“Heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend” isn’t this reporter’s approach to journalism; but in this case, I’m making an exception. The exact quote from a high-ranking official in Page isn’t documented.
It goes something like this: “What does the Page-Lake Powell Chamber of Commerce do anyway besides events?” For someone new to the area and not yet familiar with the people and organizations that make Page tick, this is a valid question.
So, what exactly does the Chamber do?
I spoke with Executive Director Judy Franz to find out. I was both surprised and impressed. Not only with the scope of services the nonprofit provides, but the energy behind it. Franz is hard to keep up with. She’s quick in thought, talk and walk, all the while juggling multiple tasks with fluidity and urgency. She knows how to get things done.
Franz knows many in the community only see the event coordinator side of the chamber. She says that’s only a fraction of what they do. Their primary task is promoting and assisting their 250 members. Franz said, “We work for our members.”
Drawing from the experience and expertise of staff and volunteers, 10 in all, they assist in helping local businesses. For example, business building essentials like improving customer service and getting better ratings on TripAdvisor. They give Customer Service Excellence Awards for businesses achieving 4.5 stars or more.
Another service is sending out information packages to future visitors. Franz said, “postage alone averages $75 per day.” This is often to Chamber of Commerce members in other cities considering Page as a vacation destination. Essentially, the chamber takes on the role of travel agency. Members and the general public can book hotels, tours and get recommendations for services in the area.
A major part of the chamber’s focus is networking, and it’s extensive. Not only the monthly mixer events for local businesspeople to meet and chat, organizing major city events, but on the county and state levels.
Franz serves on multiple boards, including Northern Arizona Council of Government (NACOG Tourism), Workforce Development with Coconino County Career Center, and City of Page, pre-employment team – for jobs lost by Navajo Generating Station closure, 89 Forward Workforce Development, Page-Lake Powell Community Fund and she works with Arizona Office of Tourism for FAM Tours (comped tours for tourism). Busy enough? Not quite, she and others at the chamber also run small businesses in Page. Franz is also taking steps to open and run a new visitor center, a function typically handled by the city. They’re gathering ideas and looking for investors.
The Page Chamber of Commerce covers a lot of territory, more than listed here. To learn more, visit https://www.pagechamber.com/