Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Freeport Chamber
joining Consolidation Organization (NewCo)
- What current membership benefits will be lost?
None - Projected NewCo staffing levels and budget support all current functions of the Chamber plus opportunities for additional services.
- Can NewCo ensure adequate funding for current member services?
The initial board of directors of NewCo will contain 3 current Chamber board members as well as 3 from each of the other 3 organizations. These persons will be responsible for the fine tuning the governance and operation of NewCo to the mutual benefit of all.
- What are the enhancements of services provided?
Additional proposed services would include more inclusive collaboration on workforce development to include small and large businesses. Services from the Small Business Center would be available to all members. Advertising and Networking would reach a larger membership and a broader consumer and visitor/tourism audience.
- Will my dues go to support City & County economic development, or other community initiatives that I may not want to support?
No. All Chamber members will pay a base rate of dues that will support at a minimum all current Chamber services.However, all members will be encouraged to invest further in NewCo to support community wide initiatives that benefit all members of NewCo. As well as residents of Freeport and Stephenson County. Many current Chamber members currently do this through NIDA or separate initiatives such as Collaborate Freeport.
- Can NewCo, which represents many different interests, be effectively governed by one single board of directors?
The proposal recommends 12 board-at-large board members, plus one designee from the City of Freeport, Stephenson County, FSD 145, Highland Community College, and one other non-profit member. The 12 at-large members will be nominated and then elected by the membership during an annual meeting, similar to how the Chamber board is elected.
- How will the public entities influence the governance of the board?
The City of Freeport and Stephenson County will have a voting seat on the board, however 12 of the 17 members will be elected from the membership and thus maintain a majority.The 501(c)6 Chamber Board will not have representation from the taxing bodies/public entities ensuring independent, uninfluenced advocacy for business.
- Does the 501(c)6 arm require a separate board of directors? How does it operate within, but independently of NewCo?
501(c)6 is governed by the NewCo board, minus the public entities to provide consistency and efficiency in governance. All NewCo members will be considered Chamber members and vice versa. The 501(c)6 board will advocate independently of the NewCo Board through the Business Advocacy Committee and volunteers.
- Will the Business Advocacy Committee still remain active in this organization?
Yes, the Business Advocacy Committee (BAC) will still be able to work on behalf of its membership on issues under the guidance of the 501(c)6 Chamber Board.
- Can NewCo retain status as a Chamber?
Yes, through the use of the 501(c)6.
- How will combination of current assets occur?
All assets and debts will be combined to create a fully committed and integrated organization.