses out there saying they would like an intern but don’t know how to hire one. We have colleges saying that they need internship opportunities for their students. We believe that we’re the natural conduit for that process.
In our first year with the program, we already have 94 members.
M – Why should our readers join the chamber?
JB -There’s so many different reasons. The first one is building relationships. People do business with people that they know, like and trust. The chamber gives the opportunity to build those connections.
We also have educational programs that can benefit our members. For instance, every year, we host the Social Media Conference. We bring in people from all over the country to educate our members on all the social media platforms.
We have lunchbox sessions that provide education to our members – and that is a free member benefit.
We have our website which gives our members the opportunity to put their own news and post deals.
Those are just a few. We have so many different programs that were initiated to help our members be successful. That’s our most important goal.
M – Anything else that you want the readers to know?
JB – We realize that the priorities have changed for Chambers. It is important for us to connect businesses and that is the #1 core value. But we also have the goal to support the growth and prosperity of the community.
We continually evaluate our events and programs. We are not afraid of change. Last year, we replaced some old events with new ones and expanded some others.
We’re really excited that in 2018, we were awarded the Pittsburgh Choice Award for best chamber in the region. But we feel that we have a lot more work to do. We feel that we’re on the right track. We’re moving forward and we are excited about the future.
As you can see, Jim Boltz has a lot of passion for his organization, and what they do for others. To find out more about The Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber, head on over to their website.
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Again this MEDIA e-zine issue feature was of Jim Boltz, President of Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber.
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