Chamber After Hours

Changing auto industry discussed at Chamber After Hours

November 11, 2009 // 0 Comments

Elegant white table cloths and a gourmet buffet catered by North Kent Golf Course—all served up in the service garage at Decker Chevrolet—graced the Monday, November 2, Rockford Chamber After Hours. Host John Decker introduced his staff, and joked that some have been with him longer than his wife has, according to Decker. Service and sales in the auto industry have changed drastically in the 23 years Decker has owned John Decker Chevrolet. “Service is totally different in today’s world. Sales has become very interesting and very efficient,” he said to the crowd of business professionals attending the event. “We have no control over the cars. The dealerships decide,” he said. He also said nowadays no one makes a major purchase with out research, and most everyone uses the Internet. “When people come in, they may know as much about the cars as we do,” Decker stated. According to Decker, people will drive up to 300 miles for a major purchase such as a car. In the “old” days, if a dealership had a particular used car on their lot, they felt as if they had the only one in the world. Now, if a dealership has a particular car for sale, there may be 200 more for sale within the distance a buyer is willing to drive. Decker believes these changes in his industry means service is that much more important to his business and customers. “What it comes down to is trust. You find a place to buy and service a vehicle that is local,” he said. “The biggest store can show you more, but they can’t do a better job than us in taking care of our customer. It is good to know what your local car dealership can do for you.” The Rockford Chamber of Commerce hosts every other month luncheons and After Hours events. The next Chamber luncheon will be Monday, December 7. The cost is $15 for Chamber members and $20 for non-Chamber members. Call (616) 866-2000 to find out more or to place a reservation.

Chamber event featured great food, facility

October 1, 2009 // 0 Comments

If you missed it, too bad for you. The latest Chamber After Hours event was held at Huntington Bank, where the food was fantastic and the remodeled space was beautiful. There were also a dozen or so wonderful door prizes awarded, from golf gift certificates, a $75 restaurant gift card and more. Manager Paul Chimienti said his vision for the company was to become very involved with the community, and that led to the bank’s sponsorship of Huntington Rogue River Blues series, which has been a huge success for Rockford. Chimienti said the institution’s success is also due to the development of essential partners to better serve the needs of the banks clients. The next Chamber event is a luncheon at Timbers (see article on page 3) and the next After Hours will be Monday, November 2, at John Decker Chevrolet. For more information on these events, contact the Rockford Chamber of Commerce at (616) 866-2000.

Chamber After Hours at Founders Bank & Trust Monday, May 11

May 7, 2009 // 0 Comments

Rockford area business people are invited to the next Chamber After Hours networking event to be held Monday, May 11, at Founder’s Bank & Trust (FBT).  Join other business leaders at this fine establishment located on 5020 E Beltline Avenue NE, Grand Rapids from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.  FBT Assistant VP, Craig Terpstra invites everyone to bring lots of business cards and be prepared to network like crazy. Founders Bank & Trust is a locally owned community bank specializing in a superior level of personal attention. Founders Bank & Trust has four convenient branch locations in the Grand Rapids area, and offers a wide range of personal and business loans and deposit products as well as trust and investment management services. The event is free; however, in order for Craig and his staff at Founder’s Bank & Trust to properly plan for this event, we ask that you RSVP by Friday, May 8 at the Chamber office.  Please contact us at (616) 866-2000 or email Remember to bring lots of business cards and be geared up to meet lots of amazing business leaders. We look forward to seeing everyone on May 11. Business doesn’t always have to be hard work. Getting to know others is the best part of your job.