MOUNDSVILLE – Businesses big and small benefit from their partnerships at the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce, according to executive director Scott Reager.
Reager took the helm at the Chamber in May 2017, and under his lead, the chamber has moved to a “Chamber Without Boundaries” approach to conducting business, linking businesses across the Ohio Valley. This rebranding, Reager said, has set the tone for the current operation of the Chamber.
“The first thing we did was changed our logo and our website, rebranded ourselves,” he said. “Our old logo used to be a skeleton key, and we rebranded ourselves when I took over as a Chamber without boundaries. There’s so many different businesses that overlap in Ohio County, Wetzel County, even Belmont County. We have a lot of members everywhere.”
Reager said the chamber focused on expanding the utility of their website, which now includes resources such as employment opportunities at member businesses and a community calender, listing the myriad local events which crop up between businesses, municipal functions, and community events.
The Chamber, Reager said, has aimed to expand their operations with regards to working with the community, working alongside the county visitors bureau to keep people well informed with what’s going on locally.
Looking ahead, Reager hopes the Chamber can continue to improve on providing resources and opportunities to members, which further increase the value to the community the Chamber provides.
“We want to be more involved with educational programming for our members, tackle the topics they’re dealing with,” he said. “… We reach out to new businesses when the board or (I) finds someone – we get questions like, ‘What do you do? Is there real estate involved?’ We try to reach out to them, talk about who we are and what we do. We try to provide professional and networking opportunities.”
Serving as a connector between small businesses, large businesses, and the community at large, Reager said, has been a top service the Chamber provides.
“We have a platform – small businesses use us for the networking we do through our email blasts, or they just want to be involved in the community, whether it be the Christmas parade, our expo, car shows, summer concerts, lots of different activities. We try to get them involved, and they’ll see the value that we add.
“A lot of smaller and mid-size businesses use us for the marketing capabilities, but the larger ones appreciate the platform. They want to be involved in the community.”
The Chamber hosts a number of different events throughout the year, including Small Business Saturday events, the Christmas tree gala and auction, the Christmas parade, monthly breakfast meetings, toy drives, golf scrambles, and luncheons, in addition to many others. In addition, conferences, webinars, workshops and business after-hours provide networking opportunities and spaces for members to improve themselves.
The Chamber boasts 18 members on its Board of Directors, which Reager described as “a who’s who in Marshall County,” and works alongside Marshall County Schools, the Marshall County Commission, and the municipalities in the county to create a tight network of mutual support.
Reager said he’s able to dedicate his full attention to the Chamber’s operations, as it’s his full-time job, rather than something he does in addition to his other duties. Reager himself had experience as a small business owner in the insurance and finance fields, something on which he draws from his experiences to inform his duties leading the Chamber.
“This is what I do all the time. I ran a small business myself, and I worked for other, bigger businesses, so I’m pretty passionate about helping others achieve their goals,” Reager said. “Whatever I can do to help our members, I’m for.”