Chamber’s new guards seek to grow membership

The two new co-chairwomen of the Raglan Chamber of Commerce intend to grow the membership of the business-networking association.

Lawyers Hayley Willers, 38 (left), and Morgan Morris, 30 (right), were elected by the board to bring a fresh perspective to the chamber after “old guards” Dave Currie and Geoff Kelly stepped down.

Hayley, who works for Davidson Twaddle Isaac Lawyers in Hamilton, says she and Morgan will be focusing on bringing the chamber back to where it should be.

The Chamber has spent the last year focusing on Plastic Bag Free Raglan, securing funding for the new security cameras which were installed in the CBD in December, and more recently working with community groups and Chamber members to develop Raglan’s first Destination Tourism Organisation, to help manage the growing industry.

“We support a lot of community initiatives which is great but in some respects it needs to be brought back to the members, it’s about growing the number of members.”

Hayley says the chamber hopes to reach out to more people in the trades and retail sectors.

She says having more members is more beneficial in terms of networking, sharing ideas and support.

The chamber will hold more events for its members, “rather than just the monthly breakfast” with guest speakers at The Shack.

New events will include regular BA5 (business after 5), women in business and young and emerging business networking functions.

Morgan, who is currently on maternity leave from her job with Tompkins Wake Lawyers, says the new initiatives are about creating value to members.

“People ask all the time why should I become a member of the chamber, what can the chamber do for me?

“Our focus will be on delivering interesting, relevant and beneficial speakers at our events which we feel is where the real value can be added.”

Former co-chairman Geoff Kelly says it was time for the “old guards to step down” and he is excited to have two young women lead the chamber.

“They are the future of Raglan, really, in moving forward.”

He says the Raglan’s Chamber of Commerce will be one of the few in New Zealand to have women at the helm.

Inger Vos

To find out more about the Raglan Chamber, visit their website: raglanchamber.co.nz or email: info@raglanchamber.co.nz.