Strategic Plan

    2017 - 2019 Strategic Plan

    The Mission of Rowan Chamber of Commerce, Inc., is to enhance the quality of life and nurture a thriving economy through proactive and consensus-building leadership.


    We are a business advocacy organization!

    2017 Top Priorities:

    1. Rowan Brand – Promote a positive Rowan Brand with the new “Be an Original” Campaign and leverage our assets for increased community pride.
    2. Quality of Life – Work with law enforcement on crime prevention programs and youth engagement roles for the business community.             
    3. Business Advocacy - Support pro-business policies that help recruit and retain jobs, investment and talent to our community.    
    4. Sane Center – Be a catalyst for synergies and collaboration in the community.                    

    Business Advocacy

    Objective: Be the voice of business at every level of government.   


    Local & State Government

    • Work with our community partners on the launch of the new Rowan Brand Story “Be an Original” and encourage public and private sector leaders to implement positive community pride campaigns.

    • Monitor and advocate at all levels of government on issues that affect the cost of doing business, the ease of doing business and the quality of life in Rowan County.

    • Utilize Government Affairs Committee volunteers to attend municipal, county and regional government meetings.

    • Work with the Growing Rowan group to implement the interdependency agreements between municipals and county government.

    • Develop a process for identifying Priority Projects for the community and be the lead organization in promoting the projects.

    • Strongly advocate for transportation projects including, but not limited to:

      • I-85 exit at Old Beatty’s Ford Road

      • Rowan County Airport runway extension

    • Conduct a State Legislative Breakfast annually so that Chamber members can share their views with our state representatives:

      • Power in Partnership breakfast on February 16, 2017

    • Coordinate a trip to Raleigh during the Legislative Session to advocate for the business community:

      • North Carolina Chamber Gov. Affairs Conf. on March 8, 2017

    • Plan and implement Candidate Forums in conjunction with Catawba College and media partners to educate local voters.

    • Produce Community Forum events in collaboration with our community partners.

    • Research crime prevention programs from other communities and discuss the appropriate role for the business community with our local law enforcement officials.

      Federal & International

    • Update the Federal Priority Project and Business Advocacy list.

    • Coordinate a trip to Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the NC Business and Economic Summit.

    • Survey Chamber members to determine if there is an interest in future International Trips.

    • Coordinate an Inter-City visit to learn best practices and benchmark against another successful community.

      Education & Workforce Development

      Objective: Partner with K-12, public and private higher education, community organizations and local businesses to develop, attract and retain a highly educated and skilled workforce.

    K-12 Education

    • Work with Kannapolis City Schools (KCS) and Rowan-Salisbury Schools (RSS) on their strategic plans to improve education and graduation rates in our region.

    • Help attract high quality K-12 teachers to our community:

      • Advocate for increased teacher pay at the State & County levels

      • Award the Teacher of the Year with a $1,000 stipend for school supplies

      • Coordinate the New Teacher breakfast with display tables for Chamber firms to welcome the newest teachers to our community

      • Create a business incentive package with significant discounts for new teachers

    • Market the technology rich learning opportunities in our community with one to one laptop/tablets and Fibrant’s 10 Gig service.

    • Assist RSS with the focus on improving literacy and establishing 100 “hot spot” Wi-Fi tutoring centers in Rowan County.

    • Connect business people with student mentoring opportunities via Communities in Schools, Crosby Scholars and other programs to help prepare our future workforce.

    • Provide administrative support for the newly reorganized Rowan Partners for Education (RPE) 501c3 Foundation:

      • Skill Trade Competition on April 1, 2017

      • League of Innovative Schools on April 27, 2017

      • Clubs and Cue Golf Fundraiser in Fall 2017

      • Mini-grants to teachers /schools for innovative programs

    Workforce Development

    • Coordinate the Workforce Development Alliance to bridge the gap between employers and education/training providers:

      • Ground Hog Day “Job Shadow” program launch on Feb. 2, 2017

      • Community Job Fairs in March and October 2017

      • RSS Community School Visits Sept. – April every Wed. morning      

    • Promote Rowan County’s FOUR higher education facilities: Catawba College, Hood Theological Seminary, Livingstone College and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (RCCC).

    • Advocate for increased teacher pay at the community college level and work with RCCC on attracting and retaining quality faculty and staff in our community.

    • In coordination with the Manufacturers’ Innovation Network, produce four (4) plant tours annually and promote the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) Day plant tours (first Friday in October).

    • Promote the NC Manufacturing Institute in coordination with RCCC and RowanWORKS by helping to recruit students interested in manufacturing careers and employers to support the program.

    • Produce Agri-business activities to highlight their economic impact in our community:

      • Farmers’ Appreciation Breakfast on March 16, 2017
      • Farm Tour in October 2017
      • Ag-Arts Festival – begin planning for 2018 event
    • Secure grants for the implementation of the EntreRowan program to encourage entrepreneurial development and support for existing small businesses.

