Nicola and I had waited to get heavily involved in the Kuna Chamber of Commerce until we were sure we had provided adequate attention to our business. The Chamber president, Allen Gamel, recruited us pretty heavily, asking us very early on if we’d be interested in serving on the board. We told him we wanted to focus on just the business for the first year before taking on other responsibilities.
True to our word, after about a year, Nicola joined the Chamber board in the summer of 2007. In August 2008, she was elected president of the chamber.
First, a few words about the Kuna Chamber and about chambers of commerce in general.
We believed strongly in chambers of commerce and we believed strongly in the Kuna Chamber of Commerce.
At its core, a chamber of commerce is an affiliation of local businesses that seeks to promote the local business community. Because the health of the Kuna Melba News depended highly on the health of the local business community, we were naturally interested in an organization that sought to improve the health of the local business community.
The biggest problem, as was the biggest problem with just about everything in Kuna, was lack of participation. If you went down the street and tallied up businesses that belonged to the chamber and businesses that didn’t, you’d come out about 50-50. People who didn’t belong to the chamber complained that the chamber didn’t do anything for them, not recognizing that their lack of participation directly affected the chamber’s ability to do something for them.
The chamber’s situation was similar to how I viewed the newspaper’s situation: If only everyone belonged to the chamber, the world would be a better place.
Unfortunately, the chamber had to make do with what it had.