Membership Vote Creates Prince William Chamber of Commerce

Thursday, June 17, 2010

 

Prince William Regional Chamber of Commerce and
Prince William County–Greater Manassas Chamber of Commerce
Press Release
For Immediate Release               Contact: Emily Guerrero; Communications Director
Date:  June 17, 2010                                 Prince William Regional Chamber
   eguerrero@regionalchamber.org 703-590-5000, E106                    Andrea Whaley; Communications Director
   Prince William County-Greater Manassas Chamber
   awhaley@pwcgmcc.org, 703-753-7436
                                                           
                                                                                                             
 
Membership Vote Creates Prince William Chamber of Commerce
Business Leaders Envision More Resources, More Opportunity in New
Chamber of Commerce
 
 
Today marked a milestone for businesses located in Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, with members of the Prince William Regional and Prince William County-Greater Manassas Chambers of Commerce voting to approve a merger of the two organizations. The merger creates a new, unified Prince William Chamber of Commerce. The new Chamber will be one of the largest business associations in the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. area.
 
Support from the memberships of both organizations was overwhelming.  For the part of the Prince William County- Greater Manassas Chamber of Commerce; 318 members voted for the merer and 60 members voted against the merger. For the part of the Prince William Regional Chamber of Commerce; 245 members voted for the merger and 8 members voted against. An affirmative vote of 2/3 of each membership was required in order to approve the merger.
 
 
Todd House, Chairman of the Board of the Regional Chamber, described the vote as a step forward for the entire Prince William community. “With this merger, our community will have a united voice advocating for a strong economy and vibrant quality of life in Prince William, allowing us to have a larger presence in Northern Virginia,” said House. 
 
“I am excited by the opportunities this presents for local businesses. The Prince William Chamber will offer expanded benefits and resources to companies of all sizes and types, with access to more networking forums, informative business seminars and community outreach activities,” said Molly Grove, Chairman of the Board of the Prince William County-Greater Manassas Chamber. She noted that special councils will enable Chamber members to meet along common industry lines and areas of interest, including groups for small businesses, young professionals and government contractors. 
 
Members seemed to echo the positive sentiments shared by Chamber leadership. 
 
“I believe that the merger of the two Chambers has created an enhanced business environment for those companies and organizations located in and around Prince William.  Three overriding benefits are:  a vibrant new Chamber with the resources to reach across the entire region and into those communities to our north, south, and west; a larger membership base to provide more opportunities for networking and teaming; and an advocacy organization whose size demands attention from government agencies and business,” said Dave Grover, CEO of Washington Square Associates.
 
“For a new and small business like mine, belonging to a chamber of commerce is the easiest way to get your name known with the right people.  This merger will allow me to meet business leaders from across the Prince William region by belonging to just one organization,” said Ednaline Y. Concepción, owner of The Coquí Group. 
 
“One Prince William Chamber will provide all members with additional opportunities to prosper…I am excited,” said Greg S. Ellwood, managing partner/owner of Sunbelt Business Brokers of Northern Virginia.  
 
The more than 1,800 member organizations of the two Chambers will now become “founding members” of the Prince William Chamber, in recognition of the significant role that these business leaders played in making the merger a success. 
 
The new organization will build upon the expertise of the staff of the two existing Chambers, with Debbie Jones, President of the Prince William County-Greater Manassas Chamber and Laurie Wieder, President of the Prince William Regional Chamber serving in executive management positions. A search for a CEO for the Prince William Chamber of Commerce is underway. 
 
“Our membership will be well-served by a united Chamber of Commerce,” said Wieder, “Immediate benefits include a greater network for members to rely on as they develop new customers, ideas and partnerships. Over time, area enterprises will enjoy the benefits that come from a strong business voice that can empower members to shape an even more vibrant economy and quality of life in Prince William.”
 
“The new Prince William Chamber will allow us to serve members on a new level. We will continue to offer the variety and quality of programming to which members are accustomed, but now they also can choose from an expanded offering of services and events located throughout the County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. With this merger, our members will be connected with business leaders throughout the region,” said Jones. 
 
State Corporation Commission approval for the new Chamber is expected in early July. In the meantime, the Chambers have begun to merge their operations, with plans to operate from a central headquarters office as early as September. Information on the Prince William Chamber of Commerce can be found at www.PWChamber.org.
 
 
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The Prince William Regional Chamber of Commerce is an organization of more than 1,100 businesses and community organizations working together to sustain a strong, supportive business environment and high quality of life in Prince William County and its surrounding areas. For further information regarding the Chamber call 703-590-5000 or visit www.RegionalChamber.org
 
The Prince William County-Greater Manassas Chamber of Commerce represents more than 1,000 businesses, professionals and organizations in Prince William County, Manassas, Manassas Park and the surrounding area. Since 1935, the Chamber has been a business and community leader. The Chamber’s number one goal is to help its members succeed. For more
information, visit www.pwcgmcc.org or call 703-368-6600.
 
For more information on the merger of the Prince William Regional and Prince William County-Greater Manassas Chambers of Commerce, visit www.pwchamber.org