    • Produce a quarterly Economic Indicators report.

    • Produce relevant seminars and workshops which benefit the business community.

    • Work with the Healthy Rowan initiative to increase workplace wellness programs and advance a healthier community. Present the Novant Health Corporate Cup at the Dragon Boat Festival in July 2017

    Leadership Rowan

    • Continue to produce the highly successful annual Leadership Rowan program as an education and awareness opportunity for community stewardship, service on volunteer boards and commissions, and preparation for running for elected office.
    • Utilize the Leadership Rowan Steering Committee for program oversight.

    • Recruit at least 25 “top notch” applicants for the 25th Class of Leadership Rowan by June 2017.

    • Conduct an Opening Retreat with SIMSOC exercise, nine (9) class sessions focusing on different aspects of the community, and graduation ceremony with certificates.

    • Promote the new Leadership Rowan Alumni Association and organize quarterly meetings in 2017.

    • Celebrate Leadership Rowan's 25th Anniversary on August 10, 2017.

      Member Services

      Objective: Provide a return on investment (ROI) with valuable member benefits and programs.   

    Networking Events

    • Produce an Annual Gala Meeting to celebrate accomplishments, announce new action plans and recognize key volunteers and businesses on January 12, 2017.

    • Produce nine (9) Power in Partnership breakfast meetings, featuring excellent speakers, exclusive sponsorship opportunities and high-level networking opportunities.

    • Produce eleven (11) Business After Hours mixer networking events.

    • Produce eight (6) Women in Business networking and professional development events.

    • Produce four (4) Men in Business networking and professional development events.

    • Produce an annual Trade Show with valuable sponsorship opportunities, seminars and display booths for Chamber members to showcase their latest products and services on May 4, 2017.

    • Produce an annual Dragon Boat Festival to increase awareness about High Rock Lake and provide valuable sponsorship and corporate team-building opportunities on July 29, 2017

    Membership Development

    • Recommend a new Tiered Dues structure in coordination with the Finance Cmt. to determine a cost/value proposition that members would support and one that has a positive financial outcome for the Chamber by June 2017..

    • Revise format for Total Resource Campaign with new dues structure and volunteer commitment timetable by June 2017.

    • Implement new dues structure into the professional sales program to provide year-round customer service systems for recruitment, retention and sponsorship packages.

    • Improve “Fast Track First Year” member retention system with the goal of 80% retention with first year members.

    • Offer New Member Receptions every quarter to welcome our newest members and new managers/volunteers.

    • Promote the newly reorganized Young Professionals program to retain “under 40 year-olds” in our community and encourage involvement in the Chamber.

    • Staff the Minority Business Council to support and expand minority businesses in the community:

      • Hold Quarterly meetings in 2017
      • Host an annual “Meet & Greet” in September 2017
      • Produce a Minority Business Directory in conjunction with the Chamber’s Directory in January 2017  

        Benefits & Services

    • Expand the Ambassadors’ Program to include:

    • Teams of volunteers to attend ribbon cuttings in geographic areas.

    • Operation “Thank You” - Personalized Membership Directory deliveries to new members.

    • Produce an annual Membership Directory with Relocation Guide.

    • Promote the Profile Display brochure rack and member referrals.

    • Develop Affinity Marketing partnerships with discounted products and services for member firms.

    • Develop and implement an effective Communications Plan for member benefits, events and services:

      • Capture positive testimonials from customers to be used in Chamber communication pieces

      • Devote additional time and resources to social media outlets to better target specific programs.

    • Change the Chamber’s logo and all print and digital marketing materials to match the new Rowan Brand and develop a “good news” format for sharing positive news stories.

    • Update the Chamber’s mission statement and add a value statement that better reflects the current organization.

    • Conduct member surveys via electronic tools to determine member satisfaction rates.

    • Administration & Finance

      Objective: Provide the resources necessary to run the organization effectively.    

    • Utilize the Finance Committee to ensure strong fiscal and operational management with at least six months operating income held in reserve accounts.

    • Conduct an annual audit or outside review of the Chamber’s financial situation.

    • Research viable grant funding opportunities for programs that align with the Chamber’s mission statement.

    • Increase the non-dues income revenue to 60% of total budget by 2017.

    • Work with our community partners in the Gateway Building to provide meeting space for our member firms.

    • Research the possibility of opening a South Rowan office space to better serve Chamber members in that area of our community.

    • Recruit and retain a highly qualified Chamber staff to provide excellent customer service for our members.

    • Host the Carolina Chamber of Commerce Executives (CACCE) Conference in April 2017

    • Win the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) “Chamber of the Year” award by December 2018

    • Become an accredited chamber through the U.S. Chamber by December 2019.

      Approved by the Board of Directors on December 19, 2016

      For more information: Rowan County Chamber of Commerce, 204 E. Innes St.,  Salisbury, NC 28145-0559; PH: 704.633.4221; info@rowanchamber.com ; www.rowanchamber.com