Colleen Spitz was a bit nervous when she decided to move back to Sacramento from Washington, D.C., to lead communications at the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce. “It was the first time I ever took a job without meeting my boss,” she said.
Spitz had spent the previous few years doing communications work at the national level, where she learned everything from crisis communications to helping a community understand the benefits of a renovated train station. Since joining the metro chamber in March as vice president of marketing and communications, Spitz has worked to mobilize the voice of business on the minimum wage issue and to use social media to transform the chamber into a virtual networking platform so members can connect and promote their goods and services online.
Spitz reflected on her first year at the chamber and what members can expect next year.
What were you brought on to do?
“There was a strong need to really talk about what our members are doing in the community and celebrate their successes and more strategically communicate what our resources are. The chamber has a wonderful reputation for doing events throughout the year, but there is so much more that the chamber is doing. Whether it’s in charitable giving, our leadership development program, or our small-business development centers, the chamber is really the touchpoint for all things in the business community here.”
What changes have you made?
“We have ramped up our social media correspondence. We’ve tried to celebrate what members are doing with our hashtag #celebratingmembers. It’s now a two-way communication, where members are telling us about an event they are hosting or a product they are launching, and for them it’s a great way to help amplify their news. We’re also working on revamping our website and changing content to be about the value of the chamber, what our mission is and why we are here. We’ve been working really hard to explain what the chamber does and who our members are and how they are impacting the region.”
What can businesses expect next year?
“Along with new website, the chamber is ready to … take on new initiatives that impact the region at large. People can expect to see the chamber play a larger role in the regional conversation. My job is to communicate that to media and our members, so members feel like they are part of it.”
Education: B.A. in communications, B.S. in political science, Santa Clara University
Career: Vice president at Stratacomm, a Washington, D.C., communications company, from May 2011 to March 2015. Worked with a number of transportation-related clients including the National Association for Beer Distributors. Also worked at Stratacomm from October 2005 to February 2008. Director of scheduling for the Meg Whitman for Governor campaign, April 2009 to November 2010.
Personal: Lives in Sacramento with husband Adam
Something colleagues would be surprised to learn about you: “I have virtually no musical skills but would love to be in a band traveling the world as a killer tambourine or triangle player — two very under-appreciated instruments.”
Dream job: Sommelier at the White House