Sojourner’s Truth Staff
The Toledo African American Chamber of Commerce hosted a meet and greet on Friday, June 25 for Chamber members and guests at the newly constructed Glass City Metropark.
The attendees had an opportunity to network, nibble on snacks and listen to presentations from Chamber President Roy Hodge, Workforce Development Committee Chairman Tim Clark, Women of Toledo President Nina Corder and Metroparks Matt, along with several up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
“Some years ago, the feedback about the Chamber was “I didn’t know there was a Black Chamber,” said Hodge opening his remarks.
“More recently, we heard ‘I didn’t know but now I do know but I’m not sure what they do,’” he added.
However, considering the effort the TAACC has made in the last two years to market its operation and to construct committees that focus on education, development and training, according to Hodge, the membership has increased, funding has increased by over 150 percent and the narrative now is “I know what they do and I want to be a part of it.”
Hodge spoke of the work the various Chamber committees – Education and Workforce Development; Government Affairs; Legal and Financial Services; Membership and Events – are engaged in, as did Clark who heads the Workforce Development Committee.
Hodge also spoke of the partnerships that TAACP has developed, with groups such as Women of Toledo, LISC, Toledo Lucas County Port Authority, Assets Toledo, The Toledo Lucas County Library, Metroparks, and so forth.
“We want to make sure you are not out there alone,” said Clark to the Chamber members in attendance.
The Chamber’s emphasis for those members with or without experience in running their businesses is to connect entrepreneurs to partners – inside and outside of the organization, to mentors and mentees, to each other.
According to an African proverb that Hodge quoted: “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.