16 Nov Annual Chamber DC Fly-In: Day 2
Chamber Members, State Leaders Wrap Day Two in DC
November 15, 2018 – Washington, DC – With less than 48 hours in our nation’s capital, the attendees of the Annual Chamber DC Fly-In hit the ground running on Thursday for the trip’s final day. On the agenda; Federal Bureau of Prison meeting, Senator Todd Young, Vice President Mike Pence’s Office and the Eisenhower Building.
The trip is fast packed and a lot is packed into a small amount of time, but for first time attendee, Courtney Richey-Chipol, Executive Director of the Indiana Small Business Development Center, it was time well spent.
“I am thoroughly impressed with my first experience attending the Chamber DC Fly-In,” she explains. “In a very compact period, we were able to complete high-level discussions with federal agencies and attendees were able to talk one-on-one with our local Congressman and Senator. Opportunities like this not only help to bring attention to our region but create priceless contacts for attendees. The agencies and individuals we met with had a strong understanding of the West Central region, which shows the impact of past trips and the importance that we continue to bring the West Central voice to the DC area.”
Thinking about West Central Indiana and the entire Hoosier State, the group spent time in the Eisenhower Building and met with staffers from Vice President Mike Pence’s office, including Lani Czarniecki, External Affairs for Vice President Mike Pence.
“This trip is a great way for anyone to get out meet with our legislative delegation and federal agencies,” said Ret. Brigadier Gen. Jeff Hauser, Executive Director of the Terre Haute Regional Airport. “It gives you a chance to see our community from the outside looking in, through the eyes of others…and what we heard was all very positive. I’d recommend this trip to anyone who is looking for a different perspective and a chance to promote the West Central business agenda.”
Standing in the Ceremonial Office of Vice President Mike Pence could seem intimidating or larger than the mission of the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce or West Central Indiana, but Chamber Vice President Kristin Craig reminds that the trip’s purpose is community driven.
“The people that we have going on this trip are small business owners, they really understand the value of being able to grow their small business here at home,” she explains. “(When speaking with legislators) they have to begin to impact state and federal issues that are going to be then advantageous for economic growth in the area,”
One business owner in attendance was Bernice Helman, Vice President Coldwell Bankers Troy Helman Realtors. Not only did Helman focus on housing and economic opportunities, but she left DC with the feeling that Terre Haute is on the map and beginning to be heard.
“It has been refreshing to hear everyone we met with has an immediate recognition and understanding of the efforts we are making in West Central Indiana,” she explains. “We heard it from (Senator Todd) Young, (Congressman Larry) Bucshon, Brandt Hershman, the USDA; clearly our efforts to step up the agenda of our region are paying off.”