Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce members met this morning to review the past year and begin their election of new board members and executive roles. Retaining Mary Myers for the role of Past President. The Chamber also added Eric Coon, Barbara Comier, and Lexie Jacques onto their board. The Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce has also elected Penny Milkey as President, Shannon Vario as Vice President, Morgan Impola to Treasurer, and Jill Passanisi as secretary, to the chamber’s executive positions.
The Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce and Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) followed up the candidate introductions with their annual reports. The chamber expressed their excitement bringing back bridge fest after a two year hiatus, they held 18 ribbon cutting ceremonies, and rebranded their breakfast speaker series to Wake Up Keweenaw.
“Bridge Fest 22 was the highest attended, highest revenue, and most participants in the history of Bridge Fest. There’s so many people to thank, for taking the time to show our community what we have to offer. And put on a great show. We are your chamber of commerce. We are strengthening our efforts throughout our counties. And we are always looking for more ways to add value to chamber investment. We will continue to provide high quality education, and services to our members, continue awareness, and our collaborations, and support business growth and development.” – Katie Schlief, Chamber Manager, Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce
Chamber Manager, Katie Schlief, also went through the chamber’s social media presence and membership growth over the past year. KEDA Executive Director Jeff Ratcliffe focused on highlighting revitalization projects. As well as work by the land bank to remove blighted structures in the Keweenaw.
“We have continued community collaboration and engagement, with our team peninsula group. Again it’s not a shadow government, it’s what all of you, when we put this plan together, indicated what you wanted to see. Which is that all of the folks working in economic development, the cities, and different economic development organizations, that we’re working together.” – Jeff Ratcliffe, Executive Director, Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance
Ratlciffe noted that the largest economic drivers to the area are manufacturing, academia, and leisure sectors. But there have been growing pains for communities. Such as low housing stock, and the availability of child care, are the biggest factors keeping people from moving to the area. Both groups plan to focus on continued growth throughout 2023, and how they can continue to support their business members and communities.