Page 42 - S36.Autumn 2019
P. 42

The Southington Chamber introduces
Barbara Hekeler
While I have only been
“back in town” as the new ex-
ecutive director of the South-
ington Chamber of Com-
merce for about four weeks,
it truly seems as though time
has stood still. So many of
the business and community
leaders who I worked with so
closely 20 years ago when I led
the Southington Chamber for six years have welcomed me back into the fold. That instant re-engagement within the community has been so gratifying.
That being said, a lot has also changed over the past two decades – so stepping back into this position provides me with an advantage point of being able to ap- preciate all the great progress and growth that has occurred during my absence.
A community is well-defined by its government, its businesses and its resi-
dents and their ability to come together to
improve upon the economic climate and
quality of life. The Southington Chamber
of Commerce has a proud tradition of forging strong relationships with businesses, civic leaders and local officials to strengthen the overall economic base and facilitate commercial and industrial advancement.
I am excited to see that progress continues to flourish in so many areas of our community. Many new companies have established themselves in town, and we continue to field inquiries daily for new businesses and those that wish to relocate to Southington. With all the ribbon-cutting ceremonies and grand openings
Barbara Hekeler meets Roger Dietz at the new business center downtown.
being planned, it is going to be a busy fall season welcom- ing the new businesses who chose Southington as their home, and the Southington Chamber of Commerce as their partner in helping them grow their business and be- come key leaders in support- ing our community.
Our Southington Chamber of Com- merce is already implementing new initia- tives to build upon that enterprising mo- mentum, and it is an exciting time to be at the helm. I have been working closely with our board and committee chairs to assess and evaluate the organization’s efforts and to focus our direction to re- spectively meet the needs of the varied sectors of the community that our mem- bership represents. We will continue to be the voice for our members regarding business advocacy and municipal and state legislative dealings with a focus on
servicing the individual needs of members.
Plans are in the works to roll out specific workplace training programs for employers and their employ- ees; introduce cost-savings measures to help reduce members’ bottom line; and address much-needed workplace employee benefits programs that can be so costly to employers. And that is just the start – many
other planned initiatives are forthcoming. Nevertheless, amid the meetings and emails and organizational efforts, I cannot help but marvel that I am back in the community that I love so much and in a position to advance the very underpinnings of what makes Southington such a great place to live, work, shop and play. The spirit of this community has al- ways been so strong and positive, and the Southing- ton Chamber of Commerce plays a crucial role in that overall public demeanor and mindset. I look forward to once again serving in the coveted role of the executive director of the Southington Chamber of Commerce and to expanding the boundaries of accomplishment as an organization. I would like to say thank you to the many businesses, organizations and community lead- ers who over the years and who continue today to sup- port the Chamber and its initiatives. Collectively, we will continue to accomplish what no business or indi-
vidual can do alone.
                                      BARBARA HEKELER
Southington Magazine — Autumn 2019

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