LEAP President of Chamber Services recaps 2019 for members

LEAP President of Chamber Services recaps 2019 for members
By: Mike Riehle Last Updated: December 2, 2019

It has been an exciting ride for the LEAP staff in 2019. We started our journey back in February of this year by partnering the Greater La Porte Chamber of Commerce and the Greater La Porte Economic Advancement Partnership. With this transition came several exciting changes in terms of brand, technology enhancements, staffing, marketing and community engagement. The Traditional foundation both of these entities has brought to our community throughout the years continues with a renewed vision and focus on making our community a destination for business.

Over the past ten months we have tried to pay particular attention by providing an exceptional level of professionalism and value to our members and investors. We have taken a much more detailed view of our committee structure as well as our member engagement. We have visited over 65 member businesses this year gaining a better understanding of the needs and opportunities within our business community. We focused on improving our event attendance with overwhelming success. Some of these successful events include, State of the City, State of the County, Disney Institute, New Teacher's Welcome Luncheon, Sunflower Fair, Made in

La Porte County, Candidates Forum, and Downtown for the Holidays to name a few. LEAP made significant strides in advocating for our member businesses by supporting legislation, at both the local and state level, that benefits our businesses and community as a whole. We developed a focused legislative agenda for 2020 which includes items such as improved housing supply, elimination of tax fraud from contracted services, career and technical support for our local schools and initiatives to improve movement of pedestrian and auto traffic throughout the Greater La Porte area. Lastly, our Ambassador Committee has been bolstered and trained to support our LEAP events and member interaction platforms. This group often serves as the face of LEAP at our events, ribbon cuttings and projects throughout the year.

We want to give a special thanks to our Boards of Directors for both the Greater La Porte Chamber of Commerce and the Greater La Porte Economic Development Corporation for their vision of what a combined entity could accomplish and providing the support to make it happen. We particularly want to thank Matt Hagenow and Jackie Dermody for their leadership over the past year, Mayor Mark Krentz for his leadership and service on the GLEDC board for the past 8 years, and both Tom Larson and Damon Gasaway for their service on our boards. LEAP has also recently awarded our 2019 Ambassador of the Year to co-recipients Brooke Christ of Centier Bank and Dawn Zigler with Meridian Title. These two members have been consistent faces of LEAP at our events and anything LEAP promotes throughout the year.

There is no doubt that 2019 was a great year but we have many more things we hope to accomplish in 2020. We are building on our committee structure, implementing a more simplified and transparent dues and sponsorship structure for 2020 and continuing to push the initiatives listed above. The five of us at LEAP would like to thank all of our members and investors for your time and support and hope you will continue to work with us to make the Greater La Porte community the best place in the Midwest to live and work.