Randy Day, a Moab Area Chamber of Commerce board vice president, welcomes community members to the recent annual Fourth of July festivities at Swanny City Park. Photo courtesy of Moab Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Moab Area Chamber of Commerce is in the business of…business.

If you ask Kammy Wells, the Chamber executive director or Steve Lawry, the current Chamber president, the organization exists solely to “help business in Moab.”

“Each business that joins the Chamber is a piece of the puzzle to complete our community,” said Lawry.

An altruistic organization, the Chamber wouldn’t exist without the support and membership of local businesses. Two hundred and eleven members strong, Wells said that, “every Moab business makes every other business in town stronger.”

Wells joined the Chamber as the executive director in 2008. She and Pam Seeps, the organization’s office manager, are the day-to-day dedication and vision behind the many public events hosted for, and services provided to, the Moab community each year. The staff notwithstanding, eleven board of directors, led by Lawry, are designed to represent a cross sector of Moab business and interests including tourism, education, city and county councils, restaurant and lodging and real estate.

Elected to their respective positions, Randy Day, Audrey Davis and Judy Copeland serve the board of directors as vice president, secretary and treasurer, respectively. Lawry, currently in his first year of serving the board and Moab, will likely remain in the presidential role one to two years.

As the organization mission statement avows, the staff and board “seek to build a healthy, growing local economy; improve the quality of life, facilitate cooperation and communication between business, government and community; assist new business and individuals seeking relocation to our community; and to promote a positive community image, spirit and prosperity.”

As such, to promote a positive community spirit, the Chamber hosts the annual bedrock parades: Holiday In Lights and Fourth of July. In fact, in 2011, the Holiday In Lights parade, hosted the first weekend in December, was named one of the best in nation by Fodor’s Travel Intelligence, an online travel magazine.

While the parades, and events therein, are designed to “give back to Moab,” Lawry said that the Chamber strives “to meet the needs of the business community” on a year round basis.

Back by popular demand of the membership, the Chamber last month re-established its Monthly Mixers networking event on the fourth Thursday. This month’s after work gathering, to be hosted at the newly constructed 300 S. Main St., business complex, will also serve a ribbon cutting for the complex opening on Thursday, July 23. According to Wells, the reconstruction and business opening is “a promising sign of the business times in Moab.” Planned tenants at the complex include Moab Realty, a Verizon Wireless retailer and a currently unnamed appraiser.

Also monthly, the Chamber hosts a luncheon the third Tuesday to provide a structured program and discussion among local businesses. Next week’s lunch will be held at Cabo Grill. According to Wells, both monthly events require the support and sponsorship of Chamber members to ensure success.

Lawry says that it is Wells’ leadership and ongoing commitment that allows the Chamber to provide these social and advocacy opportunities. Moreover, the Chamber is planning, after a three-year hiatus, to resurrect the annual fall banquet.

“With the absence of the banquet, we have been missing the celebration of the summer season for local businesses,” said Lawry.

Following a flurry of fall and winter activities, including the annual golf tournament fundraiser in June, Lawry said that the Chamber’s focus in the new year will be to demonstrate the Chamber’s value to potential members.

Wells said she is often asked why an individual or business should consider joining the Chamber. In no particular order, she lists: networking; visibility, publicity and exposure; credibility and referrals; sponsorships, signature events; and community involvement as the primary membership benefits.

Wells is happy to discuss the range of available annual Chamber memberships with any interested business. For as low as $70, an individual or business can join the Chamber to promote themselves and “to promote a healthy business climate in Moab,” said Wells.

Moab Area Chamber of Commerce

The Moab Area Chamber of Commerce, founded in the 1950s, is a nonprofit organization of business and professional people who seek to build a healthy, growing local economy and improve the quality of life in the Moab community. 217 E. Center Street #250 | 435-259-7814 | www.moabchamber.com