Story and photos by Suzanne Waring

The Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce’s winter luncheon was held at the Meadowlark Country Club on February 21, 2024. The pleasure of a nice winter day drifted into the club’s dining room teeming with people eagerly greeting one another. Business people from a variety of industries – sales, legal, real estate, medical, government, non-profits, and finance – are members of the Chamber and were in attendance.

Leigh Larson, owner of creative Leigh Digital explained why she attends the luncheons. “The Chamber’s events are important networking opportunities for my business’s growth and the luncheons improve my understanding of local business and development goals.”

Two hundred thirty people attended this particular luncheon that was sponsored by D.A. Davidson, which has its headquarters in Great Falls but also has satellite offices throughout the United States. Lynda Morin, who is senior vice president, financial advisor, and branch manager at D.A. Davidson, greeted everyone as the Chamber’s Chair of the Board of Directors.

After emphasizing the many ways the Chamber is the “light of the community” in her introductory remarks, she introduced Brock Cherry, who recently took the position of Director of Planning and Community Development for the City of Great Falls. With a sprinkle of humor, Cherry spoke on the City of Great Falls’ latest Growth Policy, which is in the process of being developed and has been termed “The People’s Plan.” Cherry explained that a growth policy is a public long-range guide used for making decisions about the city’s future, particularly land use. The upcoming growth policy for Great Falls will reflect the City Planning and Community Development Department’s efforts to realize the community’s dreams while prioritizing safety, fostering economic health, and preserving what makes Great Falls great.

After hearing Brock Cherry’s presentation, Lynda Morin stated, “A Growth Plan is good for our community and its businesses. We are excited for Brock Cherry to be able to put the plan together with the community’s help. It will take the cooperation and input of the entire community and our leadership entities to move Great Falls forward! As Brock said, we are in the right place at the right time! Great Falls is Great! With the proper plan and combined efforts, it will become even better! The Chamber looks forward to being a part of this exciting movement!”

It was evident at the luncheon that becoming a member of the Chamber demonstrates surrounding yourself with people who know that working to keep a thriving community also supports their own personal interests. “The Chamber of Commerce does far more than provide business support to individual businesses; it serves as a vital glue of community-building for our town and region,” said Larson.
Call the Chamber at 406-761-4434 to ask for a membership packet or stop by their offices at 100 First Avenue North. We look forward to seeing you at the next Chamber event!

The Chamber serves as the “vital glue of community-building for our town and the region,” Leigh Larson.

The next luncheon, to be held at the Great Falls Airport Event and Conference Center at 11:30am on May 15, 2024, will feature Colonel Barry E. Little, 341st Missile Wing Commander at Malmstrom Air Force Base, as the keynote speaker. Plan to attend this event and others held by the Chamber, such as the Annual Ag Banquet, Business After Hours, the Annual Awards Gala in September, and Ribbon Cutting Events.

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