Rowan Chamber of Commerce wants everyone to “Get in the Game”

Published 12:05 am Thursday, August 17, 2023

SALISBURY — Every year, the Rowan Chamber of Commerce puts on their Total Resource Campaign to attract new members and raise money so that they can offer their services to local business owners. On Monday afternoon at Trinity Oaks, the chamber hosted a Total Resource Campaign Kick-off Pep Rally and Business After Hours event to get a head start on accomplishing their goals in the coming weeks.

This year’s theme was “Get in the Game,” where those who showed up were encouraged to dress in their favorite sports team’s colors or apparel. Chair-Elect Terry Osborne said the chamber wanted to bring a “team concept” to the event and decided to take a more literal approach. Osborne, a Green Bay Packer fan, had quotes from the legendary head coach Vince Lombardi printed on programs to inspire others to take that extra step to succeed. The chamber is hoping to bring in 30 new members to be a part of their ever-growing operation.

“We’ve had such outstanding leadership over the years and this is a follow up with that. I hope we can continue that. Now we’re ranging so many endeavors that we’re bringing in now, so many businesses, so many venues,” Osborne said. “With the growth that’s coming to this area…That’s what is exciting now.”

Free food, drinks, and live music livened the atmosphere as much as anything else. To get people in the spirit as soon as they arrived at Trinity Oaks, the Salisbury High School Varsity Cheerleading team greeted them at the door and later performed a cheer routine inside once the event began. There were Carolina Panthers, Kannapolis Cannon Ballers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Appalachian State fans who represented teams from the Carolinas and all over the country.

North Carolina State Reps. Kevin Crutchfield and Harry Warren, who serve Rowan County, came to advocate for the chamber and business owners. Crutchfield admires what the chamber is able to achieve by having their members and potential new ones meet to discuss their backgrounds and ideas. When that happens, he says, something special can come from it.

“The chamber is a fantastic organization to help bring businesses together. I’m a small business guy, so I love to be up here to support their efforts,” Crutchfield said. “They really do have a great cross pollination of small businesses and they’re all here to support each other. You can feel the energy in the room.”

East Spencer Mayor Barbara Mallett came to the event so that she could meet with business owners. Mallet thinks these business connections can also be personal ones and is eager to strengthen what the chamber is doing for the county.

“Some years ago, we were scattered. The municipalities didn’t talk to each other and really didn’t know who was who,” Mallett said. “So now the team means we’re moving the county forward. Not only in our part of the town, but in everybody else’s, too.”

Shirley Disseler and her husband Tom just joined the chamber back in May. Shirley is the CEO of BrickEd & More, a Salisbury business that inspires life skills and an interest in science in children and adults by using LEGO bricks and robotics. This is the first chamber event they have attended and both are impressed by the liveliness in seeing everyone dressed up in jerseys.

“It gives you great opportunities to network with other business people in the community and to see what they’re really about,” Shirley said. “I think it’s a great way to bring people together, cheer people on, and have the camaraderie of teamwork.”