December 19, 2019 5:44pm
The Visit: The Chamber in Metro Hartford Connecticut Studies Louisville and GLI
Just as we take our GLIDE trip every year to cities across the world to learn new ideas and best practices, there are chambers of commerce around the country who are interested in visiting Louisville, home of the 2019 national Chamber of the Year.
In early December, leaders of the Hartford Chamber of Commerce in Connecticut visited Louisville and spent time at Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI). The Hartford Chamber is going through an era of change and is hyper-focused on talent attraction. Sound familiar? It should, since GLI went through a similar shift five years ago.
Interested in learning about the success of the city of Louisville, GLI, and GLI’s Live in Lou talent attraction and retention initiative, we hosted a two-day visit from the Hartford delegation who came here to learn best practices that they could bring back home: Julio Concepción, Executive Director of the Hartford Chamber of Commerce, David Griggs, President and CEO of MetroHartford Alliance, and Kim Bishop, Executive Director of Talent Attraction and Retention at MetroHartford Alliance.
Before they left, I took the time to sit down with our visitors to hear what they had to say about their time in the greater Louisville region.
Julio Concepción: Louisville really stood out… the city and organization you represent here really popped out to us in saying that [GLI] is an organization that we could model our future after.
David Griggs: There are a lot of different models out there and we gravitated toward your model. The combination of the economic development side and the Chamber side and how they work together is the goal of the MetroHartford Alliance.
The Louisville Brand
Julio Concepción: Right out of the airport, the University of Louisville and the branding that the university has really stood out to me. It was fascinating seeing the Cardinal everywhere. You do a really good job telling your own story. This is my first time here and the only two things I really know about the city are The Kentucky Derby and bourbon, and I have seen that in so many aspects here… you know what you do well, and you do a great job shining a light on that.
Kim Bishop: Everywhere you drive there is something branded with the university and you can really tell how important the University of Louisville is to the city.
The Louisville Vibe
Both Bishop and Concepción went as far as to mention the Uber drivers that they had in the city, noting how passionate they were about greater Louisville and how excited they were to talk about what was happening in our community.
Additionally, our guests from Hartford attended a Top Investor event to connect with Louisville’s business community. They noted how they could feel the comradery of our investors, who expressed how proud they were to be an investor in GLI and work toward the betterment of our region.
What will you bring back to Hartford?
David Griggs: We have done a few trips like this for different reasons and learned the importance in connecting the key people that we have to their peers in other cities. At the time, we had not built that network. We had not established those vital relationships outside of Connecticut. There are opportunities ahead of us that could likely see us coming back to try and learn more. Our goal, quite frankly, is to be able to do this for other regions.
Julio Concepción: Every single person that we have talked to here has a pure love of what they do, and a pure love of the city … There is an energy that you get right away and its infectious. The great work that is happening here has a lot to do with who you are here in Louisville.
The MetroHartford Alliance is the region’s business and economic development organization that drives economic prosperity by leading a collaborative and unified strategic effort to retain and create jobs and to promote the greater Hartford region as an exceptional place to build a business, an industry, a career and a future. Learn more at https://www.metrohartford.com/initiatives/hartford-chamber-of-commerce.