The Global Chamber is the first Chamber of Commerce that is dedicated to support business growth collaboratively everywhere in the world. It debuted on November 5, 2014, in a launch ceremony with Mayor Greg Stanton and business leaders at Phoenix City Hall. Now, it has become a thriving and collaborating community of CEOs, executives, and professionals in 500 metropolitan regions around the world. Tens of thousands of members and followers are creating a place where exporters and international investors can learn, grow, and increase cross-border commerce and investments.
Global Chamber® is an initiative by Doug Bruhnke, who founded the organization primarily because Arizona is behind other states in regards to global business. Only six percent of Arizona’s GDP is exports, versus 14 percent on average in the U.S. If Arizona was simply “average,” over 100,000 jobs would be created and many issues resolved—including the current budget deficit for the state. As it turns out, since nearly every other metro area can benefit from more exports as well, what started out as an Arizona-focused organization is now going global, with its headquarters in Arizona.
The Global Chamber provides members three primary services: (1) direct hands-on assistance to grow, (2) access to the resources needed to grow, and (3) seminars, events, and other information to help guide their global journey. Members, sponsors, and collaborators receive more customers, more trusted partners, and more expert resources to grow globally. When leaders tap in, global growth is increased and risk is reduced.
The “working together” mission of the Global Chamber is resulting in global collaborations for nearly all the organizations involved. Their support is helping companies achieve global business success—and this involves government groups, educational institutions, and nonprofits. The philosophy is that it takes a village of resources to impact change, that cooperation and collaboration should be used to help companies navigate the relatively difficult challenge of global business.
“Over the past nearly 30 years of my own experience with international business, two recurring themes pop up,” says Global Chamber founder/CEO Doug Bruhnke. “CEOs say they should have become involved with global business sooner, and no matter how successful they’ve been, they always say they could have done it much faster. We’re here to help on both counts—to inspire earlier action by entrepreneurs, and to create better outcomes for current global business practitioners. In addition, we’re working hard on creating more global jobs so that anyone who wants a global job can get one—no matter where they live.”
My first introduction to Doug Bruhnke was in 2008. I had moved my business from Chicago to Phoenix. Once settled in, I joined the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA). After over 25 years in business, I felt as if I was starting over. I had created a strong presence in Chicago and was very comfortable. I was the “go to” image/etiquette/protocol expert for FOX News, ABC, CBS, NBC, the Chicago Tribune, and the Chicago Sun Times. Plus, I had a wonderful client list of Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, and universities. Now, slowly but surely, my footprint is taking form here. And it’s thanks to people like Doug! He is a major networker and supporter of international trade. At last, my protocol background is gaining attention.
I have several wonderful stories to share about Doug—ranging from an experience at a Phoenix Chamber awards luncheon (where we participated in a round table discussion) to another occasion when I watched him in amazement remembering names and connecting people as he facilitated an international trade workshop. (This observation inspired me to include a chapter on “The Secret to Connecting People” (chapter 1) in my book, The Art of Professional Connections: Success Strategies for Networking in Person and Online. He also endorsed my first book in the four-book series, Seven Steps to Impressive Greetings and Confident Interactions. That being said, I am honored to feature his newest venture, “Global Chamber,” which should serve as an inspiration for other communities interested in expanding their international trade opportunities.
Global Chamber Success Story
When the Global Chamber articulates one of the benefits of membership as making “connections,” some new members aren’t quite sure how to measure the value of that. The majority of people who do global business, however, get it. It only takes one or two good, trusted connections to make all the difference.
New members are encouraged to discuss their business goals and targets with a Global Chamber expert. One recent example is Rick Sagritalo of Liberty Trade Empire in Mesa, Arizona. Rick had a short meeting with CEO Doug Bruhnke, and within one week he was inundated with new customer leads in his targeted product area. The Global Chamber is focused on providing a fresh look and new connections to opportunities for every new member. Rick is one of many examples of how even one connection can be a game-changer for any business.
The Global Chamber is a thriving, collaborating community of CEOs, executives, and professionals in 10,000 cities and 500 metropolitan areas taking on global business.