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A Chat w/ Chamber President Kathy Alagno

Kathy Alagno has been President and CEO of the Milford Chamber of Commerce since 1995. We spoke with her about the Chamber's past and future.

 

Kathy Alagno has been President and CEO of the Milford Chamber of Commerce since 1995. Over the past 17 years, she has overseen Chamber membership services, the Milford Chamber Trust Fund, the BIC Golf Classic in the summer, and Milford Progress, as well as other endeavors.

Alagno has been involved in the Economic Development Commission and was instrumental in making sure that Milford citizens were allowed to contribute to the Yale design workshop's Downtown Milford revitalization project.

The Milford Chamber Trust has been active in helping out during recent Connecticut crises,  donating $20,000 to Hurricane Sandy Relief through Milford United Way and $1,000 to help schools in Newtown.

What Does a Chamber of Commerce Do?

"Chambers of Commerce are business organizations that represent the make-up of the community in which they serve," Alagno said. "The Milford Chamber is comprised of approximately 650 businesses. We have businesses of all size, but the majority of our members are small to medium size businesses. There are many reasons to get involved in the Chamber and many businesses join for different reasons, depending upon their needs."

The Milford Chamber has a legislative action committee that "works with a lobbyist in Hartford to help small businesses in regard to small business legislation and advocate on their behalf," Alagno said.

Kathy Alagno went on to note that the Chamber offers networking opportunities, an "easy and nice way to get your foot in the door with many businesses because you're part of the same organization," as well as marketing opportunities, advertising and sponsorships, as well as other services.

"When the company comes in we can talk with them about what's available to fulfill their needs," Alagno said.

Changes in How People Do Business

"When people began to market with social media, the whole way of doing business changed drastically over the last twenty years. We went from a fax-based notification about events to email now we used Facebook and Twitter," Alagno said.

The Chamber will be introducing a new database system, as well as a new website that will be more interactive and cutting-edge.

Leads Groups

The Milford Chamber of Commerce hosts a series of Leads Groups, in which Milford business owners and other Chamber members convene at the Chamber building on a regular basis and share leads, tips and referrals of business with one another.

"It's become a new found way to expand your penetration into a market," Alagno said of the Leads Groups.

Awards of Distinction

The Chamber will be holding its 58th Annual Meeting & 2012 Awards of Distinction on Wednesday, January 30, 2013, 11:30 am, at Grassy Hill Country Club in Orange, CT.

Among the 15 honorees at the event will be Gary Johnson of the United Way of Milford and Board of Aldermen member Ray Vitali, to name a few.

Tim Chaucer January 18, 2013 at 02:46 PM
We wish the Chamber had a reduced rate for non-profits such as The Milford Marine Institute, Inc. which will be celebrating its 30th year of running Marine Biology, Bird Identification, and Native American Archaeology/Culture Camps beginning in June at the Gulf Pond Museum.
Kathleen Santasiero January 18, 2013 at 03:30 PM
When I first moved to Milford in 2003, I was very new to the area and needed to "get around" here in Milford. I contacted the Chamber many times and was always steered in the right direction. I applaud Milford Chamber of Commerce.
Priscilla Lynn January 18, 2013 at 10:18 PM
An excellent article on this key community leader. Chamber membership - best investment ever! I've been a member for several years and have experienced a tremendous return on my investment. I attend most of their events, and take advantage of the Chamber's myriad marketing and networking opportunities. I appreciate and thank the hard-working and enthusiastic Chamber team - Kathy Alagno, Nell Moll, Mary Elizabeth Allbert, Connie Smith, and Peggi Vetro. They all serve with grace, purpose, and integrity. I highly recommend anyone not already a Chamber member to become one, and those already members to ramp up your participation in all the Chamber has to offer.
Downtown Milford Business Association (DMBA) January 18, 2013 at 10:31 PM
Congratulations to venerable Chamber leader Kathy Alagno on this excellent article. Kudos to you for your many years of leadership, unrelenting support of the business community, and effective guidance of your team to perpetuate business.

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