Huntingburg, Ferdinand chambers to merge

By LEANN BURKE
lburke@dcherald.com

The Huntingburg and Ferdinand chambers of commerce announced this morning that the two entities will merge.

The two groups began exploring a possible merger in 2018, and both boards approved the action last week. The vote came after both chambers gathered community input from surveys and town hall meetings.

Ferdinand Chamber of Commerce Board President Mike Blume said that from his perspective, there seemed to be overwhelming community support. Through the merger, Blume said, the boards believe the chamber will be able to better serve local businesses.

“[There’s] strength in numbers,” Blume said. “We’re trying to help each other out, not compete with each other.”

The goal of the merger is twofold: to create a unified chamber and to expand the chamber. The expansion will come as the new chamber reaches out to businesses in Dubois County’s smaller communities that have not yet had chamber representation and as the new chamber works to represent local businesses at the regional and state levels in addition to the local level.

“We’ve done really great work at the community level,” said Sara Schroeder, executive director of the Huntingburg Chamber of Commerce. “The new chamber will continue that, but they’ll be looking at a higher level as well.”

The next step will be to form a transition committee that will be charged with building the new chamber from the ground up. Some of their duties will include naming the new chamber, writing its bylaws, recruiting a board of directors and hiring a new executive director.

The current Ferdinand and Huntingburg chambers will continue to exist and operate until Jan. 1, 2020, when the new chamber will launch.




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