Mark Hiegel – President Scottsdale Chamber
One for the Chamber, Scottsdale’s Leader
The Guys have a great commerce conversation with Mark Hiegel, President of the Scottsdale Chamber. Like many in Arizona, he’s a transplant from the Midwest that had an early start in working with large companies. Sometimes the practices of large companies can trickle down into good practices for small business, too. The Chamber has approximately 1100 members currently, with around 80% small businesses.
Mark’s background in advertising and marketing got him to explore the Chamber’s strategic plan, only to find out it was incomplete. Listen in to what he feels can turn the ‘membership’ concept most often associated with chambers of commerce. He’s been a real ‘hot dog’ in his prior lives and industry engagement. You’ll understand what that means as you listen to the conversation evolve. He is new to the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce head office, so we uncover some interesting insights from his short tenure. They may apply to your business, too.
Any Chamber has the challenge of serving its community with things that matter to the businesses that they engage. One of the surprising tasty tidbits the Guys uncover is that the Scottsdale Chamber sponsors over 200 events for building relationships, getting training and networking during the year. They happen at different times during the day to make it convenient for small business owners. A short discussion about Practical Biz U and the free business worksheets available there made an impression.
Bringing communities into the 21st Century often includes hedging the edge of old paradigms as new ones present themselves. One such change in Arizona has been the legalization of medical marijuana and the advent of dispensaries. It’s a huge business and provides revenue for the cities, too. Legislation has changed to allow dispensaries closer proximity, originally 25 miles. Pros and cons exist for sure and we invite you to join the conversation. You might be surprised what the business view is, beyond the moral or Federal constraints.
In large metro areas it is imperative the Chambers work together collectively to build a better mouse trap or rather community that benefits its members. The East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance is such an organization that has been growing for some years. Zen reminisced, at least mentally, about an East Valley Partnership presentation on common findings of what communities were asking for some years ago. Youth services being a major focus. We’ve all got our kid inside, still. These guys allow theirs out to play for bit. Thanks to Mark Hiegel for his willingness to be subjected to the exhaustive wit of the Guys.