Scott Muelrath, the executive director and CEO of the Henderson Chamber of Commerce, gave a call to action to business owners, city officials and community members at his first State of the Chamber address.
"It's a challenge for you to use and ask more of your Henderson Chamber of Commerce membership than you have before," Muelrath said. "This is not a year in review. It is a time to look forward."
The event took place Aug. 3 at the M Resort, 12300 Las Vegas Blvd. South.
The Henderson chamber is a nonprofit organization with the goal of helping the business community.
"We are large enough to be relevant and small enough to be personal," Muelrath said.
Muelrath initiated this call to action because he believes the chamber has helped many businesses thrive during rough times in the past.
"It's a conduit for our members, for our organizations and for our community," Muelrath said. "It's a conduit for you to use and develop and figure out how to apply it to your own ideas."
Looking to the future, Muelrath encouraged the audience to embrace all the chamber has to offer to continue that success.
"Some are familiar with specific programs," Muelrath said. "If you look at it collectively, it is an impressive array of services. I don't think most people in the room have done that."
Muelrath acknowledged the success of many businesses that have used the chambers' resources to thrive, including K2 Energy, a Henderson-based business that manufactures batteries.
"They had big ideas," Muelrath said. "They have taken their product international. Fortune magazine recognized them as a top startup company."
Many of the businesses highlighted have been able to grow through chamber programs such as the Roadmap to Success series, the Henderson Business Resource Center and Leadership Henderson.
"The HBRC has been in existence for over 10 years," Muelrath said. "For a business incubator to do that through the recession, that's a phenomenal statement."
Muelrath said the chamber is planning to launch a community day to help nonprofits in Henderson get more exposure in the community.
"We will be launching this initiative in October by partnering with Opportunity Village," Muelrath said.
Other chamber aspects Muelrath went over included networking meetings, quarterly mixers among chamber members and city officials, and a political action committee that plans to do candidate interviews and provide endorsements during the election season.
Muelrath said none of the chamber's work is possible without the chamber staff.
"They are being asked to do more than they have ever done before or been asked to do," Muelrath said.
Muelrath has been at the chamber less than a year.
"He took over for a legend," said Steve Schorr, the event's master of ceremonies, referring to former executive director Alice Martz, who retired in June 2011 after 25 years. "Scott has created a vision."
Even though Martz retired more than a year ago, many of the speakers took time to recognize her leadership, which they said guided Henderson through hard economic times.
"We were blindsided by this economy," said Rick Smith, chairman of the chamber board. "We had a tremendous leader who led us through. We were very fortunate to find our new CEO and executive director."
For more information on the chamber, visit hendersonchamber.com.
Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 387-5201.