EMACC unveils new logo at start of 77th year

The Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce has begun its 77th year with a new logo and a streamlined mission statement.

The chamber unveiled the new logo at its annual meeting held Jan. 18 at the Shadowbrook in Shrewsbury.

The winner of the logo competition was chosen from a field of 26 entries submitted by seven designers, all chamber members.

The winning logo is the work of Angela Duffy, senior graphic/marketing coordinator at Amper, Politziner & Mattia, certified public accountants, of Edison. Duffy’s design telegraphs the message of a strong membership working together for the empowerment of all.

“The logo has two messages: There’s strength in numbers and community service,” explained Linda Rose, EMACC executive director. “When I looked at it, I said, ‘That says it — a strong group of people banding together to support one another and to give back to the community.

“It just speaks volumes. And the colors are bold and powerful.”

In announcing the design competition, the EMACC said it wanted a logo in keeping with its new mission statement: “Empowering our members to enrich their businesses and the eastern Monmouth Area through education, networking and services to the community.”

“I knew what the mission statement was and that it’s very important to the chamber because they had just redone it,” explained Duffy, Neptune. “I also knew that they wanted the design to reflect a strong sense of community.

“My thought process was a group of people walking forward, showing the progression of the chamber and the businesses involved in it,” said Duffy, a member of the chamber’s communications committee.

“It’s instant recognition,” she said, “EMACC, the group of people and the words ‘empowering our members.’ They’ll know it’s a group organization.”

A committee narrowed entries down to three choices.

“Each one of them had to provide supportive material,” Rose said. “How does this design fit our mission statement? This one we really thought was the closest.”

Rose explained that the impetus for the new logo came out of a board retreat held last year.

“We tweaked our mission statement a little bit because our organization has changed,” she said. “I think the old statement was too lengthy and too comprehensive and, frankly, some of it was self-serving.

“Our mission is not to grow the membership. We had to clean it up, and so we really analyzed what we do well,” she explained.

“We found there are more and more events we are hosting and products and services we provide. We are giving members the tools to allow them to do more, produce better.

“And it’s really working. We’ve seen people grow their businesses, their staff, improve their own and their staff’s performance,” Rose continued.

“They make amazing connections here. It’s like having an entire resource of members at your fingertips. They learn from each other and certainly I learn from them. They learn how to run their businesses better, more productively, more profitably, more risk-free.

“A lot of things that a small business doesn’t have time or the resources to go research on their own, we bring to them.”

As for community service, Rose said, “Every one of our members is involved in one way or another, either on another board that is involved in the community or in some way gives back to the community, and we encourage that.

”I think the fact that we’re entering our 77th year speaks volumes,” she added. “It’s an organization run by volunteers, chiefly. Think about that: volunteers who change every year. We honored over 100 of them at the dinner.”

The EMACC’s biggest challenge, Rose said, is keeping up with legislative changes and making sure programs are timely.

“The most important thing for us is to be responsive to members’ needs, to make sure our programs are relevant to their needs,” she said.

At the annual meeting, officers and directors were also named.

Named to one-year terms are: Attorney William M. Kinney, chairman; James Markey of JCP&L, chairman elect; Christopher Ruisi of Action International and John Kilduff of Security Transfer & Storage, vice chairmen, and Thomas Sannelli of Shrewsbury State Bank, treasurer.

Directors elected for three-year terms are Gerri Hopkins of Meredith & Hopkins; Laura Jewell, Jewell Marketing; Nancy Kegelman, Brookdale Community College; Kiernan Newman, Marriott Hotels & Resorts; psychotherapist Cathy Noblick; Sannelli; Virginia K. Sourlis; Lisa Tevis, Oakland House Caterers; and Karolyn Wray, Murphy Realtors Preferred Homes.

The chamber has a busy calendar, with a special event or program planned for just about every month in addition to business meetings and seminars, Rose said.

The Spinnaker Awards, its major fund-raiser, takes place in November; an Epicurean feast, also a fund-raiser, takes place in February (Feb. 28 this year); a small business expo is held in April; and a luncheon at which scholarships are awarded to nontraditional students is hosted in June. In July the chamber sponsors a clambake, and then it’s on to the holiday party.

The latest program is “Secret Shoppers,” which is sponsored by the chamber, along with the Red Bank Visitors Center and Red Bank RiverCenter.

“We have secret shoppers out there who are visiting stores and taking note of how they’re treated, how they’re greeted,” Rose explained. “Is the store clean? Were they gracious and helpful?”

The idea is to encourage more store owners to focus on customer service.

“The business that gets the most positive responses will receive the Drew Horgan Hospitality Award, and be presented with a magnificent crystal pineapple. The award is named for the late Red Bank resident who served as a founding member of the Red Bank Visitors Center, said Rose, who also serves on the Visitors Center board.

Some 20 shoppers are needed to make a brief visit to retailers and restaurants in Red Bank and fill out forms available from any of the three sponsoring organizations. The program will run through the summer.

“Anyone is eligible, from teens through seniors. We need to have a good cross section of the community,” she said. “We don’t care about social status, economic status. It can be anybody who shops in Red Bank.”

The chamber serves the communities of Eatontown, Fair Haven, Little Silver, Monmouth Beach, Oceanport, Red Bank, Rumson, Sea Bright, Shrewsbury and Tinton Falls. To learn more about the EMACC, visit www.emacc.org.


Staff Writer