In September 2017, David M. Salkin was selected as the executive director of the newly merged Monmouth Regional Chamber of Commerce. This chamber, now covering all of Monmouth County, was the amalgamation of the Northern Chamber (Hazlet) and the Greater Monmouth Chamber (Freehold).
Salkin is no stranger to business, community nor government — the “three building blocks” that make up any chamber of commerce. Salkin was partners with his brother in his family retail business for 25 years before closing the store to write full time. (He’s a fiction novelist with 14 published books from Penguin Books, Post Hill Press and Permuted Press.) He’s also an elected official in Freehold Township, where he has served for almost 24 years on the township committee. (Serving as mayor, deputy mayor, township committeeman and police commissioner.) Drawing on his experience in business, government and the community, Salkin has hit the ground running.
ROI-NJ: Dave, you started your role as executive director in September 2017, and immediately unveiled your vision for the Monmouth Regional Chamber of Commerce. Tell us about your goals and plans for the MRCC.
David Salkin: Forty-eight businesspeople applied for the job as executive director last year, and I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to help lead this organization. Since my first day, my goal has been to change how the MRCC is perceived by the business community, and modify our mission statement to reflect new, energetic goals that will grow this chamber and ultimately help our members in their own professional goals.
To that end, we’re hosting ThinkTank18 this year, and intend to make this our largest business event every year. We’re flying in national speakers and offering a full day of presentations and panel discussions on important business topics, all designed to help business professionals get better at whatever it is they do every day at work. This event will be educational, motivational and inspirational. We’re super excited to see the planning now turn into the actual event.
ROI: Your literature on ThinkTank18 uses the phrase ‘Four Wall Syndrome.’ Can you elaborate?
DS: I’m pretty sure I invented that — Four Wall Syndrome. You won’t find it on WebMD. Basically, every business owner, manager or C-suite exec faces the same problem every day. You walk into work and are immediately bombarded by yesterday’s emails and calls that must be returned. How can you think about tomorrow’s creative solutions when you’re stuck on yesterday’s emails and phone calls? Before you know it, it’s 2 o’clock and you still haven’t had lunch, and your head is spinning. I know from the days of having my own retail business, that my best ideas usually came outside my four walls. I had to escape the constant interruptions inside my business and sit with other professionals to discuss the challenges we all faced. It was in this environment — outside my four walls — that my best ideas were all hatched. ThinkTank18 will provide that same environment. Imagine, the best and brightest business minds, all in one place, sharing their best ideas. The brain power is immense, and the potential is limitless!
ROI: What do you hope your attendees will come away with after the event?
DS: I’d love for everyone who attended to leave energized and excited to get back to their places of business, anxious to have a staff meeting to talk about all the things they learned. A single idea can be so powerful. What if one idea can change how you do everything at work? What if one idea can take you to the next level? I find that incredibly exciting — and, if I could help be the catalyst to change someone’s business and get them to the next level, it would be extremely rewarding to me personally. I’d also love to see everyone who came join the Monmouth Regional Chamber of Commerce! We are where business happens!
ROI: So, let’s talk about the MRCC a little. You do a lot more than just the ThinkTank18 event.
DS: That’s for sure! We have an extremely active board of directors and membership! I’m extremely blessed to be surrounded by folks who genuinely care about this organization and work tirelessly to make it better every day. We run so many events every month! The weekly networking events are a huge source of business opportunities for our members. The Friday morning PERK breakfasts, the monthly Business After Hours events, our special events like ATHENA and Beacon of Excellence; charity events like Caring with Karaoke; the Women in Business series of speakers — it’s really endless. I’m very proud of these folks. They epitomize what it means to be a business professional who is invested in the community. They give back — and we know that, when businesses are successful, the community is successful. “A rising tide lifts all boats,” and these folks really make some waves!
ROI: And can businesses still join the MRCC?
DS: Absolutely! Come visit us at www.MonmouthRegionalChamber.com to read all about what we can offer your business. Or, just go to www.ThinkTankNJ.Biz and register for ThinkTank18. There are still sponsorship opportunities and table space at the Expo Center, and this really is a Do-Not-Miss Event!