A press release from the Greater Meriden Chamber of Commerce:
On behalf of our Board of Directors, we would like to invite our members to participate in a Special Meeting and Vote to be held commencing at 8:00 a.m. on January 17, 2014 at the Chamber Office at 3 Colony St., Suite 301 in Meriden CT. The purpose is to provide the opportunity for our members to vote on a Board recommendation to change our organization’s name from the Greater Meriden Chamber of Commerce, Inc. to the Midstate Chamber of Commerce, Inc. With an affirmative vote of the membership, the legal name will be changed effective on March 1, 2014. The Chamber will also retain the right to use the names “Greater Meriden Chamber of Commerce” and “Meriden Chamber of Commerce”.
The Legal Notice of the Special Meeting and a copy of the detailed Resolution passed by the Board of Directors, to be approved by the Members, are attached hereto for your reference.
Our members may vote in person any time from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. on January 17, 2014. (You are only requested to stop by and vote and not stay for the entire duration.) Members may also vote by Written Ballot, also attached to this email, which must be received by 12:00 p.m. on January 17, 2014. For the purposes of the vote, each member business is entitled to one vote. Both the Member Business and the Business Agent names must be provided to make for an accurate count.
This recommendation was done with much deliberation and very careful consideration and we would like to share the process with you.
The History and the Process
Recognizing way back in 1957 that municipal boundaries had become meaningless to business, our predecessors boldly changed the name of the Meriden Chamber by adding the word “Greater”. They all knew that there was a vibrant central Connecticut economy and business community greater than exclusively Meriden that was nestled between Hartford, New Haven, Middletown and Waterbury.
It is now 57 years later and our members, the general public and the press continue to insist on dropping the “Greater” shortening our name back to the old Meriden Chamber of Commerce. We continue to work more broadly in our reach than just Meriden’s two zip codes and we have consistently fostered a regional agenda and approach to doing business. More than thirty percent of our members are located beyond Meriden’s borders and we wanted to make sure that our name was inclusive of all of our members and all of the work done here in the middle of our state.
In early 2013, this name dilemma reignited a conversation at our Membership Committee and it was referred to our full Board of Directors for consideration. Starting at our May 2013 Board meeting, we formally discussed the merits of a name change and the Board formed an exploratory subcommittee consisting of Board members, Chamber Ambassadors and staff. Over the past few months, the sub-committee met, researched and discussed a number of different naming options and the name Midstate Chamber of Commerce, Inc. was recommended at the December 11, 2013 full Board meeting.
A vote to formally change the name to Midstate Chamber of Commerce was unanimously approved at the January 8, 2014 Board meeting. The Board recommended that the Members approve this change to the certificate of incorporation and By-Laws and called this Special Meeting for the membership to vote in accordance with our bylaws. As a membership driven organization, input of all of our members is valued.
The Official Notice
On January 8, 2014, the Board unanimously voted to change the name and to recommend approval by the Members. We strongly encourage you to vote affirmatively on or before January 17, 2014. Your official ballot is attached or you may “Reply” to this email and use the ballot below. We anticipate that all of the votes will be tabulated by the close of business on that date and an announcement made at that time. You may submit a fully-completed ballot at any time prior to 12:00 p.m. on January 17, 2014 either by physical delivery or by electronic mail. You may email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you think the Greater Meriden Chamber of Commerce should change its name?