This is a prestigious luncheon event where the Opelika Chamber recognizes chamber members and community leaders through 13 different awards. This is one of the largest attended events in Opelika, averaging just under 600 attendees. The purpose of the event is for the Opelika Chamber to celebrate the successes of the past year and look forward to what the coming year will bring to Opelika.
The Opelika Chamber's Ambassadors (25 total) come from all industries in the community & serve as important liaisons to chamber members. Ambassadors have a monthly lunch meeting and meet 10 times a year (excluding July and December). The purpose of the Ambassadors is to focus on growth through the recruitment of new members, retention of current members, and support of chamber programming and events.
Annual Board Retreat
The Annual Board Retreat is a day of educating new board members on how the chamber is involved in the business community and the community at large, as well as evaluate the programming and events for the upcoming year. In addition, the Board focuses on the development of a strategic plan for the upcoming year.
Board of Directors Meetings
The Board of Directors are made up of up to 21 prominent business or individual members and help determine the direction and future trajectory of the Opelika Chamber of Commerce. The Board of Directors meet every other month in the morning for a total of 6 meetings per year.
Business After Hours
This high-energy, after-hours networking event is held at a chamber member's business, complete with refreshments, drinks, & door prizes. It is scheduled quarterly from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. and is an ideal networking opportunity for a company to make business contacts. The purpose of this event is for the chamber member hosting to have an opportunity to showcase their company, services, products and facility as well as allow chamber members to build new contacts and leads.
Business Leaders Reception
The Business Leaders Reception is a business learning & networking opportunity that features partners at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who are the leading advocate for business issues at the federal level. At this event, we invite a representative from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to speak to chamber members about timely federal legislation pertinent to Opelika businesses at an after-hours reception where drinks and hors d'oeuvres are be served.
Business Over Breakfast
Business Over Breakfast is a quarterly breakfast event where a keynote speaker is invited to deliver a short program on relevant issues in the business community. This event provides around 100 chamber members an opportunity to network in a relaxed social atmosphere as well as learn from quality speakers. The Small Business of the Quarter is awarded at this event.
This event is coordinated as needed for local elections. Constituents are invited to experience a question and answer session to better inform the public of their stances and initiatives if elected.
This exciting event is for 100-120 high school students in the career tech classes at Opelika High School. Students are bussed to Southern Union State Community College campus in Opelika for a panel presented tour of their Career Tech Departments. This gives students an opportunity to see state of the art equipment and talk to teachers and businesses about getting a degree and a job in one of these high demand fields.
This is an annual community event that occurs on the first Saturday of December. Hundreds of local citizens attend to see over 70 parade entries to kick-off the Christmas season. The purpose of the event is to give chamber members an opportunity for recognition in the community through sponsorship opportunities as well as participating in the parade.
Christmas Parade-Police Officer Appreciation Breakfast
All local law enforcement are required to work the day of the Opelika Chamber of Commerce's Annual Christmas Parade. In appreciation for their hard work in helping keep the parade traffic going smoothly (before & after), the Opelika Chamber provides the Police Officers with a breakfast from a chamber member.
This after-hours event offers food, drinks, and an opportunity to network with chamber staff and chamber board of directors.
This quarterly breakfast event is geared toward new and existing chamber members.
This event is designed as a networking event where attendees are able to meet a variety of people from different businesses and share their leads to business. Business cards from all attendees are emailed to everyone after the meeting, so if one doesn't get the chance to talk to someone, they have their card to follow-up.
Covid Cares Appreciation Breakfast
For several months, the Opelika Chamber provided close to 5,000 meals for East Alabama Medical Center call center employees, janitorial staff, respiratory therapists and CVICU employees with the help of 25 restaurants and caterers and over $21,000 donated by chamber members. This breakfast is to recognize and thank those that helped the Opelika Chamber during this difficult time to provide funding and meals to help our local hospital staff during COVID-19.
Educator's Breakfast - Lee County Schools
Prior to the beginning of the school year Lee County Schools, approximately 100-120 new employees (teachers and support staff) come together for training in a 3-day workshop. The Opelika Chamber provides breakfast all 3 days to show appreciation for the great educators and leaders in the community!
Educators & Faculty Institute Breakfast - Opelika City Schools
Over 600 faculty & support staff come together to learn and prepare for new changes in the curriculum, discuss grade level management and logistics, and be trained to use new learning systems. We provide breakfast and door prizes for this event to show appreciation and recognize the faculty and educators of our local school system.
Educators Breakfast - Opelika City Schools
Opelika City Schools always host an event to welcome new teachers to the school system. They come together for a whole day of training. For this event, we provide breakfast for over 60 teachers each year as a way of showing appreciation for the great educators in our community as they start their first day of training.
First Responders Appreciation Breakfast
This ticketed breakfast event is to show our appreciation and gratitude to the men & women who are with Police/Law Enforcement, Firefighters, and Emergency & Medical Personnel. The event features a motivational guest speaker and has an attendance up to 300. The event is mainly for first responders, but it is also open for membership to attend.
Annual Member Golf Tournament
The Annual Member Golf Tournament draws more than 150 players to compete in a 4-man scramble the first Tuesday of May. There are morning and afternoon flights with multiple contests including longest drive, closest to the pin, and even a golf ball drop. The purpose of this event is to allow chamber members the opportunity to make deals and meet potential customers outside of the office.
