Chamber Centennial Draws 500+ to Celebration: Governor Patrick Pledges $32 Million; Bill Morse Re-elected Chair

A sold-out crowd of nearly 500 business people attended the Metro South Chamber of Commerce 100th Annual Meeting & Expo on November 20, 2013 at the Conference Center at Massasoit in Brockton, sponsored by Crescent Credit Union, UMass Donahue Institute, and Brockton Area Workforce Investment Board . The Centennial celebration paid homage to the Chamber’s leadership over the past century, acting as a convener, educator and advocate for business in the Metro South region.

The spirited event included an expo featuring over 60 businesses, a 1900s photo booth, musical entertainment, candy station, valuable raffles and give-aways, and NY Times Best Selling Author Dr. Ned Hallowell.   The event also featured the presentation of numerous awards, including the Charles A. Fuller Award to Chamber Ambassador Chair Friend Weiler of HarborOne Bank, and the Board Service Award to Larry Siskind of Siskind & Siskind LLC.

In addition, Economic Impact Awards were presented to 11 companies whose combined investment exceeded fifty-five million dollars and represented an employment of 500 people.

Governor Deval Patrick was on hand to mark the auspicious occasion, as well as to further contribute to news of economic progress in the region with the announcement of a $27.4 million investment for a new Allied Health and Science Building at Massasoit Community college, $4 million to re-design and construct a central public green space at Brockton’s City Hall Plaza, and a $1 million grant to support Queset Commons in Easton.

William Morse, President of Mutual Bank and master of ceremonies, was re-elected as the Chair of the Board.  During the meeting, Morse reflected on some of the many recent accomplishments of the Chamber, including the opening of the Business Assistance Center, receiving and maintaining a 5-star accreditation by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, helping to attract growing businesses such as Cheer Pack and Crown Linen, successfully advocating for lower commercial tax rates, and recently being designated by state and federal officials as a Regional Economic Development Organization, a Massachusetts Creative Economy Network Leader, and a Community Development Corporation.

Morse went on to list Chamber priorities for the future including “continuing to identify vacant sites for use and development, promoting and attracting  programs and resources for business growth, advocating for a pro-active approach to meeting regional water supply and wastewater treatment needs, educating businesses and future workers to develop our workforce, and attracting growing industries that will ensure the region remains a hub of progress and innovation.”

Morse further demonstrated his enthusiasm and optimism for the future of the organization by quoting President Calvin Coolidge in a speech addressed to the Chamber in 1916.

“‘Where commerce has flourished, there, civilization has increased.’  When business succeeds, we all benefit.  This is a region of opportunity, enthusiasm, value and diversity.  Together we can ensure the continued prosperity and future flourishing of the Metro South region.  I am proud to be associated with the Metro South Chamber and with you my colleagues and friends.  I am especially mindful of the distinction of serving as your chairman at our 100th Anniversary.   One hundred years from now, I am confident that future business leaders will look back at us with admiration and appreciation and will honor our progress and our dedication to the economic growth of this region.”

Proceeds from the event benefited the Chamber’s Centennial Innovation Campaign, used to refurbish the Edison building and further bolster programs and activities. For more information, visit www.metrosouthchamber.com/programs/donate.

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