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The Germantown Chamber of Commerce with Lynn Grgich and Joletta Kerpan
Episode 456th June 2022 • Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz • Fuzz Martin
00:00:00 00:15:09

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Hello friends. This week, Joletta Kerpan and Lynn Grgich of the Germantown Chamber of Commerce join me to talk about the chamber and their upcoming golf outing. We explore how the Chamber of Commerce supports businesses and the Germantown community, why it's important for businesses to join their local chambers, and how you can participate in the fundraiser which takes place on Thursday, June 23rd at the Washington County Golf Course.


Fuzz Martin 0:08

Well well well we meet again. Can you believe this is the 45th episode of Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz? I can. I was just wondering if you could. Hi, my name is Fuzz Martin. Thank you for tuning in to Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz. This week, we take the show to the southeastern corner of Washington County to speak with the Germantown Chamber of Commerce. Joletta Kerpan and Lynn Grgich join me to talk about the chamber, some great things going on in Germantown, and the upcoming chamber golf outing at Washington County Golf Course, which is happening on Thursday, June 23. So let's get right into it. Here are 15 minutes on the Germantown Chamber of Commerce with Joletta Kerpan and Lynn Grgich on Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz.

Fuzz Martin 1:05

Lynn, Joletta. Thank you for joining me today. So you're both joining me from the Germantown Chamber of Commerce. How is the state of commerce in Germantown these days?

Joletta Kerpan 1:14

Oh, we think it's going very well. We're very excited. There's the expansion of businesses on the Holy Hill corridor. We have a lot of new small businesses joining the chamber and popping up in the community. We just recently had a ribbon cutting for one of our newest small businesses, the vault pet supplies, is right on Main Street in Germantown, and also with the bounce back grant that is going on, we got to meet a lot of new businesses that were qualifying for the grant because they were going into previously unused space in Germantown. Sure. So we got to see that growth up close and personal.

Fuzz Martin 1:47

Yeah, a lot of chambers have been working with small businesses to get them to take advantage of that grant. Right. Can you give us a little bit of details, listeners a little bit of details on what the grant is

Joletta Kerpan 1:58

specifically, basically, it's looking to get previously unused space, you know, new with new business. And what we do is we just basically sign off that we see, you know, they're signed to lease their business, and we get to meet those people and wish them well. And hopefully they join the chamber as well. Yeah,

Fuzz Martin 2:17

very good. So let's talk about the Chamber of Commerce in Germantown for a bit. How many businesses does the chamber support?

Lynn Grgich 2:23

We have 190 members right now, for the size of Germantown, I think people are surprised by that number. But we all have a goal of 220. Okay, so I think that's very possible. But yeah, right now 190 is where we're been pretty steady.

Fuzz Martin 2:39

So getting to that 220 number and providing value to the businesses in Germantown, in what ways does the chamber support local business,

Lynn Grgich 2:50

I think the main way that we bring value to business is just providing opportunities. So we put different things out there for networking, promoting their business, through our website, our Facebook page linked in, but again, it's that giving them that opportunity to connect to other businesses, other community organizations, even to the different municipal departments, you know, we feel like we're trying to bring them together, where they might not have that opportunity, or it's not as easily to come by Sure.

Fuzz Martin 3:25

You don't often know who the right person to talk to is when you are, I mean, starting a business is hard. Yeah. But then finding all the things you need a permit or you need a question on something related to what you're allowed to do in the villager community. So how do chambers like the Germantown Chamber of Commerce support a healthy community?

Lynn Grgich 3:46

For I think our purpose is bringing awareness, we're kind of a hub of awareness between the business community to the school district to the business community, to community organizations, and businesses to even the municipal entities. So even though business owner might not be a resident in Germantown, they still have a say or should have some input as to what's happening in the community. And I think sometimes they forget that or they're not cognizant of it, because they don't live here. Sure. But the village does need to hear from businesses, what they are looking for what they need, so that they can be strong and healthy. And then that kind of filters down to other facets in the community.

Fuzz Martin 4:35

And then the job of the chambers to support them and allow them to be able to do that.

Lynn Grgich 4:40

Right, make those connections get word out. Everybody is just so busy. And to put something in you has to be right in front of you and the right timing that it's what you need at that time. So we try to be there for that or even to make them understand that you know, this is important. This is why It's important and this is how it will affect you. And I think that's the key. How is it going to affect you? And that, you know, if you want some say in that this is the opportunity. Right?

Fuzz Martin 5:10

Now, as chamber, you guys have a lot of events that help with networking, getting people to know some of the new businesses or some even the existing businesses and the services that they offer. What kind of events does the Germantown Chamber of Commerce typically do?

