Category Archives: Announcements

Fall into Celebration

hello octoberIt’s October! And time for pumpkin flavored everything. The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce is as excited as the next guy about the crisp fall air, beautiful colors and the return of the pumpkin spice latte. But we’re even more excited about our 100th anniversary. Only three months until we ring in the New Year and twelve months of celebration for the Chamber’s centennial.

Since 1915 the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce has been dedicated to creating better business and a better community. In fact, it’s our tagline. Adopted in 2003 after a rebranding initiative, “Better Business. Better Community.” captures the belief of our founding members almost a century ago.

As The Chamber prepares for our next 100 years of service to the business community (and an even bigger celebration), we will leverage our current strengths and recommit to raise the voice of business in Bloomington. It may be getting colder outside but the business climate is hot and we’re here to protect it.

We’re not saying you have to dance on your desks and hang piñatas around the office like we did, but get excited, big things are coming in 2015.

Seven Incredible Women to be Honored with a Women Excel Bloomington Award

Seven local women have been chosen to be honored at the upcoming Women Excel Bloomington (WEB) Awards Lunch hosted by The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. This event is scheduled for Tuesday, July 9 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Liberty Ballroom in Bloomington.  Doors open at 11:00 a.m. for registration.

Those to be honored at the Women Excel Bloomington Awards Luncheon are:


  • Lisa Fulkerson – Children’s Organ Transplant Association, Vice President & C.F.O
  • Melanie Hart – TASUS Corporation, President
  • Beth Lodge-Rigal – Women Writing for Change Bloomington & Writing for Change, Owner/Founder & Creative Director
  • Natalia Rayzor – IU Credit Union, Employment Development Officer
  • Jean Willey Scallon – Bloomington Meadows Hospital, Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director
  • Melinda Seader – World Wide Automotive, Director of Marketing
  • Alisa Wright – BioConvergence, LLC., Chief Executive Officer & Compliance Officer

The honorees were selected based on their outstanding leadership and spirit in both the community and/or in their organization.  Like past awardees, this year’s recipients come from all areas of the community – both business and not-for-profit,  and from all levels within their organizations. They will be featured in the July issue of BizNet.

“This group of women exemplify the very definition of leadership and have made lasting contributions to their organizations and the community.  Their stories inspire and serve as wonderful examples for others – which is why they were selected to be honored this year,” said Kelley Brown, director of marketing & public relations for The Chamber.

This year’s keynote speaker is Jennifer Browning Holmes, founder and president of Integrating Woman Leaders, Inc., a WBE Certified Women Business and management consulting firm focused on helping women in all aspects of business.  Holmes is a dynamic executive coach who uses her more than 25 years of corporate and teaching experience to develop women’s leadership through empowerment, support and connections.

Brown adds, “Along with the examples set by our seven honorees, Jennifer’s message will resonate with our attendees as well.  We are honored that she will be with us on July 9th to reinforce the significant contributions women make in business and the community.”

This is the fourth year for the event which is expected to draw more than 250 people in attendance.  Cost is only $37 per person, and $450 for a table sponsorship. Advanced registration is required to attend the event, and space is limited. To learn more about the 2013 Women Excel Bloomington Awards or to reserve your seat, visit The Chamber’s website at or call the Chamber at (812) 336- 6381.


Finalist in 2012 Chamber of the Year!

We were thrilled in 2011 to be honored as Indiana Chamber of the Year. Now we are keeping are fingers crossed to win the 2012 American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) Chamber of the Year! We are so proud to be one of the finalists in ACCE’s prestigious Chamber of the Year competition. We thank all of our tremendous board leaders, dedicated volunteers, and our engaged members for allowing us to reach this level of recognition!

Below is the official press release with more information on the ACCE  competition:

The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce today learned that it has been named a 2012 Chamber of the Year finalist in the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) national competition which recognizes the dual role chambers of commerce have in leading businesses and communities. Chamber of the Year awards honor chambers of commerce in four categories based on the size of the organizations. During all stages chambers compete amongst peers from similar total income levels and up to three chambers with the highest number of points in each of the entry categories, based on total revenue, may be named finalists.  The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce is one of two finalists in the $450,001–$900,000 total revenue category.

Each year up to four chambers of commerce are honored with ACCE’s Chamber of the Year designation, recognizing excellence in operations, member services and community leadership. Chambers honored with the Chamber of the Year designation have not only demonstrated success in community leadership and organizational strength, but also have made an apparent impact on key community priorities, such as education, transportation, healthcare, and cultural vitality. Applications are reviewed and scored by a committee of chamber executives and former Chamber of the Year winners.

“To be named a finalist for this award is an incredible honor for The Chamber’s board of directors, volunteers and Chamber staff who last year set forth on an ambitious strategic plan.  It is a tribute to the innovation and passion of the more than 450 individuals that work so hard to build better business and better community in greater Bloomington,” said Christy Gillenwater, president & CEO of The Chamber.  “We are deeply honored to be selected as a finalist.”

The Chamber of the Year award involves a multi-stage process, which includes the ACCE operations survey, formal application and the final interview. Winners of the 2012 Chamber of the Year will be announced at this year’s ACCE Convention in Louisville, KY from August 1-4.

American Chamber of Commerce Executives is a national non-profit association for management in chambers of commerce dedicated to furthering the business and the individual professional development of their members.

For more information visit

Also, we made INside Indiana Business for being a national finalist in ACCE’s Chamber of the Year!                                                                                                                                      For more information visit

Celebrating Indiana Chamber of the Year!

Some Chamber Staff Accept Award

The Indiana Chamber Executives Association (ICEA) recognized The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce as the 2011 Indiana Chamber of the Year. Shelli Williams, President of the Indiana Chamber Executives Association, announced the award to the membership during the Annual Governor’s Luncheon held yesterday in Bloomington, Indiana.

