When I started my business in 2013, one of the first things I did was to join the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce. I saw it as an organization that would help me grow my business and just as importantly, allow me to help grow the community. You see, I strongly believe a strong business community translates directly to a strong community. When people have meaningful jobs which enable them to support their families, the foundation of a great community is established.
As a member of the Chamber, I’ve served on the Leadership Harrison committee, the Education committee, and the Ambassador committee. Each has allowed me to contribute to the Chamber’s activities as well as get to know some of the great people in Harrison County.
When I retired from the Army in 2013 after 22 years, my wife and I brought our four children to live here in Clarksburg. I didn’t know anyone other than a few of my wife’s relatives. I had no idea of the lay of the land here, business or otherwise. The Chamber has helped me meet people, build a reputation, and become involved.
Quite frankly, there isn’t much of a demand for leadership training and professional speakers in this area. The vast majority of my business has been in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, and most recently, Washington, D.C. For me, being part of the Chamber is far more about building the community where we live and go to church, where our children go to school and play sports, and where many of us work.
Making money is important, no question. It’s how we put a roof over our head, clothes on our back and food on the table. But to me, making a difference is far more important. Through the Chamber, I feel I’m helping to make a difference. It’s why I’ve strongly supported the partnerships between the Chamber and our schools, the 8th grade Career Connections Day held annually, and contributions to the Harrison County Student Achievement Scholarship Fund. It’s why I delight in welcoming new business and getting to know the people who own and operate them. It’s why I’m a proud member of the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce.
─ Mark McMillion, McMillion Leadership Associates