After hours event proves diversity of Chamber membership

New option for sole proprietors



Your chamber leadership—some top-level Chamber members were at a recent After Hours event including Lynda Nance, Chamber board President Jason Ropp, Rosemary Jeruzal and Mike McGovern.

It can sound like a bad joke, but it’s anything but. If you walk into a room and see a reporter, a chef, a bookkeeping expert, an attorney, a banker and a web designer, where are you? At a Rockford Chamber of Commerce event. An After Hours held at the Blakeslee Ropp Professional Building was joint-hosted by H&S Companies, White Insurance Agency and Blakeslee Ropp PLC on Monday, November 12 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Jason Decker and Stacy Niedzwiecki pose for a quick picture during the Chambers After Hours event at the Blakeslee Ropp building on Monday, November 12. After Hours are casual events giving members a chance to chat and eat.

Attended by several dozen people, the evening featured good food, some alcoholic beverages and people from many different professions, including all of the above. Nature photographer and web designer Stacy Niedzwiecki was a new member in attendance. She said the new pricing for membership for sole proprietors such as herself allowed her to join the Chamber this year. She recently finished creating a new website for the Chamber for those interested in sampling her work. An old friend of the Squire, Niedzwiecki also designed the newspaper’s website and does amazing work.

Other friendly faces included Jason Decker, who many will know from the former John Decker Chevrolet, now Ed Koehn Chevrolet—all Chamber members. Decker returns to the Chamber in his new role as sales associate for the West Michigan Region for DEM Group. His company provides human resource management for companies without their own HR department.

Todd Wells of Russell Cellular smiles next to Molly Schmid of the Wolverine YMCA and Keith Hall of The Grilling Company.

Active Chamber member Nancy Martin is always at Chamber events, and she didn’t miss this one. She runs the Rockford branch of United Bank, where the public is currently invited to come vote on this year’s batch of dolls dressed by local residents and business people. The annual event provides 100 naked dolls to the public. The individuals who pick up the dolls are encouraged to go hog wild in dressing the dolls, especially with accessories. Next the public votes on winning dolls, and the whole batch is donated to the North Kent Community Services for gifts for girls this holiday season.

Other attendees include the Chamber’s networking committee members, including Lynda Nance, Jason Ropp (current President of the Board of Directors of the Chamber), Rosemary Jeruzal and Mike McGovern. All represent different professions and talents and provide a wide source of resources to their fellow business people.

In addition to After Hours events, the Chamber offers every-other-month luncheons, an annual meeting and awards ceremony, organizes multiple community events such as Harvest Festival, Community Expo, Start of Summer Celebration and many, many other business opportunities and resources, networking opportunities and community events. Visit online to explore new membership prices and find more information.

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.