“The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce stands strong as a leader with a commitment to moving the business community forward,” Williams said. “It is an honor to present this award to the members of The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce.”
The Outstanding Chamber of the Year Award recognizes organizational excellence in chambers of commerce and provides a unique benchmarking opportunity to assess organizational strengths. The award is based on the U.S. Chamber’s accreditation process for local chambers and highlights accomplishments in the areas of leadership/governance, finance, advocacy and membership development. Applicants are individually reviewed and scored by a panel of judges comprised of chamber professionals who reside outside of the State of Indiana.

Chamber President & C.E.O. Christy Gillenwater commented, “We are so proud to be named Indiana Chamber of the Year because this award is the highest compliment that ICEA can give. We were in competition with chambers from across the state, but Bloomington stood out because of our tremendous board leadership, dedicated volunteers and engaged members. “
The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce celebrated a banner year in 2010. The organization revamped its approach to membership and the results exceeded expectations. The new tiered dues structure was introduced to nearly 134 new members joining in 2010. In addition, retention rate remained higher than the national average for chambers of similar size.
The Chamber also made it a priority to stay on the leading edge of social media and technology by not only embracing these innovations for marketing and public relations efforts, but also by educating the business community on how to utilize the new technology.
“Not only did we grow our presence on social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, we exposed the Chamber’s upcoming events to more than 130,000 Facebook users through the pay-per-click advertising offered,” explained Gillenwater. “With Twitter, The Chamber has positioned itself as the ‘go-to resource’ for business news and advice with nearly 500 followers.”
In addition, The Chamber also initiated inBizCafe, a new portal offering a robust platform that can change the way businesses search and receive information to help with growth. inBizCafe connects local entrepreneurs and business owners with targeted resources they need to succeed. The site focuses on assisting the hottest business growth areas – entrepreneurial and small business companies.
Gillenwater continued by saying, “All of these emerging technologies that The Chamber embraced in 2010 serve different purposes, but also complement each other by providing outlets for dialogue with members, promoting Chamber members, and helping increase exposure for the Chamber on search engines and online in general.”
Advocacy is a primary function of The Greater Bloomington Chamber. Each year, advocacy goals and priorities are set through a strategic planning process with most of The Chamber’s advocacy positions enhancing commerce within the community and region. The Advocacy Division includes dozens of member volunteers that help The Chamber reach set goals. One sample of a very successful advocacy initiative that The Chamber implemented in 2010 was a community-wide initiative to encourage healthier lifestyles through public policy and environmental change. Through the Chamber’s two designation programs – Healthy Business Bloomington and Green Business Bloomington – the organization has elevated its leadership in these two areas.

Decatur Vein Clinic Ribbon Cutting

The Decatur Vein Clinic will be hosting a Ribbon Cutting to celebrate the grand opening of their new facilities on March 15. All Chamber members are invited to help welcome Decatur Vein Clinic to the community, tour the facilities, and enjoy lunch. The ceremony and pictures will take place at 11:30, with a buffet provided by Mac Grill immediately following. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Katie Bruhn at, or 336-6381.

Founded more than a decade ago to deliver high-quality, a patient-friendly vein treatment to people in need, the Decatur Vein Clinic has been helping patients look, feel and live better. Located at 3209 West Fullerton Pike, Suite C, the Decatur Vein Clinic specializes in non-surgical procedures for the treatment of vein disease, such as varicose veins, spider veins, and venous insufficiency. More information can be found at

City to host public meeting on Google Gigabit for Communities project

The City of Bloomington will be hosting a public meeting to receive input from the community for compelling, creative and outside the box uses for an experimental broadband network being proposed by Google.

According to Google’s Web site, the company “plan[s] to test ultra-high speed broadband networks in one or more trial locations across the country. Our networks will deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today, over 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections.”
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BEAD's March Exhibit to feature work from photographer John Bower

This month the City of Bloomington’s Entertainment and Arts District (BEAD) will showcase photography by local artist John Bower in an exhibit entitled “Capturing the Soul of Indiana, The Documentary Photography of John Bower.”

The exhibit will contain a variety of his black-and-white images capturing remnants of Indiana’s rapidly disappearing past. Bower’s photography is motivated by the quest to rediscover that which has been ignored, forgotten or cast aside. Bower states that, “By using the inherent drama of black-and-white photography, I am able to capture the essence -the élan vital- of these subjects. The abandoned houses and rusting automobiles dotting the countryside retain a special energy left behind by their former owners.” Continue reading

City Recognizes Local Women For Community Service

Mayor Mark Kruzan has announced that three local women have been selected by the Women’s History Month Committee to be honored during March for their outstanding service to the Bloomington community.

Kerry Thomson has been named Bloomington’s Woman of the Year, Tomilea Allison has been named the recipient of the Lifetime Contribution Award and Maggie Sullivan has been chosen to receive the Emerging Leader Award. Continue reading

New Construction and Remodeling for Energy Conservation

A free seminar will be held Monday, March 1 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. at KRC Catering on high-performance, energy-efficient homes. The event will be helpful to both current and prospective homeowners who want to cut their energy bills and carbon emissions. Architects, designers, builders, realtors and developers also are encouraged to attend. Presenter Bob Geswein from the Harrison County REMC will cover basic building science relevant to energy efficiency, including foundations, framing, caulking, windows and doors, insulation, heating and cooling, ventilation and water heating.


Welcome to the new blog for The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. We’re excited to have another way to communicate with our members and the public. On the blog you’ll soon find posts about upcoming events, good news from our members, posts about different issues, and guest blogs from our members. If you have any questions, comments or concerns feel free to e-mail me at Thanks a lot and I look forward to using this new medium to communicate more effectively.