FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2020
ROCKVILLE, MD — The Rockville Chamber of Commerce (RCC) remains an important resource for area businesses and the community at large especially during a year that has adversely affected many business owners.
As COVID-19 created limitations for many businesses, the RCC was also affected having to move all events virtually starting in March 2020. Despite this challenge, the Chamber went right to work identifying member needs and supporting its membership by providing a series of webinars with the Small Business Administration (SBA), Montgomery County officials, local banks, attorneys and accountants to quickly share relevant resources with member businesses.
The RCC also worked closely with Federal Realty and the City of Rockville to close streets for outdoor dining options and provided signage for carry out service. Additionally, RCC worked with REDI and the City of Rockville to identify restaurants that provided pick up only, delivery, and curb side service and disseminated the information through the Chamber’s social media outlets.
Rockville Chamber president and CEO, Marji Graf, notes, “I personally called every one of our member businesses to see how we could help. We communicated with our membership and provided them with timely information regarding grants, loans, and assistance that might be available to them from the County, State and Federal governments.”
The RCC continued to provide professional development and networking opportunities virtually. The annual Public Safety Awards and RCC Rock Star Awards also were presented virtually acknowledging the great work of businesses and partners throughout the year. Find information about these and upcoming events as well as the 2021 member directory on the newly designed website.
The new website was designed with feedback from the membership and collaboratively developed with the marketing committee of the RCC. New features of the site include: a new layout with a fresh, modern look, easy access to events and key resources. There is also an all new media section featuring blog articles, videos, podcasts, and fresh, new content will continually be added.
In addition to the website, the Rockville Rewards program was updated to reflect the current climate. The Rockville Rewards program was launched ten years ago to encourage cardholders to support participating area businesses, where 100% of the proceeds of all website sales are donated to area nonprofits. Due to pressures from COVID-19, there was a need to transition the traditional ‘boots on the ground’ marketing structure to a digitally focused platform that would still provide support to the businesses while respecting social distancing. Since its inception, Rockville Rewards has mostly stood on its own as an independent brand. With support from the Chamber’s marketing committee and senior leadership, the program was integrated into the RCC brand. Integration was key to this relaunch, as it was important that the roots of the existing program remained, while transitioning its format to handle digital sales with room for ongoing program development.
To continue the strong leadership of the RCC, the membership voted on new board members to serve a two-year term. The Rockville Chamber welcomes the following six new board members:
- Asif Choudhury – Bahar Consulting
- Dan Helhowski – Beltway Merchant Services
- Robert Blanken – Blanken Photography
- Connie Pawloski – ComForCare Senior Services
- Kari Glinski – Federal Realty Investment Trust
- Andy Detweiller – The Rockville Real Estate Exchange
Also elected for an additional 2-year term are:
- Brian Barkley – Barkley and Kennedy
- Becky Briggs – Our Gift Biz
- Tami Watkins – PEPCO
- Babita Singh, Chairperson – WesBanco
- Dr. Kimberly Kelley, Vice Chairperson – Montgomery College
- Samreen Sadiq, Treasurer – Taksey, Neff and Associates, LLC
- Laura Nash, Secretary – Edward Jones
- Ed Harrington, Immediate Past Chairperson – John Marshall Bank
- Leon Seemann – Adventure Theatre
- Larry Finkelberg – Apex Home Loans
- Marylou Berg – City of Rockville (Ex Officio)
- Pam Clark – Clark Concepts
- Brooke Bruch – Contemporaries
- Leslie Keenan – Intelligent Office
- Shevy Shafie – Marstudio
- Cindy Stewart Rivarde – REDI (Ex Officio)
- Lane Hornfeck – Shulman Rogers
- Eric Jodts – Westat
While 2020 was a challenging year, the RCC has been a strong supporter and resource to the Rockville community and stands ready to serve in 2021 and beyond. We have added a new 2021 Rockville Business Directory and will be producing another Rockville Map in 2021. Learn more about the RCC and become a member today.
ABOUT ROCKVILLE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The RCC serves as the voice of the thousands of businesses that proudly call Rockville, MD their home. It strives to create and support a thriving Rockville through educational programs, networking opportunities, and services; civic and business involvement in cultural and social programs and services; and advocacy for the interdependence of business and civic goals to expand economic vitality in Rockville.
For more information, visit https://www.rockvillechamber.org. Follow us on Twitter: @ChamberRock, and find us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
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Rockville Chamber of Commerce