Becky Jackson is making progress on the many goals she has set for herself as president and CEO of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce.
Jackson, a Gilbert resident who plans to relocate to Chandler, said she came into the job wanting to make sure the chamber enhances relationships with its members, develops a good partnership with the city and does its part for local economic development. She replaced Donnette Hermes on May 15.
She isn’t content to rest on the advances Chandler already has made for businesses.
"Chandler is a wonderful city for business success," said Jackson, 49, the former chairman of the board of directors for the chamber. "I would like the chamber to be an integral part of bringing more businesses into the city."
Jackson, who has 30 years of banking experience, said she wants to launch a program in S eptember called Business Focus Forums. The plan is for chamber representatives to meet with merchants from various geographic areas of the city to determine the needs of those specific business owners and how the chamber can best help them.
As far as building better partnerships, Jackson said she has met with city representatives about various projects to minimize the duplication of efforts. "If we each have a similar program, let’s work to make a stronger program with each of us as partners," Jackson said, citing the Ostrich Festival as a prime example of one partnership the city and chamber have forged.
With the San Tan Freeway scheduled to enter Chandler in the next year, Jackson said the chamber will focus on the development it will bring while balancing the needs of small businesses against those of larger enterprises.
"It is a balancing act, there’s no question, because on one hand, we need to listen to our small-business owners and how we can help them be more successful, while on the other hand keeping in mind that our corporate members use the chamber as the avenue that connects them to the smallbusiness owner," Jackson said.
"The chamber really is the voice of the smallbusiness owner," she added. "Our role is to really do the best we can for smallbusiness owners. The voice of 800 is better than just one, but on the flip side of that, we are a membership organization and we could not survive by just membership dues alone; therefore, we need and appreciate our corporate businesses that sponsor events and programs."