Innovative partnerships open new doors
by Wayne Dodd
September 09, 2013 12:00 AM | 742 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With the economy showing slight signs of brighter economic days ahead, there is a new wave of business options which is growing more prevalent in the profit and non-profit business sectors. As the uncertainty of the marketplace continues, a new process has surfaced as another tool for local business survival.

While some business owners still subscribe to the old-fashion method of "just us," a new way of "connecting the business dots" is being practiced in an attempt to utilize a cost-effective asset that has a track record of paying good dividends and resulting in developing strong business partnerships.

One of those partnerships is the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce and the 10 Business Associations throughout Cobb County. While a decade ago, these partnerships would have never been tried, today it is almost commonplace.

For years, the chamber was successful as an autonomous organization in their membership drives. Likewise, Cobb's business associations worked primarily on a strictly local level to boost their memberships.

Never did the two generally meet on the same turf or with the same common ground of mutual growth.

However, about seven years ago, a new way of thinking emerged and the Coalition of Cobb County Business Associations was born through the efforts of key leadership of business leaders.

What began slowly with the common question: "Will it work for all of us?" eventually developed the CCCBA. The association caught the attention of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce through the leadership of Chamber CEO David Connell.

The end result? A strong partnership which crossed over the traditional mindset of competition to cooperation and mutual benefit.

Our partnership and innovation has resulted in both groups growing larger.

Born out of this wave of partnership was the new Summer Jam, which packed 1,000 business owners into the Cobb Civic Center in July for a three-hour networking event.

Also, the largest networking event between the two groups is coming soon. In October, the Haunt Private Party takes place Oct. 24 for its third annual year at Six Flags under the watchful eye of new Six Flags Park President Dale Kaetzel.

Kaetzel is enthused about the evening.

When he spoke at the South Cobb Business Association in January, he said "that this particular event had to be continued because of its popularity and fun in the local community, plus far-reaching effects in the business community."

The event continues the partnership crossover effect, involving not only the Cobb Chamber but also the Paulding and Douglas.

Two thousand business owners are expected from throughout the Atlanta area representing various business organizations, making this one of the largest networking events held locally.

This private party with its wonderful food, special drinks and the entertainment only costs $15 to attend. Nowhere can a business owner find more exposure and potential positive networking than at the Haunt Networking Party.

One local business owner recently stated that he had generated his largest client at last year's event, so that he would definitely be attending again.

With the relationship becoming stronger between the Cobb Chamber and the CCCBA, the growth for all involved groups setting new records and rising retention percentages, do not be surprised if a new "out of the box idea" emerges in the coming months.

Wayne Dodd is currently retired from a banking career and is serving as the Community Outreach Liaison for Government and Community Affairs for Puckett, EMS-the 2013 Cobb Chamber Small Business of the Year. He also serves on the Wellstar Cobb Regional Board, as 2014 Chairman, Wellstar Foundation Board, and the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce Board, as Chairman of the South Cobb Area Council. He is extremely active with the Cobb County Business Associations and is the recipient of the 2013 Mack Henderson Public Safety Award. ]]>
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