Next networking event Sept. 12 at DreamMaker by BETH ALTENA In its 50th year, the Rockford Chamber of Commerce continues to adapt to meet the needs of its membership. As a result, a recent Chamber luncheon was a networking and work session on “Creating Your Elevator Speech.” Board member Mike McGovern introduced the topic and noted that each table at the luncheon held at the Rockford American Legion Post had a moderator to help the process flow smoothly. At the end, one attendee from each table was invited to present their “elevator speech” to the entire group. An elevator speech is the short introduction designed to make the most of a short time with a person you wish to tell about yourself—such as the brief time on an elevator. Four considerations should be covered. First, start with a “hook” that will grab the attention of the listener. Second, give your pitch, no longer than 30 seconds. It can be what you do, why you do it, how it could benefit your listener, why your offer is different and who your company is. Third, present the personal and passionate nature of your work. People want to see that you are excited about what you do. Finally, your elevator speech would be incomplete without the next step: ask for something. Can you get them to meet with you? Get a business card. Attendees at the luncheon were each provided with a worksheet to help identify key elements of their professional work. Three answers were required for each of the following questions. What are the three primary concerns your customers face? What are the three things you do to address these primary concerns? In addition, the following questions were posed on the worksheet. What does your company do? What do you do? Who do you work with and for? Why would someone care what you do and what’s in it for them? Why are you different from the competition? What one thing do you do better than anyone else? The Chamber provides a variety of opportunities for networking as well as sponsors annual events. The next chance to attend a chamber event is Monday, Sept. 12, when an informal After Hours event will be held at DreamMaker Bath […]
Rockford American Legion Post
For the folks who love to admire or show off their classic cars, the Rockford American Legion Post will be the place to be Saturday, June 4 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For the people who aren’t so keen on cars? Be there anyway. With music all day, two fire trucks flying giant American flags, the United States Army’s 30-foot rock-climbing wall, a chili cook-off, Minute To Win It games for kids, a Chinese auction, Bear Claw Jack demonstrating wood carving, fantastic food specials and a blood drive, there isn’t likely to be anyone who can’t find something fun to do. The show is also an opportunity to admire the American Legion’s facility at 330 Rockford Park Drive (off Northland Drive). “This should be a great day for the whole family to come out and not spend a lot of money,” said organizer Lori Vorpi. “We want to show off the new legion and perhaps garner some new members.”
The Rockford American Legion Post will be hosting its second annual Classic Car Show on June 4 to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, Pets for Vets and other local Legion endeavors. Included in the show will be cars of every kind: antiques, classics, muscle cars, hot rods and special interest cars of all types and sizes. Special fun-filled events featuring music from the 1950s through the 1980s, games for children of all ages, a Michigan Blood drive, rock-climbing wall with the U.S. Army, great food from the grill, a chili cook-off, auction, and more will make this day one to be remembered. The event is free and the Legion is open to the public all day. There is a $10 entry fee for the classic cars. Full details are available at www.rockfordmicarshow.com or by calling (616) 866-1081.
For the fourth month in a row, students from Rockford Christian School (RCS) brought excitement and energy to the Mobile Food Pantry held on April 28 at the Rockford American Legion Post. Led by science teacher David Buth, 25 students assisted with the distribution of 5,006 pounds of food to 117 families. Whether removing food from the truck, working the tables or pushing a shopping cart, the students cheerfully went about their work. More than anything else, they brought smiles to everyone’s face. The membership of the Merritt Lamb American Legion Post is grateful for the help and encouragement so graciously given by the students of RCS.
Cory Ackerman used to work on robotics for a factory in Boston and traveled the United States as part of his job. A brain tumor ended that career and landed him back in his hometown of Rockford. A member of the Rockford American Legion Post, Ackerman heard about a party fundraiser the post planned for Halloween, and thought his old skills might be put to good use again. “I’m pretty proud of it,” he said of the elaborate display the organization ended up with after Ackerman put his efforts to the task of creating floating ghosts, a leering, ship-steering skeleton captain, and a row of music-playing lighted skeletons. The creations were wicked-fantastic and amazed those who attended the pirate-themed night of food, music and entertainment. Ackerman said he isn’t ready to go into business for himself yet with this new application of his former work skills, but the results of his work certainly make him eligible to be the special effects star of Rockford, should he decide to do so. Ackerman credited his father Gary with helping him get back to work on this project. “I had time on my hands since I can’t work,” Ackerman said. He said he started out offering to do one animatronic creation for the Legion, and wouldn’t accept any payment for his efforts. He found the wooden captain’s wheel and picked it up for just $1. He and his father built the other wooden parts of the pirate display and ordered the skeleton pieces. Knowing how robotics work was old hand for Ackerman, and he was happy with the results. “They showed me a flying ghost and I said, ‘I can do that, too.’ “ he said. Visitors to the Legion’s second annual Halloween party and fundraiser for the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans were amazed by the displays, and few realized that they weren’t rented pieces, but the work of one member with time to share and a determination to do what he can. “I am a little slower than I used to be,” Ackerman said of his abilities. Following the success of his first venture in animatronics outside of a factory use, Ackerman said he is thinking about going into business for himself in a small way, […]