PRESS RELEASE: Bloomington Chamber Now Accepting Nominations for the 2022 Women Excel Bloomington Awards
The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce it is now accepting nominations for the 12th Annual Women Excel Bloomington (WEB) Awards. Each year, seven women are recognized for their outstanding leadership in influencing the growth of others in the community and/or in their professional organization. These prestigious business leadership awards will be presented at the WEB Awards reception scheduled for late May.
WEB nominees serve as an inspiration, helping others to excel as they lead by example. They may be employed in either the business sector or a non-profit organization. Other criteria include:
Katie Sensabaugh was recently named the Director of the Success School for the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. As chair of the Chamber’s foundation, she will work with community partners in both the education and business sectors of Monroe County to develop strong relationships with the students, teachers, and employers to positively impact the emerging talent and future workforce of our community.
“I am thrilled to continue my work at the Chamber as the Director of the Success School,” said Sensabaugh. “I look forward to continuing the partnerships between our community’s business professionals and schools to ensure students develop the critical skills needed for their future life success.”
Prior to becoming the Director of the Success School, Sensabaugh served as Membership Services Coordinator at the Chamber. She currently also serves as Chamber staff liaison to the Bloomington Women in Leadership group. Sensabaugh’s previous roles include Program Director at Big Brothers Bigs Sisters of Northwest Ohio, Gemologist and Jewelry Designer for an independent jewelry store, and manager of a retail clothing store. She was recognized for her efforts to develop lasting professional relationships and provide excellent volunteer management and customer service to her clients. Sensabaugh received a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University and a Certificate in Business Administration from Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington.
Christopher Emge was recently named the Director of Advocacy & Public Policy for the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. As chair of the Chamber’s advocacy division, he will work with Chamber members to raise the collective voice of business and advance issues of importance to the business community at the city, county, state, and federal levels.
"It is an honor to continue my service for the Chamber in a new capacity as Advocacy Director,” said Emge. “I look forward to working closely with our members and elected officials to enhance the Bloomington-Monroe County quality of place that we all hold dear."
Prior to becoming the new Director of Advocacy & Public Policy, Emge served for three years as the Principal of the Success School, a program of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. He also currently serves as a member of the City of Bloomington Parking Commission and as an advisor for the Indiana University School of Public Administration Fellowship program. Emge is a past recipient of Arizona State University’s Social Embeddedness Award and holds two degrees from Indiana University, including a Master’s in Public Administration.
“We are delighted that Christopher will be leading the advocacy efforts for the Chamber,” said Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Eric Spoonmore. “His decades of experience in the public and non-profit sectors combined with his deep knowledge of local issues will deliver significant value for our members.”
Emge’s new assignment with the Chamber is effective January 31.
The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Success School is proud to announce the recipients of the 21st Annual Educator of the Year Awards.
For over two decades now, The Chamber’s Success School has championed excellence in education with the annual awards ceremony, which recognizes the best teachers and programs in accredited schools across Monroe County. This year eight educators, one educational program, and one lifetime achievement recipient will be honored in a community celebration at the 21st Annual Educator of the Year Awards to be held on the evening of Thursday, March 3rd, 2022, from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM at Ivy Tech Community College – Bloomington’s Shreve Hall. The program will feature student-led entertainment with a performance from the Tri-North Jazz Band. Presenting sponsors, Cook Group and Solution Tree, will also join the Chamber in presenting our honorees with their awards.
Awardees are selected from a pool of nominees from across Monroe County by a committee composed of leaders from the public sector, business community, and education. The awardees for 2022 are as follows.
NOTE: This "It's Your Business" column by Chamber CEO Eric Spoonmore was published in the January 14, 2022 Bloomington Herald-Times.
As the voice of business in our region, the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce is engaged and involved in many areas that impact what we love most about our community. Our belief in “Better Business, Better Community” recognizes that we collectively prosper when opportunities for professional and personal growth are available to all.
Our members believe that a thriving business sector is necessary for achieving the quality-of-life that residents deserve. We also believe that our best outcomes occur when businesses and government are working together to achieve shared community goals. For example, Monroe County Government and the City of Bloomington swiftly responded to the COVID 19 crisis by creating emergency financial assistance programs targeted for small enterprises. As a result, the responsive action taken by our local officials made a huge difference to small businesses who needed help the most.
Bloomington, IN – January 3, 2022 – The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Legislative Preview next Friday, January 14th from 11:00am to 1:00pm at the American Legion Post 18.
