The Chamber Blog

Annual Chamber Banquet 2019

Annual Chamber Banquet 2019

                What a Groovy night it was!!  The decorations looked wonderful, the food was delicious, the atmosphere was fun and the crowd was AMAZING!!!  Yes, you - our members and partners are AMAZING.  It is so much fun to gather together for the night and see what we have done for the past year.  Congratulations to our award winners....Community Hospital, Ken and Marlene Foster, and Sharon Bohling.  These are all well deserved honors to some very committed individuals in our community.

                The snow kept a few people away but the dancing was fun and kept everyone warm inside.  The committee worked so hard on making this a great success, and it was.  We tried some new things this year and of course we learned some ways that we can make it even better. 

                Then, did you see those costumes........people really put on their groove.  It looked like we were right out of the 70's.  When people have fun and get into the spirit, it always makes it easier to network and socialize with other business members.  So as we Belong to the Chamber and Engage with our talents we will Succeed together!!  Making McCook a GREAT place to LIVE,  WORK  and PLAY!

McCook - Is it your way of life?

As I sit here today thinking about everything going on, I look out the window and see the streets busy and people out and about everywhere.  I think about the Chamber's Annual Banquet that I am working on and hope to get finished up in the next day or two. Then I get a great video about Parker Hannifin hose plant here in McCook, Sehnert's won the James Beard Award and the High School crowned their Color Day Royalty last weekend.  WOW, there is a lot going on in McCook!  What a great place that we have to Live, Work and Play.

There are times I think that we get into so much of a routine that we forget what is happening around us.  We get up, go to work and then home again.  We might run after our children's activities and run to the grocery store.  When was the last time you did something different?  When was the last time that you went to an event just to relax and enjoy the company of others?  In McCook we have so many opportunities throught the year to do this that I think we forget about.  So may we all support the better things in life.... in McCook... and enjoy our time in this great community.

Heritage Days Dignitaries' Biographies

2017 Heritage Days Grand Marshal was born in 1986, home-grown in McCook and  graduated from McCook High School. He attended college at University of Nebraska-Kearney.  During his college career he took the 2008 Fall Semester off to work on Senator Barack Obama's Presidential Campaign in Omaha, NE. In the fall of 2009 he pursued a career in the White House. He Re-enrolled in UNK the summer of 2015, completing the final 24 credit hours online (while employed full-time at The White House) and with a 4.00 cumulative GPA, he graduated  the Summer of 2016. He currently resides with his fiance, Megan, and their 2-year old Springer Spaniel Frankie, in San Francisco's Mission District. Congratulations to Mr. Harrison Ford.

2017 Heritage Days Parade Marshal this year is a very deserving couple. They volunteer at places like the McCook Art Guild, Bargain Bazaar, Meals on Wheels, McCook Food Pantry and St Patrick's Altar Society.  A comment was made about them that "they volunteer more hours a week than the next 5 people combined.” Judy sits on the Heritage Days committee at the Chamber of Commerce and is our Park Vendor coordinator. We are so pleased that they chose to move back to McCook and serve our community....Congratulatios to Parade Marshals John and Judy Anderson. 

2017 Heritage Days Honor Family has deep roots in Southwest Nebraska with parents here since the 1920's.  They were an active family in the community throughout their lives and inspired their children to high academic efforts in pursuing education and careers with a great work ethic. They raised 7 children in McCook all of whom graduated from McCook High School and enjoyed participation in basketball, horse shows, cross country, swim meets and 4-H.  All their children felt fortunate to attend or graduate from McCook Community College before finishing degrees at the University of Nebraska. Congratulations to the Dick and Mary Lou Drake family.


State Chamber Announces Schedule For Legislative Forums

September is here already, and the Nebraska Chamber is in full swing into its fall legislative forums. For more than three decades, the Nebraska Chamber – in coordination with local chambers across the state – has held annual forums to inform chamber members on state legislative activities and to gather input from the business community on issues of concern. Members of the State Chamber, as well as members of local chambers of commerce and the news media, are invited to participate. State senators and candidates for the Legislature will also be invited to the forums. McCook Legislative Forum will be held on Tuesday, September 26 at 12:00 Noon in the Weeth Theater on the McCook Community College Campus. To RSVP for this lunch, please call the McCook Chamber of Commerce at 345-3200 or call (402) 474-4422 for more information.

