How the "Big Idea Sharing" Began

Earlier this year Chamber President Joe Scheppers asked a team of Board members to participate on a task force to develop a structure design which could promote a focused number of Community and Economic Development Initiatives which were suggested by community members.

The team met over the spring and early summer and with the Chamber mission in mind, outlined several principles about how such a program would work:

  • The process should be sustainable-not a "once every so often" event
  • Submitted ideas should be addressed in a timely fashion
  • There should be transparency of the process
  • The process should produce regular outputs of vetted ideas submitted to City/County leadership 

The model developed by the task force:

  • Supports the generation of ideas on an ongoing basis.  A receiving point for ideas will be needed via website.  In addition, ideas could come from public forums, town hall meetings or from Chamber membership meetings.  Public awareness of the process will be important to the ongoing submission of ideas,
  • Has a process to rank ideas (before and after vetting) and sort those ideas that aren't a Chamber matter for referral back to the originator with recommendations on where to go/contacts, etc. A standard process for the review of ideas is necessary to keep the process objective and open,
  • Incorporates individual Chamber board members in the leadership and regular initiative investigations and the full board in the review of vetted concepts, 
  • Allows for the sharing of vetted ideas with City/County representatives, and 
  • Establishes regular reporting to the Chamber Board on ideas submitted, investigations and evaluation.

Who will be involved in the process? There are essentially four roles.

The first is the originator who submits the idea and if available may participate in ongoing analysis of implementation. (We recognize that some submitters will feel comfortable in participation; others may just have a great idea but not the time to devote to evaluation and implementation.)  

The second player will be the Big Idea Sharing (BIS) Team. Made up of 6-10 Chamber Board members, the team will meet regularly to review ideas, match ideas against the Chamber mission and recommend ideas move on to the vetting process as merited.  Each idea that is moved on to the investigation (vetting) stage would have one member of the BIS group serve as the leader of the investigation process.   Submitters receive feedback regarding the determination of the BIS team. Members of the BIS team are assigned annually by the Board Chair. 

The third role is the Vetting Team who will conduct a more intense review of the opportunity, providing information upon which the Economic Development (ED) team can complete their assessment. Vetting and ED Team members are assigned by the Board Chair. The ED Team would review those ideas that have been investigated, apply the Board-approved matrix, and determine those that should be presented to the Chamber Board as recommendations for pursuit.  ED team decisions are shared with the submission owner. 

The Chamber Board is anxious to begin, as we feel there are a number of great ideas in our community that are worthy of evaluation and implementation that will serve to improve the economy and quality of life for the Jefferson City area.  Submit your idea today!





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