(Crystal A. Proxmire, Ferndale 115 News, Feb. 15, 2012 ed)
The ladies at the Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce are serious about membership recruiting. That’s why this year they have made a pledge to dye their hair blonde if they reach their goal of 100 new members.
Executive Director Jennifer Roosenberg and her staff , Adrianne Greer and Katie Johnson will take the plunge just before the annual holiday party if they are successful. So far they are off to a good start.
“We have added 15 new members in the two week period since I announced the pledge,” Roosenberg said. Currently there are over 200 members.
“In 2010, we added 114 new members and there was such vitality in the Chamber and among our members,” Roosenberg said. “However, because of such explosive growth I made a decision to slow down so we could regroup and make sure a proper foundation (ie. staffing) was in place to handle the larger membership.
“Our membership experienced no growth in 2011 by design, but it caused some of that energy to fizzle. I wanted to come up with something to inspire our members while giving them something they could all get behind. I read a book of ideas on how to get members to help recruit. One of the ideas mentioned having one of your leaders offer to do something extreme if you met the stated goal. On my way into the office on the first day back from the holiday break, the radio station I was listening to was talking about a study that was done on blonde women versus brunettes and red heads and how they are treated differently. Somehow the idea popped into my head that my going blonde would be that extreme thing that the members could rally behind.
“More members provide more opportunities for our other members to increase their visibility and make new connections. In addition, increasing our membership allows us to add additional programs and benefits which provide more bang for the buck for our members. Lastly, it attracts more companies, such as Office Depot, to develop money saving programs for our members.”
Some recent additions include: D’s Treasure Chest, Northwest Contracting, Mary Lee Community Health, Emerald Compass, Feel Good Crosswords, C-MY Style Event Planning LLC, BodyMorph Gym, Michigan Property Superstore, Pop Pop Pop, Royal Family Pharmacy, Melder & Melder, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, South Tea Marketing, Michigan Rolfing, TV Fitness, Executive Massage Therapy, Fern Dale Remembers, The Print Stop, and West Woodward Animal Hospital.
Attorney Lisa Schmidt recently attended a New Member Orientation before making the decision to join. “I knew about some of the things the Chamber did, but I wanted to learn more before I made my decision,” she said. “I was excited to hear how active you are online and that you’re social media savvy.” Schmidt, who recently moved to Ferndale from St. Joseph so her husband could attend Wayne State, is working out of her home as a lawyer. Her practice handles cases of criminal, civil rights and family law. Read more about the orientation she attended here.
Johnson said she has had blond streaks before, but nothing as dramatic as all-out blonde. Roosenberg too has never taken the plunge completely. “I have had highlights and my hair used to get much lighter in the summer when I was young, but with my dark brown eyes and Italian skin tone, I never thought I could pull off blonde. I have a lot of red tone in my hair so when I have tried to lighten my hair it tends to go toward the red or orange side. I have a feeling I will have to go to the salon a few times to get it to take,” she said.
Jay McMillan of Royal Cleaning Services has been involved with the Chamber for about four years. He is the newly elected Chairperson of the Board. “For me, being part of the Chamber of Commerce, it connects me with other business owners, it supports a feeling of community and belonging to this community, and it also has defined my desire to help Ferndale but also to assist other business owners to be successful in each of their own areas. The old saying of ‘you get what you put into it’ is very true. The more you invest into the Chamber and its committee’s and functions, the more that the Chamber will give back.
“Our vibe, down to earth approach, and genuine caring about getting to know our fellow members as well as their businesses, is a good basis for forming personal and business relationships that last over the years.”
While McMillan will not be joining in the hair-dying celebration, he is supporting the ladies in spirit, and looks forward to seeing their new look.
Join the Chamber to help them reach their goal, or just get more information, at http://www.ferndalechamber.com.