July 12, 2016

Chamber of Commerce to Move

By Matt Bolton
– The Independent –

In 1999, the Collierville Chamber of commerce (CCC) outgrew its office of 10 years in the train depot, moving a block or so away to the Joseph Campbell house on South Center Street. But even at the time, membership growth and changing roles in the chamber’s mission demanded yet another move in the near future.

“A major goal on the chamber’s 2001 to-do list was to identify an effective site for the chamber’s permanent home. Representatives of Schilling Farms donated the site,” said Chamber President Ella Jean Whalen. “The offer came after much discussion with the board, and it makes sense for a lot of different reasons.

“First, we realized that to effectively promote tourism, the chamber should be easier for tourists to locate when coming from out of town. With a prime location on Poplar Avenue, the new chamber building would serve as a front-door post to the Town of Collierville,” Whalen said.

Whalen noted that chamber membership has shifted over the span of Collierville’s boom growth to include many more corporate and industry members. “Schilling Farms is the ideal location from which to serve that growing demographic among our membership,” she said.

Michael Robison serves as director of the chamber’s economic development programs. He noted that location at Schilling Farms will allow the chamber to network more effectively with corporate-level businesses.

“Working with such companies requires all area chambers and governmental agencies to integrate their development plans,” Robison said. He cited the high technology corridor that stretches from Winchester/Nonconnah Parkway in East Memphis to Collierville as a good example of a region being jointly developed by several entities, including the CCC, the Memphis Chamber, and the cities of Collierville, Germantown and Memphis.

“Integrated development of regional business communities among all participating municipalities is a reality for chambers throughout the Mid-South now,” said Whalen. “Even so, we always have and always will put Collierville’s best interests first. Now we’ll simply be doing what we do best from a Schilling Farms address.

“The strategically located one-acre site offers the chamber 800 feet of frontage on Poplar Avenue, just east of the Schilling Farms tower according to Whalen. “There’s a fundraiser on the agenda ahead, as well as plenty of careful planning to maximize CCC’s use of a new and permanent address.”