I just want to start off by saying the chamber wishes everyone a very Happy New Year! 2007 was a tremendous year for the Chamber and the community of Berkley. Although it went by awfully fast there were many highlights to remember. First of all Berkley celebrated its 75th anniversary in May and had a wonderful turn out. Secondly, the Art Bash in June had the biggest artist turnout and was the most attended in the 7 year history of the event. The golf outing in September doubled in size in its second year. We were thrilled with the over 80 attendees at the Pub Crawl in October and look forward to it being bigger and better in 2008. The Annual State of the City address introduced the new Superintendent Mike Simeck. The address also recognized Bridget Dean (Have You any Wool?) and Hiller’s Market as "Outstanding Business Person" and "Business" respectively for 2007. The holiday party at Amici’s was a rousing success to celebrate a great year and talk about the new one ahead. With all of our events set into place we really hope to launch more successful morning chats and evening mixers to the calendar. These will give a chance for a local business to learn more about the host business as well as enjoy the company and networking opportunities with other local business owners. This really could provide for a tighter referral network and ultimately more business opportunities. Please contact Julie Melrose (email@example.com) if you are interested in hosting.
2007 also saw the addition of a couple of new board members and the departure of a long time board member. Tom Byars (Eagle Rock Insurance) came on board this year and took the reigns at the treasurer’s position. He has provided valuable input and ideas for the innovation of our group. Eric Abrams (Fishbowl Marketing) came on board mid-year to fill the seat of board member Bill Springer, who left the Berkley Branch of National City. Eric was integral in the success of the Pub Crawl and will continue to bring enthusiasm to the group during his 3 year term. Dr. Dan Farkas (Farkas Chiropractic) just joined the board in December and will also provide a very candid point of view from a local small business owner. He takes the seat held by Ross Leonard who has been a long time Berkley resident as well as Chamber supporter. I know he will be missed as an advocate of Berkley and as a confidant. Please thank Ross for his years of service. 2007 also saw the addition of Julie Melrose as the Executive Director. She replaced Denise Seruga full time in June and has been an excellent addition. The day to day operations would not be done as efficiently or as passionately if Julie were not on board. I want to say thank you to all of the board members for the continued efforts to provide Berkley with innovative ideas and events.
With all of the successes and recognition given out in 2007 we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the continued partnership with the city and the DDA. We would also like to thank The Berkley Beautification Committee for their awesome efforts over the last couple of years. Their continued support of local business and a small town feel have really given Berkley a unique reputation in Metro Detroit. As always please feel free to contact the Chamber with any questions or concerns. We hope everyone has a prosperous 2008 and let’s make Berkley a destination for everyone in Metro Detroit!
Berkley Chamber President