The Highlight Reel:
THE FREMONT CHAMBER AUGUST BOARD MEETING
by Kirby Lindsay
If the Fremont business community has an “old boy’s network,” it is the Fremont Chamber of Commerce (F.C.C.) – an organization co-founded by a woman and still run, over 25 years later, by members of both sexes. If the F.C.C. has a “back room,” that would be the conference room at History House - our local, open-to-the-public museum - where the FCC Board of Directors’ meet monthly.
Held on the last Wednesday of each month, the FCC has always welcomed any and all interested visitors. Perhaps they’ve yet to be overrun by curious sightseers because the meeting starts at 8 a.m. The hour isn’t a deliberate attempt to discourage the sleepy, rather it conflicts less with the busy schedules of FCC members, those who open shops, offices and make client calls during the popular hours of the day. For those who hit the snooze button one too many times, here are two highlights from the last meeting, held August 26.
The Very Unwanted
Community interest has turned a lot of attention this year on chronic neighborhood “troublemakers” – aggressive panhandlers, thieves, drug dealers, prostitution rings, vandals and muggers. For an area of its size, Fremont has a very low crime rate – beyond the problems at the Aurora motels – partially because while tolerance for outrageousness can be historically (and hysterically) high, tolerance for criminal behavior barely exists.
At the meeting, discussion covered creating “wanted” posters of the chronic troublemakers out of digital photos that could easily be taken. By distributing photos among business owners with warnings as to scams and schemes, these posters could prevent further crime.
Raymond Glandon, manager of PCC Natural Markets in Fremont, did report having seen people casing his store in the week prior to this meeting. A day after the board meeting, a business near PCC was robbed (read about this crime at www.fremontuniverse.com/2009/08/28/fremont-business-robbed-at-gunpoint). Photos of these people, had they been taken, may have aided the police investigation.
The board avoided any definitive action, but the FCC Executive Director, Jessica Vets, agreed to ask an Seattle Police Department representative about the legality, and liability, of creating wanted posters. Also, everyone agreed, as always, to call the police, at either 9-1-1 (for emergencies) or 206/625-5011 (for non-emergency situations) to report all criminal behavior, and any situations that don’t feel “safe.”
An Elevator Presentation
The meeting also included an interesting presentation by visitor Les Neu of They Shall Walk Productions. In partnership with Marshall Parker, of Marshall Media Consulting, he has begun a new Web Elevator Speech video program.
An elevator speech is a brief, focused, informational presentation of a product or service – like you would deliver in the space of an elevator ride. They intend to offer businesses a chance to create these short videos, about 60 seconds, along with web hosting. For more information about this, contact Neu at Les@theyshallwalk.org or 206/229-8234.
Neu also mentioned their plan to offer, to small, community-based Chambers of Commerce, to host their videos for free. They would like to explore making short, montage footage of area events – such as the upcoming Fremont Oktoberfest – to be displayed on the chamber sites as a way to promote the community, and businesses here.
While it sounded good, no decision was needed so the meeting adjourned shortly thereafter. For more information on the FCC, check out their web site at www.fremont.com or call 206/632-1500. Or consider the fact that everyone is always welcome to attend an FCC Board meeting, and the next one takes place Wednesday, September 30 at 8 a.m.
©2010 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.