Our Networking pro of the month is Stephanie Phillips, director of member value and engagement for the Greater Richmond Chamber.
She jokes that it’s a good thing her first career choice — being “the social worker who saves the world” — didn’t pan out. “I ended up instead in an entry-level job with the Greater Richmond Chamber, where I found my calling,” she shares.
During her 22 years with the Greater Richmond Chamber, Phillips has focused on maximizing strategic partnerships, being a resource to thousands of members, and creating dynamic events and volunteer programs.
“The bottom line,” she says, “is that my job is about providing a positive and thoughtful experience with everyone I work with.”
With decades of experience helping business leaders network, what are Phillips’ top tips for networking success? Scroll down for our Q&A.
Be Inkandescent: Tell us about the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce, and how it has grown in the last few years.
Stephanie Phillips: As a regional Chamber, our goal is to help move the Richmond, VA, region (RVA region, for short) forward through our leadership, community, and brand initiatives. We are not a traditional chamber, as our philosophy is one of quality, not quantity. This means no membership drives, campaigns, golf outings, etc. Our philosophy has proven successful, as seen by our retention rate and our approach in engaging our members.
Say hi to our newest members Wenatchee Christmas Lighting
Be Inkandescent: What is your mission, and how has it changed to keep up with the times?
Stephanie Phillips: Our mission is to support the success of our members, provide a strong business voice, and develop leaders and entrepreneurs. As times change, so do the areas of focus not only for businesses, but also for nonprofits. We always keep our fingers on the pulse of what our members and the RVA region is experiencing. By working together, the business community plays a powerful role in determining how this community looks and feels. Our mission helps support that very sense of place.