NEW VICE PRESIDENT ANNOUNCED at the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce – SRCC President/CEO Greg Klapko (left) and new SRCC Vice President John Adams gathered in the foyer of the 2nd-floor Armory office on Wednesday, Feb. 17.
Adams is an Owosso native and graduated from Owosso High School. He and wife, Natasha, have three children, including 7-year-old twins Madelynn and Lucas, and 8-month-old baby girl Elliette.
Prior to joining the SRCC team, Adams was employed for approximately 15-years through Baker College of Owosso, working in admissions, then career services and finally investing 2-years as a manager in the IT department.
While employed at Baker, Adams served as a Chamber Ambassador for four years. He is very involved in the community and excited to support chamber members and have a significant economic impact in the region. He shared he looks forward to assisting members through both traditional and also innovative methods, as the economic environment evolves through the pandemic.
Adams steps into the position recently vacated by longtime SRCC Vice President Sue Kadlek. He officially began on Monday, Feb. 15.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
Greg Klapko, a lifelong county resident, became the new SRCC President/CEO in November, and heading into the first months of 2021, is eager to let the community know SRCC will continue with its primary focus on supporting chamber members and the local economy. In a discussion on Wednesday, Feb. 17 in the SRCC offices in downtown Owosso, Klapko emphasized the SRCC goal to retain and support current members.
“Our focus looking at 2021 is what the big picture is for chamber members,” Klapko said. “There is strength in numbers, sort of a size and strength of the pack idea. We want to reach out to our members and see where we can continue to help them.” He outlined several methods the chamber has used in recent months to help local businesses, including connecting businesses to PPP loans, grants, the Small Business Development Center through Cheryl Peterson, the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership and others.
“Where can we, as a chamber, help?” Klapko shared the chamber, which currently includes a new team of five employees plus Peterson, wants to help connect organizations to new and needed resources. “The chamber has done such a good job previously as to having those resources available, and we want to take it a step further. We really want to be prepared for 2021 as a chamber.”
Speaking of 2021, a number of events are in the works – some events are happening with certainty, but others are still being planned with out-of-the-box thinking strategies in mind.
An e-commerce event is being reintroduced beginning 11 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 25. The virtual event will host local commercial photographer, Michael Jordan of David Lorne Photographic. The event is free. To register, contact Jody Roethele at firstname.lastname@example.org. A link will be emailed prior to the event.
Topics @ Twelve and Chamber A.M. will be starting up again, as well. The annual EXPO event, normally in March, will likely be moved to a late summer date and potentially could be held in an open-air, outside type of venue. Oktoberfest 2021 is being organized. Ribbon-cuttings for chamber members are resuming. SRCC is currently working in support of the upcoming Shi-Tri triathlon to be hosted between the Fitness Coliseum and the Friends of the Shiawassee River on Sunday, May 23. More will be announced regarding that event.
The Find-It Guide will continue to be published, and Klapko is hoping to reintroduce an SRCC newsletter, in print and online, to members. SRCC has a lot going on.
Perhaps topping the SRCC event list at this time are plans for the annual awards presentation. Currently, SRCC is accepting nominations at www.shiawasseechamber.org or directly at the Armory office. The deadline for nominees is Friday, Feb. 26.
A no-cost, virtual, awards announcement event is being organized for Thursday evening, March 25 and videos of the recipients will be offered. The SRCC Annual Dinner is tentatively planned for June 10 and will likely be an outside or open-air event. More will come out regarding that event, as well.
Klapko stated he recognizes the new SRCC team will have challenges, and that should be expected. He is willing to embrace both the internal building process in bringing the new team together and the external process of membership and community support.
Klapko has over 20 years of experience in business and higher education, along with 15-years of participatory experience with SRCC, including 3-years as an SRCC board member. With his considerable experience in career services through Baker College, Klapko has developed strong relationships in the area.
Reflecting on his new position, he shared, “Not only do I get to help the community I love and where I’ve lived my whole life, I get to work with a lot of people I know and respect.”