Childrens' Mobile Museum in McCook

Nebraska's 150th Celebration
Childrens' Mobile Museum  

Truckin’ Through Nebraska was a fun, hands-on children’s museum experience on June 8 & 9, 2017 created for the kids of Nebraska in honor of the 150th anniversary of statehood in 2017. It provided a unique, entertaining and unforgettable learning experience to thousands of children living in areas of the state without their own children’s museum. Read more here:HTTPS://NE150.ORG/MUSEUM/

The Chamber Ecosystem; the view of Jason Marshall, Business Development Specialist

More often than I'd like to admit, I hear comments from Chamber of Commerce members who say, "The Chamber hasn't done anything for me." My initial reaction is to subdue a noticeable cringe or disapproving stare. My second reaction is to assess how this individual is contributing to his or her own cause. 

It seems to me that many join the Chamber with the wrong impression. It's as if they view the Chamber as a momma bird who, after being given her Chamber dues, will go out and gather business, pre-masticate it, and finally regurgitate it into their little business mouths for consumption. Now, unless your Chamber is run by Alicia Silverstone, I don't see this happening anytime soon.

The reality is that the Chamber is not a momma bird, but rather an ecosystem from which your business can exist and thrive. Much like a natural ecosystem, the Chamber ecosystem has an interrelated and interdependent food chain that is necessary for each entity to exist. The big businesses can't exist without the small businesses. The small businesses can't exist without the workers from the big businesses. The occupational health clinics can't exist without the manufacturing plants. The manufacturing plants can't exist without the construction companies. The construction companies can't exist without the building supply companies. You see? Interdependence.

So, ideally, the Chamber's role is to build a self-sustaining ecosystem in which businesses can interact and support one another. This is why they only work with "Chamber-partners" and only allow sponsorships from "Chamber-partners". They want the ecosystem to support itself, which necessitates living and operating within the ecosystem.

Once you've lived in this ecosystem for a while, you might get to thinking, "I don't really need the Chamber anymore." Hold that thought. Ask yourself a few questions: 1) Have I fully taken advantage of the networking opportunities the Chamber has provided me? 2) If the Chamber were to cease its existence, how many new large-scale developments would arrive in the future? 3) How successful would my business be if other businesses in my ecosystem ceased to exist (remember...interdependence)?  4) Am I willing to play my small part in supporting the Chamber ecosystem in order to make sure it continues to thrive as a self-sustaining business generating ecosystem in which I am afforded many opportunities to succeed?

Remember, the Chamber is there to support you, but it will not feed you. You need to take advantage of the ecosystem they have created and make it work for you, not the other way around. Don't expect handouts. If you're not seeing results, first look in the mirror. Then, contact the Chamber and see how they can help. Our Chamber is full of hard working, helpful individuals who are willing to help those who are willing to help themselves. I know there are many others across the country who do the same. 

So, take advantage of what the Chamber has to offer and see where it gets you. You might be surprised. 

Source provided by LinkedIn.


Last week at the Nebraska Chamber's annual meeting in Lincoln, Governor Pete Ricketts honored chambers of commerce throughout the state by proclaiming February as "Chamber of Commerce Month." The governor's proclamation, which was presented to the leaders of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce Executives (NCCE), states: "Chambers of commerce play a vital role in shaping Nebraska's future by promoting the free enterprise system" -- while also providing leadership that helps create an economic climate conducive to growth and development. The proclamation adds that chambers of commerce enhance the quality of life for our citizens. Receiving the proclamation from Governor Ricketts were NCCE President Marion McDermott, who serves as the executive director for the Kearney Area Chamber, and NCCE Advisory Council Chair Dan Mauk, who is the new executive director of the Nebraska City Area Chamber & Developmental Corp.