Maureen Czirfusz, Manager of Houston’s Chamber of Commerce, recently was chosen president of the British Columbia Chamber Executives Association (B.C.C.E.) – a not-for-profit, volunteer organization that is a learning network for Chamber managers and staff.
Czirfusz was nominated to the B.C.C.E. board in 2008, moving up from board manager to secretary to vice-president and now to president, in addition to being a part of several task forces and the conference committee.
“They have been the ones that have given me my success. They are just a fabulous group of people,” said Czirfusz.
To her, B.C.C.E. has provided a network of people to help brainstorm ideas, successfully plan and run events, and celebrate successes.
Most Chamber managers don’t have co-workers in their community, so B.C.C.E. gives connection with people – some with up to 30 years of experience and a great wealth of knowledge – to give suggestions for events and share what has worked in other communities, said Czirfusz.
“And that, I think, is the biggest benefit of B.C.C.E., is being able to pick up the phone and say, ‘I need help.'”
Czirfusz says the Business Awards night is a great example, using ideas from other Chambers and changing a small ten-person event into one that sells out and is a great success.
Besides being a sounding board, B.C.C.E. also holds annual, three-day Conferences in September, giving more ideas and educating about a huge variety of things, like social media, marketing your community, and working on boards.
As president of B.C.C.E, Czirfusz developed a yearly work plan and timeline over the summer and now her main responsibility is making sure that everyone else is doing what has to be done, she says.
Thanks to her summer preparation, Czirfusz says she spends two to three hours a week on B.C.C.E. and then has conference call meetings for about an hour every other month.
“I truly believe in the organization,” said Czirfusz, crediting the incredible group of people she is working with and excited about the ways Houston will benefit from it all.
“I’m just really excited about the opportunities that are going to come from this,” said Czirfusz.