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Anthem Area Chamber welcomes new director, sets goals for 2016

11/11/2015

Elizabeth Medora
Staff

ANTHEM – Heather Maxwell believes that organizations need solid foundations in order to healthfully grow, and, as the new Executive Director of the Anthem Area Chamber of Commerce, she’s helping the Chamber establish that solid foundation in the community.

“We’re getting the organizational foundation pieces laid firmly, and we’re going to launch forward in 2016,” Maxwell said.

Formerly a division of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and known as the Anthem North Gateway Chamber, the Anthem Area Chamber of Commerce was formed last April when that group dissolved and the new Chamber opened with a new name and new ambitions. 

Maxwell took over as Executive Director of the Chamber on Oct. 1, after the departure of former director Lew Rees.

Maxwell’s goals for the Anthem Chamber center around helping the organization find its place in the community so it can grow and help local businesses grow.

“Where the Chamber goes will be based on the needs of our members and the businesses in this area,” Maxwell noted, saying that the Chamber will “grow in the direction it needs to go to support the businesses in the area.”

Maxwell’s career and training has prepared her for this undertaking; she is a certified Professional Community and Economic Developer and has worked in economic development nationally.

“I was really supportive of the new Chamber opening up,” Maxwell said. When she found out the position of Chamber Executive Director was available, she expressed interest in the position, finding it, as she described, “a perfect fit for my skills and background.”

“The rest is history!” she said.

Maxwell and her family moved to Anthem in 2014 when her husband joined Honeywell Aerospace Trading. Despite moving in July, she described the move to Anthem from Arkansas as “easier than we expected it to be.”

“When we did make the move, it was on the heels of a record rain, record tornado, record humidity, record heat kind of summer,” Maxwell described. “By the time we made it to Arizona in July, it was hot – but we left the humidity behind. It was almost refreshing!”

Right away, the Maxwell family enjoyed their new neighborhood.

“The kids transitioned really well, right into their new schools,” Maxwell said. “For us, it had all of the amenities we were looking for,” she continued, citing Anthem’s bike paths, walking paths, and community park.

“It has a hometown feel,” she said of Anthem. “You see people you know in the grocery store. You run into people you do business with, and I like that. That’s really what drew us up here. All the way around, it’s been really good.”

Since getting started as the Chamber Executive Director, Maxwell has developed several goals for the Chamber.

Getting the Chamber’s Web site redone is a priority. It’s currently under development and is expected to be live by the end of this year. When finished, the site will include merchant information and community resources.

Maxwell noted that Chamber organizers are focusing on growing Chamber programs and services for members, as well as encouraging new members to join. Membership recruitment is one of the Chamber’s priorities.

“We’re right at 100 members right now,” Maxwell said. “We’d really like to see the Chamber grow.”

As the Chamber expands, Maxwell plans to keep building member services. She noted that it’s important for the Chamber to “make sure we’re in touch with what members need.”

Maxwell invites members or those who are interested in learning more about the Anthem Area Chamber to contact her via email at hmaxwell@anthemareachamber.org or phone at (623) 322-9127.

The Anthem Area Chamber’s holiday party is coming up soon; it will be held Dec. 1, at the Ironwood Country Club. The party will be open to members and guests. Members will receive two tickets, and non-member tickets will be available for purchase. Sponsorships are also available. For more information, call Maxwell at (623) 322-9127 or visit the Chamber’s Facebook page: Facebook.com, search Anthem Area Chamber of Commerce.

Maxwell is planning on a busy and productive new year, as the Chamber continues to grow and advance.

“We’re looking forward to 2016!” she emphasized.
Anthem Area Chamber of Commerce

(623) 322-9127
hmaxwell@anthemareachamber.org
Facebook.com, search Anthem Area Chamber of Commerce
Office located in Anthem Civic Building, 3701 W. Anthem Way, Ste. 202-01
Office hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (appointments recommended)