TC, Kalkaska Chambers announce partnership

After more than two years of discussions, member surveys, member forums, and member ballots, the Board of Directors of the Greater Kalkaska Area Chamber of Commerce (GKACC) and the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce (TCACC) have agreed to a mechanism that would allow the Chambers to work more closely together in accomplishing their similar goals and objectives.

Under this "administrative merger" agreement, the Kalkaska Area Chamber will technically become a part of the Traverse City Area Chamber, with shared staff, office networks, member resources, communications, and other operations. Of critical note, however, is that the GKACC will retain its identity and will continue to determine its organizational destiny.

The GKACC will operate as the "Greater Kalkaska Area Chamber of Commerce"-as it has since 1915. It will be governed by an Advisory Board, elected by businesses in Kalkaska County and surrounding communities that will have final say on personnel issues and disposition of any assets within the Kalkaska service area, including the Chamber building. It will also continue to offer specific programs and benefits within its traditional geographic service area.

The benefits to both Chambers are numerous. The bottom line, however, is that the partnership will allow the businesses in the Kalkaska area to enjoy a full suite of products, services, and benefits aimed at helping their businesses grow and their community prosper. This, in turn, helps the region grow and prosper as it becomes an even more significant voice in Michigan's economic and political arenas.

"We are very excited about this unique partnership," stated Karmin Philp, chair of the Board of the Traverse City Area Chamber, "as it allows for the most complete implementation and delivery of each chamber's benefits and services and helps fulfill the Chamber's mission to grow business and build community in the five-county region."

Diana Needham, chair of the Greater Kalkaska Area Chamber board adds, "We believe this type of partnership is what sets northwest Michigan apart from other regions in the state and we look forward to realizing our full potential as a chamber while at the same time adding value to the Traverse City Area Chamber."

The merger was approved by the members of both chambers in a November ballot and is expected to be completed early this year.