It was in 1987 when a small group of businesspeople got together to form the Smithfield-Wetherill Park Chamber of Commerce. One of those founding members Robert Savell from Hydrocare Pools is still with us 30 years later. Another, Renzo Valleri, the owner of Smithfield Mitre10, was until a couple of years ago when he served again as president. We will be celebrating our anniversary in October with an Italian buffet.
Cumberland Business Chamber, as we are now known, was based at Smithfield CBD and now operates an office from within Pace Pallet Services at Wetherill Park.
With our focus these days on the largest employer in the region, the industrial sector, and all of the support networks that service this sector, we believed it was important to have a home base within the industrial park.
Focusing our attention on the industrial and services sectors has raised our profile in Sydney. We regularly have people driving all the way across Sydney to attend meetings because we are the only business development group with that focus in this part of the city.
Targeting specific business sectors is unique in the world of business chambers and we have had industry organisations, government departments and politicians praise us for taking that step. It is for this reason that we signed an MOU with Road Freight NSW and together we have approached the NSW Government to challenge the errors of their proposed Horsley Drive Upgrade.
One relationship we have enjoyed for most of the past 30 years has been with Fairfield City Council. We regularly meet and exchange information. We are their “eyes and ears” and a direct conduit for business to contact them over things like DA applications, illegal dumping, road damage, etc. We appreciate their ongoing support.
Our most recent innovation was the launch of Cumberland Womens Network. The launch breakfast at the Alpha Hotel attracted 35 registrations and the feedback afterwards was very positive. The next breakfast will be on October 10th and there is every indication that this group will start to outnumber the After 5’s!
Our vision is simple. For each member to introduce one person over the next year and double in size. Manufacturing and engineering employ tens of thousands of people in our region but don’t have a big voice and we want to be a strong advocate for employers.
We are based in a growth area with a lot of new business moving in and of course we are on the fringe of the future Western Sydney Airport precinct. To continue to grow…to be a voice…to connect with business owners…we need a dynamic board with good ideas.
Elections for the new board will take place at the 30th anniversary dinner at Smithfield RSL as that night also serves as our AGM. Board members meet for two hours each month at Wetherill Park on the third Tuesday of the month at 5.00PM. The term is for 12 months. We invite you to consider becoming a part of the driving force that takes this chamber to its next level.
On behalf of the current board (Peter Simonis, Jim Vass, Armen Nalbandian, Andre Meyer) I invite you to celebrate our 30th birthday on October 31st at the RSL, invite your work colleagues, and consider joining me on the board for 2017-18.