20 Aug 2014
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A Chat w/ Chamber President Kathy Alagno

Kathy Alagno has been President and CEO of the Milford Chamber of Commerce since 1995. We spoke with her about the Chamber's past and future.

A Chat w/ Chamber President Kathy Alagno

 

Kathy Alagno has been President and CEO of the Milford Chamber of Commerce since 1995. Over the past 17 years, she has overseen Chamber membership services, the Milford Chamber Trust Fund, the BIC Golf Classic in the summer, and Milford Progress, as well as other endeavors.

Alagno has been involved in the Economic Development Commission and was instrumental in making sure that Milford citizens were allowed to contribute to the Yale design workshop's Downtown Milford revitalization project.

The Milford Chamber Trust has been active in helping out during recent Connecticut crises,  donating $20,000 to Hurricane Sandy Relief through Milford United Way and $1,000 to help schools in Newtown.

What Does a Chamber of Commerce Do?

"Chambers of Commerce are business organizations that represent the make-up of the community in which they serve," Alagno said. "The Milford Chamber is comprised of approximately 650 businesses. We have businesses of all size, but the majority of our members are small to medium size businesses. There are many reasons to get involved in the Chamber and many businesses join for different reasons, depending upon their needs."

The Milford Chamber has a legislative action committee that "works with a lobbyist in Hartford to help small businesses in regard to small business legislation and advocate on their behalf," Alagno said.

Kathy Alagno went on to note that the Chamber offers networking opportunities, an "easy and nice way to get your foot in the door with many businesses because you're part of the same organization," as well as marketing opportunities, advertising and sponsorships, as well as other services.

"When the company comes in we can talk with them about what's available to fulfill their needs," Alagno said.

Changes in How People Do Business

"When people began to market with social media, the whole way of doing business changed drastically over the last twenty years. We went from a fax-based notification about events to email now we used Facebook and Twitter," Alagno said.

The Chamber will be introducing a new database system, as well as a new website that will be more interactive and cutting-edge.

Leads Groups

The Milford Chamber of Commerce hosts a series of Leads Groups, in which Milford business owners and other Chamber members convene at the Chamber building on a regular basis and share leads, tips and referrals of business with one another.

"It's become a new found way to expand your penetration into a market," Alagno said of the Leads Groups.

Awards of Distinction

The Chamber will be holding its 58th Annual Meeting & 2012 Awards of Distinction on Wednesday, January 30, 2013, 11:30 am, at Grassy Hill Country Club in Orange, CT.

Among the 15 honorees at the event will be Gary Johnson of the United Way of Milford and Board of Aldermen member Ray Vitali, to name a few.

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