It’s Official! LOCAL CHAMBERS Confirm Merger
Baltimore Washington Corridor and West Anne Arundel County Chambers of Commerce
Boards of Directors Vote to Merge
ODENTON and LAUREL, MARYLAND, December 20, 2016 - The Board of Directors for the West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce (WCC) and the Board of Directors for the Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber of Commerce (BWCC) have both officially voted to merge the two organizations into a single new regional chamber. The combined organization will be the largest chamber in a rapidly growing region.
Raj Kudchadkar, President and CEO of the new chamber, which is yet to be named, said the focus moving forward is to promote economic growth, increase business connections, and better coordinate the region’s marketing message and business networking activities to support the growth of business members.
"The Board of Directors for both Chambers are confident the new organization will be of tremendous value for regional businesses,” said Eric Harris, BWCC chair. "This will create economies of scale and efficiencies, enhance member benefits, increase legislative leverage, create a large base of 650 member businesses, and provide enhanced staffing to support member needs. It’s all about adding value to the membership; these two successful organizations joining together is a huge asset to current members and future members who want to get engaged with the largest chamber in the region and one of the largest in the state.”
“Combining the two organizations with a strong leadership team that includes Raj Kudchadkar as the CEO, Nancy LaJoice as the Membership Director, and Kim Wirt as the Operations Director just makes sense,” said Randy Fisher, WCC chair. "Raj’s previous involvement with Fort Meade through the Base Business Initiative, his governmental experience through Howard County, as well as his vast contacts throughout the region position him well to take the helm of the new organization and guide it into new territory. With over 15 years of membership experience and a passion for connecting people and engaging members to ensure a strong return on their investment, Nancy will make sure the new chamber is poised to better serve the members and the region as a whole. And after over 6 years of directing operations for the WCC, Kim will ensure that the two organizations seamlessly operate as one regional chamber.”
"As an active member of both chambers, and a longtime participant in the area's economic development, I see this as a real benefit for our region," said Richard Story of Howard Bank, a member of the BWCC Board of Directors. "Too often business resources have been splintered across diverse organizations, and having two strong entities combine offers a natural choice for investment."
A comprehensive strategic planning effort will help determine an official name, board structure and location for the new chamber. Immediate next steps include establishing a transition timeline and outlining the logistical requirements for gradually completing the merger. Some benefits of the merger will be seen early in the new year, such as joint events and increased marketing exposure.
The mission of the new organization is to be the premier business resource and voice for business in the region the two chambers already encompass through the following core strategies: Advocate, Promote, Inform, and Connect.
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