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Weekly E-Newsletter

E-newsletter is a weekly publication of the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce. This publication contains the Chamber President's Briefly Speaking article, our newest Chamber members, Chamber events and member events. Previous Briefly Speaking articles are available here

Monday, October 7, 2019

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Briefly Speaking

By Levon Johnson

The Compass and The Dragonfly

This is the ninth of ten consecutive articles that I will be writing covering the most frequent topics I have discussed in the first half of 2019.

So many people have had a great deal of interest in the economic development in certain parts of the city. Too often they see it as a competition between one part of Elkhart over the other. A view of – if you are doing something there, you aren’t doing something here. Wondering why one area is a priority and not another.

There is symbolism in the compass. Beyond its true purpose of identifying magnetic North, the compass is a symbol of guidance, having the ability to point you in the right direction.

While the needle of the compass is meant to always point North, that needle always starts and extends from the center. Most compasses also have markings that indicate which way is East, West, and South.

In the first six months of this year much of the conversation about the investment and growth of our city has been concentrated on the center. In particular, Downtown and the River District, and that focus should continue through the next phases of that development.

However, the reality is that you can have more than one focus at a time.

As we continue to look at the development and redevelopment of Elkhart, I would encourage that we utilized the vision of the dragonfly. Dragonflies, like chameleons, have a full 360 degree field of vision. Why the dragonfly over the chameleon? Simple, the ability to fly gives the dragonfly a wider range of perspective.

We have to look no further than the area around the intersection of County Road 6 and Cassopolis to see what the impact of vision, proper planning, and investment can do for the growth of an area. As many have said before, “Investment follows investment.” We can see the same thing happening in the River District.

The three opportunity zones that were awarded to Elkhart can serve as another catalyst for investment in the redevelopment of Elkhart. I will refrain from going into details about Opportunity Zones in this article. I have written about them in a previous Briefly Speaking.

So if Downtown Elkhart is the center of the compass and CR6/Cassopolis is our magnetic North, then it is time to take that dragonfly look at how the East, West, and South parts of the city can continue to develop so that investment in those areas is not only possible but desirable.

No matter if you are looking outside in or inside out, the areas between the farthest distances in any direction of the city and its center, both business and residential, need to be viewed as part of our 360 degree vision.

Have a positive and productive week and know that your Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce is here to serve and promote you in any way we can.

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Lake City Bank

New Chamber Members

Welcome to the Chamber! See a complete list of our membership in our online Business Directory.

Alexander Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Alexander Academy is a unique blend of martial arts increasing your chance of being safe on the streets and in the gym. It includes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Self-Defense, and Kickboxing to give you self-awareness, confidence, knowledge and skills to take on the issues you will meet in life.

DM Family Lawn Care   
Tree services, landscaping, snow plowing, roofing, etc. 574-215-8161 Daniel Perez and Miguel Cabrera

M.I.B.CO, Inc
Located in Middlebury, they specialize in commercial and heavy industrial construction. 574-830-1200


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Barnes and Thornburg

Upcoming Chamber Events

For more information about these and other events, visit our website.

Oct 8 – 9, OSHA 10 Hour General Industry Safety & Health Program Oct 2019, 8 am to 4:30 pm, Matterhorn Conference Center, 2041 Cassopolis St, Elkhart. Only one spot available.

Oct 10, Member Celebration - Alta Equipment Open House, Ribbon Cutting 11:30 am; Open House 11am - 2 pm, 2308 Clay St, Elkhart

Oct 11, Southwest Michigan Wine Tour hosted by Women's Council, 11:30 am - 6 pm – bus leaves Chamber at 11:30 am

Oct 15, Biz-Ness After Hours hosted by Hellenic Senior Living, 4-6 pm, 2528 Bypass Rd, Elkhart

Oct 16, OSHA Council Breakfast - OSHA Inspections – What to do when OSHA shows up, 7:30 am, Matterhorn Conference Center, 2041 Cassopolis St, Elkhart.

Oct 17, Intrigue, Inspire, IGNITE Elkhart County 2019, 5:30 - 8:30 pm, Crystal Ballroom at the Lerner Theatre, 410 S Main St, Elkhart

Oct 17-18, What's Next 2019 Sponsors

Oct 22, Member Celebration - Elkhart Co. Convention & Visitors Bureau, Open House 3 to 6 p.m; Ribbon Cutting Ceremony 4 p.m., Elkhart Co. Convention & Visitors Bureau, 3421 Cassopolis St, Elkhart

Nov 7, Environmental & Safety Conference 2019, 8:15 am - 4:30 pm, Crystal Ballroom at the Lerner Theatre, 410 S Main St, Elkhart


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Horizon Bank

Member Events

The Greater Elkhart Chamber invites member companies and organizations to submit events to our online calendar. The list below includes events within the next two weeks. More information for these events is available at our online calendar.

Oct 7, Greencroft Communities Amish Country Entrepreneur Adventure
Oct 8, Ruthmere Museum Campus Tuesday's Teas@2
Oct 9, MHRA Luncheon
Oct 9, Elkhart Art Walk
Oct 10, ALTA Equipment Company Elkhart Branch Open House
Oct 10, Ruthmere Museum Campus Fall Concert Series- Beardsley Prize Winner
Oct 10, Greenleaf Health Campus Networking Happy Hour Mixer
Oct 14, Everence Medicare Monday
Oct 15, MichianaSHRM 2019 Leadership Conference
Oct 15, Greencroft Communities Hit the Pavement in Historic Nappanee
Oct 17, Elkhart County Historical Museum Stories of Elkhart County: Bonneyville Mill
Oct 19, Sleep in Heavenly Peace Community Build Event
Oct 19 and 20, Elkhart County Historical Museum Gathering at Five Medals
Oct 19, Wellfield Botanic Gardens Monsters in the Gardens

More member events

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RSM - Your Goals Become Ours

South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership Launches Community Survey

The South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership, in collaboration with numerous community organizations, is launching a Brand Development Project for the region. The goal of this project is to develop a brand and marketing strategy which residents, businesses, community organizations, and local government can collectively support in order to attract talent, companies, and investment to the region. There is a strong appetite to join together to establish a shared community vision, which can collectively be supported and built upon over time.

As part of the project, the South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership and organizations from across the region are conducting a survey about living and working in the region. Survey insights, along with stakeholder meetings, statistical reports and workshops, are key to developing a compelling positioning strategy and brand for the region.

You can get involved today by taking the following survey - it should take approximately 10 minutes to complete - and earn a chance to make a $100 donation in your name to the charity of your choice. We assure you that any information you give will remain confidential.

We appreciate your valuable time and thoughts, and promise to learn from your answers and make the region an even better place to live and work in the future.

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