Miami Chamber Seeks 500000 For Improvements To Offices
By Leslie Kraft
The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce has launched a campaign to raise $500,000 to pay for new technology and office refurbishment, officials said.
As the money is raised, the chamber also may consider a move from its offices at 1601 Biscayne Blvd., said Allen Harper, the chamber’s chairman-elect who is heading the campaign.
"A move could reinvigorate, although we have no immediate plans to do that," said Mr. Harper. "If we move over the next two to three years, we will not be investing heavily in our current facilities."
New funds would be used first for new technology systems – computers and a website redesign – as well as new carpeting and furniture.
"If you go to any international city, its chamber of commerce is the main focus of private industry. We have not operated our facility that way, and we need to do that," Mr. Harper said. "There has to be a proper environment for our own staff and for guests."
Mr. Harper said refurbishment money should come from the chamber’s Chairman’s Circle program and its recently announced Trustee Plus program. The chamber has about 750 trustee members who pay $2,950 annually. The new program requests an additional $1,000 per year for the next five years. Chairman’s Circle members are asked to pay $5,000 per year during the next five years.
"We are hoping to have at least 50-60 Chairman’s Circle members and 100-150 Trustee Plus members to finance the campaign," said Mr. Harper. "The program represents a heroic effort of Bill Cullom (outgoing CEO of the chamber) to create a funding mechanism to start us on our second century of work and at the same time offer added value in programs to our members."
Contributions would come with increased benefits to members such as additional company representation at chamber events and the opportunity for representatives to attend meetings with state and local officials, he said.
"The effort represents another opportunity for members to derive more value from membership," said chamber Chairman Peter W. Roulhac. "As a result of this participation, members will have more services and a greater opportunity to reach top government and business leaders."
The chamber is close to completing an activity plan for its second century of service, according to Mr. Harper.
"Our role as the voice of business will be a key component in the plan, but we will also focus on becoming a relevant force on political issues that affect business," he said. "You will see the chamber step high and hard to face relevant issues and propose tangible ways of solving problems."