Every January the Chamber kicks off the year in advocacy with the Legislative Preview event, during which the Legislative Agenda for the year is presented and local legislators are invited to share with Chamber members what to expect from the upcoming session.
The following legislators represent parts of Bloomington/Monroe County and have been invited to attend:
State Sen. Eric Koch (District 44)
State Sen. Shelli Yoder (District 40)
State Rep. Jeff Ellington (District 62)
State Rep. Bob Heaton (District 46)
State Rep. Chris May (District 65)
State Rep. Peggy Mayfield (District 60)
State Rep. Matt Pierce (District 61)
The program will begin promptly at 12:00pm with lunch being served at 11:15am.
This event is open to the public, but registration is required. Members may register to attend for $25 while non-members may register to attend for $40. To register, visit www.chamberbloomington.org.
PRESS RELEASE: The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce’s Foundation, The Success School, Seeks Nominations for the 2022 Educator of the Year Awards
The Chamber’s Success School seeks nominations for the 21st Annual Educator of the Year Awards Ceremony to be held on March 3rd. Teachers, program directors, counselors, administrators, instructional staff, and special programs from either Monroe County Community School Corporation or Richland Bean-Blossom district county are eligible for this recognition.
“It’s an extreme privilege for the Chamber’s Success School to honor such a gifted and dedicated group of educators each year. One of the great assets this community possesses is two school districts up to the challenge of inspiring and shepherding our youth to become the productive adults. These awards are the community’s opportunity to pay tribute to those underappreciated educators who deserve recognition,” said Christopher J Emge, Principal of the Chamber’s Success School.”
Those wishing to nominate a deserving educator should contact the Chamber’s Success School at (812) 336-6381 or download a nomination application from the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce’s website at www.ChamberBloomington.org. Nominations are due by January 10th, 2022 to be eligible for consideration.
NOTE: This "It's Your Business" column by Chamber CEO Erin Predmore was published in the November 12, 2021 Bloomington Herald-Times.
This will be my farewell column, which means that the chamber leadership search has been a success.
The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce recently announced that the next president and CEO will be Eric Spoonmore, a longtime community resident, soon-to-be former Monroe County Council member, and a strong advocate for the business community. Eric will be starting in his new role on Dec. 1, and I am confident that he will do an outstanding job for the chamber and the broader community.
When we moved to Bloomington 7 1/2years ago, we repeatedly experienced a strange phenomenon — when meeting new people, the conversation would go like this:
Me: Hi! Nice to meet you!
Them: Isn’t Bloomington the best community?
Me: Uh, I don’t know … we’ve just gotten here. It seems very nice.
Them: It is! It is the best place to live/raise a family/work/relax/visit/ride bikes/eat.
At the time, I would chuckle about this community pride. Little did I know that everyone was right. Bloomington really is the best place. I have loved my time in Bloomington, and I’d like to take a minute to thank a few people and institutions that have made our time in Bloomington spectacular.
Eric Spoonmore has been named the President and CEO of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. Spoonmore formally accepted the offer extended by the organization’s board of directors. He will assume his new duties December 1, 2021. The announcement was made today by Chamber board chair Amy Somers Kopp.
Spoonmore currently serves as Monroe County Council President and as an Associate Director for Enrollment Management for the Kelley Direct MBA and MS Programs at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business in Bloomington. He received his Master’s degree in Public Affairs with a concentration in Local Government Management and a Bachelor’s of Science is in Public Affairs at the Indiana University O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Spoonmore is resigning from the Monroe County Council effective November 30, 2021.
“It is an extraordinary honor to have been selected as the next President and CEO of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce,” said Spoonmore. “I am excited to begin this next phase of service in my career, and I look forward to working with the Chamber Board, our talented staff, and all our existing and future members to build upon the myriad successes achieved throughout our impressive 106-year history.”
“Eric will bring a wonderful perspective to the Chamber gained from his vast experience in county government and experience at Indiana University,” said Somers Kopp. “We believe he is the perfect fit for continuing to keep the Chamber at the forefront of building a strong and stable business community in Monroe County.”
The national executive search for The Chamber’s new President and CEO began in the summer of 2021 after Erin Predmore announced her impeding transition away from her role. Predmore will continue to lead the Chamber through the transition and will step down as President and CEO in December.
This blog contains press releases and other news updates from the Chamber.