MARSHALL - When your job is to represent the business community in Marshall, it's important to make a good impression. Now that a month's worth of renovations in the Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce office are finished, that should be easier to do, said chamber executive director Cal Brink.
"The chamber of commerce is one of the first places you go," Brink said, when visitors or new residents or businesses come to town. The chamber office should reflect that, he added.
Work on the interior of the Chamber office on Main Street in Marshall started in March, Brink said. Brink said it was important to fund the project responsibly, so the renovations were negotiated into the lease agreement for the office instead of using additional chamber funding.
Photo by Deb Gau
Marshall chamber executive director Cal Brink and Andrea Hess said the renovations give the chamber offices a more open, professional look.
"It isn't that we took a bunch of membership dollars to do this," Brink said. "We just opted for a longer lease." The chamber also requested that all the contractors for the project be local chamber members, he said.
The renovations were also fairly simple, Brink said - new drywall and paint, a handicapped-accessible bathroom, and a private conference room for meetings.
"We always used to have our chamber meetings out here," he said, indicating the main office room, that now has space for staff desks and a lobby.
The renovated office also rearranged space for visitors, so the first thing they see is a nice-looking office, instead of stacks of brochures that used to be present up front, Brink said.
"It was just not the kind of image the chamber of commerce should present," Brink said.
The construction work took about a month from start to finish, Brink said, but that also made things too busy inside the office space for chamber work.
"We just took that time to visit with our members," he said.
Besides looking better, the renovated office also sets the stage for further partnership between the chamber, the city of Marshall, and the Marshall Convention and Visitors Bureau, Brink said. The new conference room will be available for private use by chamber members or for rent to the community, he said, and the office has an adjoining door to the CVB.