2023 recap & 2024 vision: Chamber CEO's insights

For the Mt. Pleasant business community, 2023 has been an exciting year—and the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce played a significant role in that. Not only did the Chamber organize and host over 60 events this year, they also welcomed 62 new partners in business, bringing their membership to 445 representing over 23,000 employees. 

Liz Conway, the president and CEO of the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce, joined the team almost two years ago in April 2022. Discover more in this Q&A with Conway about the successes of 2023, and what the Mt. Pleasant community can anticipate from Chamber programming and business support in 2024.

Epicenter: What were some of the successes in 2023 for the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce?
Liz Conway: If we use one word to describe the Chamber’s year, I think it would be engagement. We exist for our members and want them to find value in what we provide. Our team has been working hard all year to engage our members whether it’s through events, marketing, communications, or committees. We’ve helped to celebrate our members’ milestones and anniversaries, expansions, new businesses, and new owners. 

In 2023, we added new programming such as our Something to Chew On panel discussions and our Women in Business Roundtables and enhanced our breakfast networking events by introducing the quarterly Daybreak Mt. Pleasant. All these new initiatives have educational components so that our members can learn about topics important to them and connect with others in our community. 

Courtesy Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce
Epicenter:  You’ve been in your role for almost two years now. What have been some of your favorite initiatives since becoming the new president and CEO? 
Conway: It’s honestly hard to identify just one favorite initiative. I enjoyed having the opportunity to recognize the Citizen of the Year at the 66th Annual Awards Banquet. Working with the committee of former Citizens of the Year and reading through nominations deepened my appreciation of the amazing people that we have in this community. 

Our Corporate Cup Challenge, which we “rebooted” back in 2022 to be a three-hour event (instead of three days) is also a favorite. This event is designed to highlight wellness, team building, and fun. This year’s Corporate Cup was on a beautiful day, and there were lots of laughs and great energy. 

In terms of programming, I love our Something to Chew On panel discussions. If you have not been to one yet, I would highly encourage you to make time for it. In these lunchtime discussions, chamber members serve as experts on various topics that our members want to hear and learn about. The discussion is robust, and I have left every one of these events having learned something new. 

Epicenter: Looking ahead to 2024, what can the community anticipate from the Chamber?
Conway: When we ask our members what the biggest challenges are for their businesses, talent recruitment and retention are at the top of the list. The Chamber is working to build relationships and cultivate knowledge that will help us make a greater impact on our members and the workforce. We have been working to increase access to programs that will help upskill current employees and to communicate that with our members. We are partnering with our educational institutions to increase awareness and ease for small businesses to host student workers and interns. Also, I recently received notice that I have been selected by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a Business Leads Fellow focused on workforce development. I think that this program can help the Chamber be a more robust workforce champion in our community.

We are finalizing most of our programming for 2024. All our events can be found on our website, www.mt-pleasant.net. We have new events such as our Party of Fore Women’s Golf Outing and reimagined events such as our Off the Clock networking event that you’re not going to want to miss!
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Read more articles by Courtney Jerome.

With 15 years of professional media experience, Courtney Jerome has found a passion for storytelling and showcasing our region in a positive light. She's written stories for television broadcasts, numerous magazines, and digital publications. In addition, she owns a boutique creative marketing agency that focuses on social media, photo, and video storytelling for small businesses across Michigan and the country — courtneyjeromemedia.com. Contact Courtney, the managing editor of Epicenter, at editor@epicentermtpleasant.com.