Westfield Chamber of Commerce holds coffee event, launches mug club

By Anna Skinner

The first Coffee with the Chamber networking event drew more attendees than Westfield Chamber of Commerce President Jack Russell expected. Thirty people – members and nonmembers of the chamber – attended the inaugural event to hear advice from Element 3, an Indianapolis-based marketing company.

“What I tried to do was to get a speaker every month in addition to our luncheons. It is different for people to not only hear people speak but to be able to network in the mornings,” Russell said. “The (event) is based on a gap in our programming like not having any breakfasts, and adding Coffee with the Chamber can be a program where we have people speak but also be a place where people connect and network and learn more about our businesses.”

The next Coffee with the Chamber will be at 8 a.m. Sept. 13 at the Union, 136 N. Union St. The event will be strictly networking.

Through Coffee with the Chamber, Russell also created the Chamber Mug Club, a benefit program he hopes to integrate into various local businesses around the community.

“Everyone (from the Mug Club) that comes to Coffee with the Chamber gets a mug, and going forward any time you bring that mug we are going to start working with other businesses,  so when you stop by a business in the morning for breakfast, the hope is you’ll be able to get a discount with members or businesses in the community,” Russell said.

Russell said the idea behind the Chamber Mug Club is to facilitate face-to-face connections for millenials.

“The thought is if you take your mug to breakfast and you order a coffee with your mug, you can show people not only are you a part of the chamber, but you are part of the club or group you see out in the city,” he said. “We don’t have that one-on-one connection as much. Our lives revolve around our cell phones, our emails, and to create a Chamber Mug Club was a way to have a face-to-face conversation with somebody.”

Coffee with the Chamber is free for members and $10 for nonmembers. For more, visit westfield-chamber.org.