April 15, 2014
NextStep Networking beating the odds
In 1839, a group of business owners and leaders ran an ad in the Cincinnati Daily Gazette to “meet & promote mercantile interests of the city." From there, the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber was born, and for the past 175 years, your Chamber has worked to leverage the collective impact of businesses throughout the region to:
- Amplify voices and interests with our electeds to promote a pro-business environment,
- Partner with business and community leaders to grow our economy,
- Host 100 plus recognition, networking and education opportunities,
- Save money on electricity, office supplies, health & workers’ comp premiums, payment processing and airfare, and
- Convene leaders to provide thought leadership on issues critical to our region’s success.
We’re proud to do all of this on behalf of members to help keep the region strong – members like Erin Arnold, whose computer consultancy is beating the odds with long-time, expert staff. Read Erin’s story, and watch her video at www.cincinnatichamber.com/join today.
Next Step Networking started in 1986 as personal computer service. Since then, they've become the Information Technology, or IT department for its clients. President Erin Arnold offers, "I think we do a pretty good job for our clients, and here’s the proof: we have clients for whom we’ve been doing IT work for over 17 years.”
She continues, “We offer a great combination of service, staff and solutions: We now have 14 employees, the average employee length with the company is 12.2 years, with many employees over 20 years. That’s difficult to do in the technology arena, having people last that long. But I think it’s our unique company culture, it’s how we treat our employees, and how we treat our customers.”
How did NextStep grow? “Lots of hard work, and the Chamber helped, too! We’ve been a member of the Chamber for as long as I can remember. The Chamber offers so many different things to do: discounts you can take, trainings you can do, meetings you can do. You know, the more involved you get with it, the more you see all the stuff you didn’t realize was there to begin with."
"I talked to a colleague and she recommended I check out the WE Lead program because she had been through it. That program allowed me to develop into the leader that I am today. It taught me leadership skills, how to realize how I represent in situations and how others are showing up so I can lead my employees more effectively, and I can build deeper relationships with different employees and my clients, as well as start to build my network outside of the four walls of my organization and build some real long-term lasting relationships there. Not only has to Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber opened doors for me, they’ve showed me the doors I didn’t even know where there, and then helped me open them up and get through them. Everything in my life is about relationships, so the Chamber is a great organization to build relationships with because I mean if you think about it, what organization can help your business grow more than the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber?”
At its core, the Chamber is a membership organization. We work for our members and their employees, our fellow residents. The 175th anniversary gives us the perfect opportunity to thank our members, to celebrate their successes and to help make them even more successful with by sharing their stories with other members. Got an anniversary coming up or a cool story to share? Click to tell us more!