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Nearly 150 volunteers “race” to make a difference for Norman businesses

on May 17, 2019

The Norman Chamber of Commerce is not only welcoming more than 300 new members, but it is also recognizing the overall impact that last week’s Membership Derby has made to Norman businesses and the community.

In less than 36 hours, nearly 150 volunteers came together to make a difference by learning more about what a chamber does for local businesses, how it elevates the economy, and how it provides meaning to economic development, business and a community.

“It is encouraging to see business leaders excited about the future of the Chamber and our community,” said Casey Vinyard, Norman Chamber board chair. “We can and should all get behind business development and economic development to help retain and grow our local businesses.”

The Membership Derby broke several records by bringing in a total of 305 members and raising more than $102,000, which makes Norman Chamber the only Chamber in Oklahoma—and 42nd in the nation—to bring in more than $100,000 during a membership drive led by “Your Chamber Connection.”

“While we set new records for membership drives, more importantly, we laid the groundwork to transform our community,” said Scott Martin, Norman Chamber President and CEO. “Our volunteers did a tremendous effort and their message of community development through job retention and expansion was well received.”


The Membership Derby also came with some friendly competition. Among the 150 volunteers, there were eight strong teams that “raced” against each other to bring in the most members and dollars for the Chamber.

WIN: Gold Team, led by Sam and Lisa Talley, brought in 77 members and $24,555.

PLACE: Blue Team, led by David Nimmo, brought in 54 members and $19,745.

SHOW: Pink Team, led by Dana Rieger, brought in 52 members and $16,458.

Not only did Lisa Talley’s team take first place, but she also was named the “godmother” of the Derby because of her contribution, energy and dedication throughout the Derby.

“Witnessing the chamber membership community grow right before my eyes in only a matter of days because of the dedicated leaders was simply incredible,” said Talley. “This drive was not about numbers… it was about our community rallying together in support of keeping our local storefronts in business so our community can continue to thrive and flourish. To be a part of this growth was truly an honor and an event I will never forget.”

Matt Clouse, Norman Chamber board chair-elect, said the Derby did so much more than bring in new members, it united the current members and educated them on the benefits of belonging to the chamber and how a chamber impacts the entire community. Clouse was also named the “godfather” of the event because of his tireless commitment and enthusiasm throughout.

“It was amazing to see hundreds of local volunteers come together to support the Chamber and local businesses,” Clouse added. “Volunteers don’t always have a lot of extra time; but they have big hearts and that, I believe, is what made this campaign so successful.”

“Norman is an amazing community, and as was displayed during our drive, is ready to catapult itself to a whole new level,” Martin added. “I’m so excited to be part of such a dynamic organization who’s making a lasting impact.”

The Membership Drive was made possible by the following sponsors: CA McCarty Construction Inc., HeyDay Entertainment, Holiday Inn Express and Hilton Garden Inn, Landers Auto Group, Republic Bank and Trust, and Valliance Bank.

For more information on how you can become a member of the Norman Chamber or be more involved, contact Jamie Wade at 405.321.7260 or




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