Chamber regroup focused on benefiting members

By 
Brendan Heidner Ranger-review Staff Writer
Thursday, January 13, 2022
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The Glendive Chamber of Commerce has great ambitions for 2022 as recently hired Executive Director Terra Burman refocuses the mission of the organization to act as a positive liaison between its members and the community of Glendive.

According to their website, the chamber’s mission is to promote business, tourism, quality of life, and economic development through local business alliances for Glendive, Dawson County, and the regional communities they serve.

Burman was hired as the director of the organization in September by a board of directors whose members are also relatively new.

“We have a rather new board still so we have a lot of energy and a lot of great ideas,” Burman noted.

Also a key part of the local chamber is Chris Dantic, the organization’s associate director of tourism who Burman said is key to work they plan to do in driving tourism.

“Having someone who’s helping us with ads in tour guides (and) with bringing bloggers to our area . . . will be huge for our summer months,” she said.

Ashley Fulton, Burman noted, is the bookkeeper for the chamber.

“She’s more than that,” Burman added. “She takes on any role that we need her to.”

“We’re all pretty new at this and so we’re open to feedback and information for sure,” she said.

Upon Burman’s hiring, she said her first couple goals as the executive director were to work on its social media presence and website.

“I started with social media and wanted to change the way our social media had been going to help let the community know what’s happening,” she said.

To do that, Burman and members of the board went to different events going on in the community and did Facebook live videos as well as shared events through there Facebook page.

“I really just put everything up there and I wanted to gain credibility with our businesses again to let them know that we’re here, we’ll be focused on your business, and we want our members to see the value in their membership,” Burman said.

Not only was she focused on the organizations social media, but also the launch of a new website.

According to Burman, the chamberwebsite is viewed around 5,000 times per day which - she says - “is huge considering we do not appreciate the aesthetic of our website right now.”

“We think that traffic will absolutely increase (with the new website) and one of my biggest goals from when I started was that I wanted people to look to the chamber’s website for everything within the community,” Burman added.

The new website launched Monday with updated information, resources and calendar of events.

As the chamber will continue to develop the website, Burman hopes to eventually manage a volunteer page to help businesses and community groups find people searching for volunteer work and vice versa.

Digital marketing and development are not the only goals Burman has for the chamber. She noted they head up a number of events to help with funding for the organization and future events.

Although Burman is excited to have a role in helping the chamber and community grow, she understands some challenges will inevitably arise.

“It’ll be my first year for all of these things,” Burman said. “There’ll be some hiccups, but I’m hoping to learn and then grow from them.”

Along with large annual events throughout the year, the chamber will also seek out opportunities to put on smaller events to engage the community with the local businesses.

Burman noted a couple of mini events such as their “Keep the Cheer Here” which encouraged people to shop locally around the holiday seasons.

“We’ll do little things like that throughout the year that make a large impact,” Burman said, adding she sees a value in putting on small events that do not require businesses any extra expenses or time to participate.

In an effort to reacquaint local businesses with each other and the chamber as an organization, the chamber will promote a monthly event they call “Coffee and Conversation.”

According to Burman, the events will serve as a time for chamber members to come together to teach and learn from each other.

The first “Coffee and Conversation” will take place at the Glendive Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 20 and go from 4-6 p.m.

“All of our members and people who are interested in membership are invited to come,” she said.

As an upcoming goal in 2022, the chamber will work to better assess business and community needs and help drive tourism.

“I want them to see the things that we’re trying to do for the community,” Burman said.

The staff and board members of the chamber are all involved in different community groups and as a result they hear about issues in the community those groups wish to address.

In response, Burman said they often partner with the Eastern Plains Economic Development Corporation to help businesses and community leaders find grants to help fund necessary projects.

“EPEDC has been - I think - really great to our community,” Burman said.

As for tourism, Dantic is currently working on updating a billboard between Glendive and Miles City that is falling apart.

“These things all take legwork,” Burman said.

With the number of events coming up, paddlefish season a few months away, and the rest of 2022 ahead, Burman said they are open to answering any questions people may have.

More information about the Chamber can be found on their website at www.glendivechamber.com or by calling (406) 377-5601.

Reach Brendan Heidner at news@rangerreview.com.

“... I wanted to gain credibility with our businesses again to let them know that we’re here, we’ll be focused on your business, and we want our members to see the value of their membership,” Terra Burman, Chamber director

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