Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce welcomes new president

DOWAGIAC — The new year will bring new leadership to the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce.

After serving as Chamber President for the past several years, Kim MacGregor’s term will conclude at the end of the month.

MacGregor, a financial advisor with the Dowagiac Edward Jones office, has served on the chamber’s board of trustees for eight years and will continue to serve on the chamber’s executive committee.

“It has been an honor and a pleasure to be able to serve all of our chamber members,” MacGregor said. “We were able to accomplish quite a lot. I’m proud of what we have been able to do as a board.”

Under MacGregor’s leadership, the chamber revamped its website and logo and introduced new programming as the Chamber Spotlight feature, Ambassador Program, Lunch & Learns and its annual celebration of members.

“Our board has grown and will continue to grow,” MacGregor said. “It has always been a board that works well together. We’ve been able to expand each of the events we have created. The chamber itself is much more technologically advanced than it was before.”

MacGregor also developed the chamber’s Buy One Get One gift certificate program.

Consumers who purchased a $20 Universal Dowagiac Gift Card from the chamber of commerce received a second $20 gift card free. The program was launched by the chamber in June as a way to stimulate the local economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also served to reward consumers who frequent chamber-member businesses.

To date, the program has contributed more than $30,000 to the Dowagiac economy.

“It was something that I had witnessed another community do that I thought we could implement here,” MacGregor said. “The program has been a success and helped put money back into the community.”

Chamber Treasurer Kris Soenen, owner of Who Knew? Consignment, 119 S. Front St., will step into the role of president next month.

“Kim served us very well and pushed us forward with technology,” Soenen said.

“It was an honor serving the chamber members as president,” MacGregor said. “It’s time for new blood and new ideas. Kris will do a great job.”

Soenen has been a chamber member for 15 years and a board member for 14. She aims to continue to educate and develop the Chamber as it navigates through uncertain times.

“Those missions will continue,” she said. “Building membership is a goal, as well as creating new events and resources. Another goal will be to keep things fresh. We’ll see how the COVID shutdowns go and see how we can be of assistance to our members and our community.”

Soenen encouraged community members to continue to support small businesses.

“The chamber directors and business members ask consumers to be safe during the pandemic,” Soenen said. “I feel fortunate that I have been able to stay open, but we have to do our part with helping other businesses stay open. Ordering carryout and ordering gift cards helps on that front.”

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