Community Connections: Colleen Nagle of Midland Title

Welcome again to Community Connections where each week we highlight a member of our Chamber! This week it is my pleasure to introduce you to Colleen Nagle of Midland Title. Colleen also has the prestigious honor of being the 2017 Richfield Chamber of Commerce Board Chair.

Colleen brings such energy and enthusiasm to the Chamber and truly has a passion for connecting people. It is no surprise that her favorite part of her job is talking to her clients and helping them through the title process. The first thing Colleen does when she gets to the office is check her emails and confirm her appointments. However, I know from having worked closely with Colleen this year that it is often mid-day before she makes it to the office because she is so actively involved with the community. Most of her days start with 7:30am meetings and continue through lunch! I am always in awe of how many connections she makes. Along with be an active member of our Richfield Chamber, Colleen is also a member of the Bloomington Chamber, is a Chamber Ambassador, and is part of the Power of 100 Southwest woman’s charitable organization.

Time management is a strong suit of Colleen’s because with her extensive community involvement, she still makes time for fun! One of her favorite past-times is travel. This year, she has already traveled to 3 different places; Kona, Hawaii being her most memorable. Someday she hopes to travel to Egypt! An interesting fact about Colleen is that she hopes to one day publish a coffee table book of photographs from all her travels! Let me know when you publish it Colleen, and we can share a vanilla latte together!

Member Engagement is UP!

Greetings Members! Welcome again to our weekly update! Last week I discussed my goal of scheduling programming for the remainder of 2017. Please visit our website calendar to find great programming for the rest of the year. In addition to our great monthly member meetings, I have added a member sponsored Happy Hour. These are complimentary meetings for our members, and hosted each month at a local business. If you would like your business to host, contact me at [email protected] and I will let you know the available dates.

I am also hosting Coffee with the President! Once a month I invite you to stop by the Chamber office for coffee and pastries to start your day. These events are an informal way for you to get to know other chamber members. Check out our calendar for specific dates and don’t forget to register.

The Board of Directors met for our monthly meeting last week. We were updated by our IT Firm, Minnesota Interactive on our email communications and online member engagement. We are very encouraged because our member engagement rates have risen by 12% from our 2016 rates. We are now boasting an email open rate of 25% (industry average is 17%) and rising.

What this means for you, the members, is that you are actively engaged in what we are doing and actively connecting with other members! While I have your engagement, I would like you to consider marketing yourself to our community. In this email, you will notice a top banner ad for RB Honda, and a bottom banner ad for Midland title. Banner ads are one way for you to actively get your name in front of 730 contacts.  My second recommendation, for best bang-for-your-buck, is to advertise on a sub-category directory page.

Did you know that it only costs members $35 a month to be featured on sub-category directory page. Notice the banner for Attractive Landscaping; this is a great way to target the very audience who is coming to the directory to find a landscaping service. The reach for this is broader than just our email list. I receive calls daily from Residents looking for business recommendations. They call the Chamber because they believe that if a business in their community is a chamber member, then they operate ethically and that is where they want to spend their dollars. This is one great benefit to your membership. Check out all the advertising options with the chamber here.

Community Connections Features: The Richfield Historical Society

The Richfield Historical Society’s mission is: to acquire, document and preserve the unique story of Richfield, Minnesota. In addition, they aim to inspire a sense of place and history through the details of our past. I recently sat down with Alyssa Swanson, the new Director at the Richfield Historical Society and learned of their plans for 2017 and beyond. Alyssa is busy reaching out to businesses and residents to gather knowledge on the history of Richfield and specifically how the business landscape has developed over time. If you know a little something about our city’s history, please reach out to her and share your knowledge!

While visiting, Alyssa gave me a personal tour of the Bartholomew House.  Riley Bartholomew came to Richfield in 1852 and set up camp on the banks of Wood Lake. Shortly after, he built a simple house a short distance away, which still stands to this day! While on the tour, Alyssa mentioned that a few years ago, a Bartholomew descendant came back to the property to bury the ashes of a family member there! So when you’re in the house, and you feel a cool breeze or someone tugging on your sleeve, it might just be the ghost of Great Grandma Bartholomew wanting you to keep her house clean! View more pictures here.

Alyssa is busy reaching out to our Richfield schools to generate interest in school sponsored field trips.  If you would like to learn more about the Historical society, sign up to attend their annual meeting which will be held on Saturday, March 25 from 6 – 9pm Gramercy Park Cooperative in Richfield.

Community Connections Features: Minnesota Life College

Did you know, 1 in 68 children has an autism spectrum disorder? Autism spectrum disorder is not only a childhood challenge; all of these children will grow into adults. Our friends at Minnesota Life College help individuals discover their strengths, identify their challenges, and develop strategies for living successfully on their own after graduation. The MLC community understands the many nuances of being able to find, secure, and maintain meaningful employment, and their programs are designed to provide students with real work experiences. MLC provides students with continued practice in their training internships to help them develop the skills and tools necessary to live independent and meaningful lives.

MLC’s curriculum and teaching strategies fill a learning gap that prevents successful employment and independent living for so many adults. They impart their core competencies—independent living skills, employment readiness and placement, and social integration and peer support—with three interconnected program components and a holistic approach.

MLC fills a void that government services currently do not address. MLC can keep many of those individuals safely integrated in their social communities and help them advocate for themselves and seek support when they need it. They refer to this as their “superpower!” MLC’s programs are effective in our community because they enable their students and graduates to develop the tools needed to grow the dependable and supportive friendships and relationships that many of us take for granted. Their programs are most effective when the students and graduates use the skills they have developed to help each other through life. Tuition and fees only cover 80% of the cost of MLC’s programming, and they raise the remaining 20% as a community. Contributions to MLC at their gala help to improve their innovative services and provide access to them through financial aid programs like grants and scholarships. By attending the gala, you can open the door to those important relationships for these students and members.

Reach Your Goals & Stay Connected!

Good Morning! Welcome to your work week! Have you set a goal for yourself this week? My goal is to focus on programming and schedule some great events that I feel will help you all start connecting. Last week we connected in a big way at the State of the City member meeting.

We heard from Jack Broz, Richfield’s transportation engineer. He filled us in on the plan for 66th Street and there was so much good information. If you weren’t able to attend, you can find out more information here. There’s lots of construction to come and I will help keep everyone updated on it. If you have a business along 66th Street, please reach out to me so I can keep you “in the know!”

Along with Jack’s 66th Street update, we also heard from Mayor Pro tem, Mike Howard. Watch a video of the State of the City Address here.

Looking ahead to the rest of the month, I will be visiting with members to hear how they want the Chamber to be engaging. If you would like to be on my visit list, please email me today.

We have some exciting new events coming up! Keep an eye out for our Upcoming Events emails that go out on Sunday mornings.

Let’s keep working on our goals, building our community and promoting our businesses! Don’t forget to reach out to someone new, it’s as simple as saying “Hello!” I look forward to seeing you at the next event!

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