Saturday, September 12, 2009

Wdk. Chamber Chief's Column = A+

Be sure to read the column by Tom Sagendorf, interim Executive Director of the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce, in this morning's Northwest Herald on Page 5. Or you can read it online at

For years the Chamber has needed well-written columns in our county's daily newspaper - something more than "we had a mixer and a good time was had by all."

Tom Sagendorf brings strong business management experience and leadership skills to the Woodstock Chamber at a time when it desperately needs them. Tom accurately describes the financial condition of the Chamber as "bleak." It is... bleak, dismal, desperate. And, as he says, it's "fixable."

Now is the time for business owners and individuals in Woodstock to step up to the plate and join the Chamber. And not to merely "join" the Chamber, but also to become active in the Chamber; i.e., participate! This means showing up - becoming visible. If you, the business owner, cannot make it to a particular Chamber event (and you probably cannot attend each and every one of them), then send someone important from your staff to represent your business. And tell them how to conduct themselves at the Chamber function.

Bring business cards. Get your cards out of your pocket and into the pockets of others. And get their cards. Talk to people you don't know at the mixers and other Chamber events. And introduce people to others. It's called networking! And you never know where it will lead. You can attract new, profitable business and also critical new employees. All, without expending advertising dollars - just word-of-mouth.

What was the best part, for me, of Tom's column? His hope that Chief Lowen will forgive him for saying, "There's a new sheriff in town."

I doubt that Tom knows of my candidacy for Sheriff of McHenry County in the 2010 General Election. And I'm sure that, if he did, he didn't have it in mind when he was speaking with Chief Lowen. Thanks, Tom!

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