Lee County Young Leaders
This youth leadership program is for High School Juniors throughout Lee County who demonstrate exceptional leadership abilities. The mission of the program is: 1) To increase awareness of community needs, opportunities, problems, and resources. 2) To provide a great understanding of contemporary issues through interaction and problem solving with peers and community leaders. 3) To help students understand "the big picture" of Lee County, identify the opportunities for a career and family development. 4) To expose them to volunteer experiences outside the realm of school. 5) To enhance communication skills and decision-making capabilities. The program runs from August to May and the selected group meets once a month for a whole day.
This after-hours event is annually hosted by the Opelika Chamber and invites all federal, state, and local officials in the area to introduce their self to chamber members and share what they have been working on that benefits the local community. This is a great opportunity for over 70 chamber members to introduce themselves to these dignitaries and ask questions that interest them.
Maximize Your Membership Workshop
This event is held twice a year where staff go over how members can make the most of their investment with the chamber. This workshop includes how to effectively use Chamber Master, marketing opportunities, sponsorships opportunities, events and programs, and more and is recommended for new members as well as current members that need a refresher on all the services available to them.
The Mayor for the City of Opelika gives a comprehensive update on the state of the City of Opelika, including Q&A time for attendees. This is a luncheon event that typically has over 200 attendees! The purpose of the event is for the Mayor of Opelika to address the membership and let them know the future of Opelika.
Member Appreciation Lunch
The chamber hosts a member appreciation lunch at the Opelika Chamber. This is a come and go event over the course of 3 hours during lunch. This is a great opportunity for chamber members to talk and meet other chamber members in a relaxed setting over lunch as well as allow chamber staff and board of directors to say thank you to all members.
Professional Development Series
The Chamber will host professional development workshops two times a year (Spring & Fall) on pertinent issues that affect businesses such as: One to One Small Business Counseling, Computer & Internet, Financial Planning, Crime & Safety, Education, Governmental Affairs, Health & Wellness, and more.
Realtor Tour - Opelika City Schools
This half day event allows local realtors the opportunity to tour three of Opelika City Schools' spectacular facilities during school hours. This is an opportunity for realtors to see firsthand what's going on in the schools as well as have an opportunity to speak to the principals and Opelika City Schools Superintendent to better equip them to answer questions about the school system when selling homes.
Ribbon Cuttings are a special celebration for businesses who have just joined the chamber or for a member who just opened for business. This event is typically held on Tuesday at either 10 am or 4 pm and is a great opportunity for chamber members to network with chamber ambassadors, city officials, and friends. The Ribbon Cutting typically includes: a few words from the Chamber, business owner, and Mayor; the cutting of the ribbon and pictures; and a tour of the facility. The past five years the Opelika Chamber averages around 40 ribbon cuttings a year.
Student Economic & Community Development Sponsorship
The Chamber sends a rising high school senior with an interest in business, civic affairs, and public service to the Huntingdon College Economic and Community Development Scholars Program every June. The program introduces young citizens who are poised to begin their professional journeys the importance of economic and community development. The student applies to the program and is chosen by a Huntingdon panel. If chosen, the student will spend 3 days at the college. This program: 1) Open students' minds to new career possibilities 2) Provide hands-on and on-site training and observation 3) Allow rising high school seniors to network with and learn from young and seasoned economic professionals 4) Spark critical thinking through think-tanks and problem-solving simulations 5) Start a flame of understanding regarding the importance of economic and community development.
This is an annual community event kicks off the Christmas season in Opelika with artificial snow fall and a tree lighting. Hundreds of local citizens attend to kick-off the Christmas season. The purpose of the event is to bring Christmas cheer to Opelika and is in line with the City of Opelika’s initiative to become a Christmas destination.
Total Resource Campaign
In an organized seven weeks, volunteers raise the funding for the Opelika Chamber programs and events for the entire year. The Total Resource Campaign markets sponsorships of the Chamber's programs, events, publications and electronic media, as well as recruits new members. Recognition and fun campaign events provide an exciting environment for all volunteers. The receive a lunch each week during the campaign and end the campaign with an after-hours celebration party that includes food and drinks.
Twenty Under Forty
The Opelika Chamber of Commerce's 20 Under 40 program is comprised of 20 outstanding people under the age of 40 who live in Opelika, love Opelika and have a vested interest in shaping the direction of this city's future. The purpose of the program is to bring together young professionals from diverse professions and backgrounds on a regular basis to learn about the various aspects of the intricate workings of a city, school system, business, industry, and public service to give them a better understanding of how all of these separate entities come together to create a working, viable community. The intention is to create future leaders for our community and there is a direct feed to city boards from this group. The group meets twice a month from August to May with 2 retreats and a Graduation Ceremony.
Twilight Golf Outing
The Opelika Chamber hosts a Twilight Golf outing where teams of 2 play 9 holes of golf. The tee off time will be 4:00PM and the event concludes with a casual reception where all chamber members are invited to attend, and winners will be announced. The purpose of this event is to give chamber members who are not able to play golf a hole day the opportunity to play a short round of golf while making new business contacts and networking.
Women's Business Council
Women's Business Council (WBC) is a group that promotes the participation and leadership of women at all levels in the workplace, the community and in government. The goal of the WBC is to develop programs that provide opportunities for women to learn and network as well as share their expertise with each other and to address the unique issues of women in business. The Women’s Business Council meets quarterly with three workshop events and one keynote luncheon.