As the new Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce president, David Vogel said he hopes to see the chamber implement a Shop Hillsboro First campaign this year.
“There has been some activity on that project, but there is certainly a lot more that could be done,” he said. “That will be one of the biggest things that I would like to push this year. Later this month, the board will gather for its annual planning meeting, in which we will create a game-plan for the rest of 2016. I’d like to see some major planning for the Shop Hillsboro First campaign to happen there.”
He said that rather than speaking negatively about big box stores to customers, business owners should follow the proverb that the customer is always right in making the decisions that are best for them.
“So then, the challenge becomes creating, or simply showing existing ways that make shopping local the best choice for the customer, and educating consumers about the economic and social benefits of doing so,” he said. “Success there contributes to the overall health of our community, which in turn generates more opportunity for success for local business owners.”
The 26-year-old graphic designer has been in business since April 2014 and may well be the youngest businessperson to preside over the chamber.
Vogel is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and Tabor College. His wife, Hanna, is human resource manager at Barkman Honey Company. He took over as chamber president Jan. 1, replacing Cynthia Fleming.
“This year will be a unique situation in which the Hillsboro Chamber will not have another chamber of commerce operating just 10 miles down the road,” he said. “This is certainly an unfortunate event, but I think it may also create new opportunities for us to work even more closely with Marion businesses, and as a result benefit both communities and possibly make that 10 miles seem a little shorter.”
He hopes to lead the chamber in looking for new and innovative ways to enhance and optimize opportunities for success for local business owners and to create long-term, mutually beneficial relationships between businesses and consumers.
“I would like to say a public thank-you to Cynthia Fleming for her many years of service on the board and for her recent service as president,” Vogel said. “Her leadership has been very much appreciated, and she has helped to facilitate an environment of optimism, thoughtful planning, and progressive action. I look forward to working closely with her while I serve my first term as president.”