Lynn Grgich 5:24

I would say, for businesses, mostly our networking that's bringing together other businesses. And both of us we have two networking, monthly breakfasts that we do with surrounding area chambers. So it's not just German town. One is with the Menomonee Falls, Sussex chamber. Another is with the other Washington County chambers, so Germantown, Hartford, and West Bend. So we're kind of broadening the reach journalists events, some of our different events like our golf outing, our manufacturing career expo, the Christmas festival, all of those are just different opportunities for businesses to take advantage of, for different reasons in different ways. Not everything works for every business, but giving a wide variety of things. Hopefully, we've hit upon something that would be something for everyone.

Fuzz Martin 6:16

Yeah, I think those relationships that you develop in chamber meetings will help you then like, if you're a business and you you know, there's there are a number of banks that happen to be in chambers and knowing when it's time that you need a loan, or you're looking for a new building, or whatever that might be to have a connection already made, and not have to go on and establish that as is great. And then vice versa, have your bank, you know, like, connected to all the different businesses that may need loans. So Lynn, your role is the executive director at the chamber. What does your role entail?

Lynn Grgich 6:49

I think being the point person, someone that may know, you know, Lin from the chamber, and that connector, kind of being in touch or aware of what's going on with the village municipal, being aware of what's going on with the school district, and other organizations in the community. And there's so much, I can't do it alone. Fortunately, with Julieta in the office, she's a great conduit for information as well. But being that resource kind of a central, organizer, administrator, and then you're just kind of making those connections.

Fuzz Martin 7:33

Right. So what kinds of things are you seeing happening in Germantown in the community

Joletta Kerpan 7:39

right now, right now? We're very excited. You know, summers coming. There's a lot of events going on. One of the biggest things is the German town Fourth of July, that is getting revamped this year by a new celebrate German town committee. So we're looking for great things going on there. The parade, the festivities in the park and the fireworks. And also, there's just so much going on with music at the Pavilion. There's concerts in the park, we have tasted Germantown. So this summer is going to be busy. Sure. So we're really looking forward to that.

Fuzz Martin 8:08

Yeah, it's great. It's it's good to look forward to things again, it feels good to be able to say, Hey, let's go to this thing. That's not our basement or our living room. Now. The annual Germantown Chamber of Commerce golf outing is almost here. Tell us about the event and when and where it's taking place this year.

Joletta Kerpan 8:26

This year. We're very excited to be at Washington County golf course. I believe it's their 25th anniversary this year. Nice. I will be there Thursday, June 23. The we have a 10am shotgun start. And just really excited. One of the things with past couple of years, we never canceled our golf outing. Okay, so it's just a great opportunity. It's always a fun day, knock on wood. It'll be beautiful weather. So we're really excited about it

Fuzz Martin 8:55

chamber. golf outings are a lot of fun. There's always, you know, different things going on. Do you have any special prizes or anything special happening in any of the holes this year?

Joletta Kerpan 9:03

One of the great things is there's a tee sponsorship. So each business that does a tee sponsorship gets to kind of be master of their own domain on the tee. And we look forward to every year. What they're going to bring some of their ideas are just hysterical and great. And just the networking that comes with it, the fun, they can do raffles they do giveaways you know, everyone loves free food, and just you know, the tchotchkes and stuff. So that's a great way to network and meet every golfer we highly recommend businesses take advantage of that sponsorship.

Fuzz Martin 9:35

Can individuals still sign up for the golf outing? Absolutely. Okay,

Joletta Kerpan 9:38

you can sign up until June 10. We welcome all golfers we welcome the community it's not just for the chamber community members can come bring a friend. You know everyone can network about everything. It's not just business. It's your you're meeting someone who might live down the road from where you're meeting someone that Oh, our kids play against each other in a sport. There's plenty of opportunities Are Fun, right?

Fuzz Martin:

How many golfers are you expecting this year?

Joletta Kerpan:

This year? We're hoping for 100. We will see you know, with the way the world has worked Yeah, people tend to be very last minute with our signups which stresses event planners out really bad. But we're looking for, you know, 100 or more

Fuzz Martin:

money box lunches do we need to tell you until later? I totally understand how that goes. Do you need to golf to participate in the event?

Joletta Kerpan:

Now you don't. So if you do a T sponsorship, you don't have to golf. We have volunteer signup, that is also a free a great way to meet almost all the golfers. And you know, sponsorships just being there for dinner. You can do a dinner only type thing. Okay. Yeah, there's many ways you can be a part of it.

Fuzz Martin:

I see. Billy Sims is doing dinner. Absolutely. Yeah. Joey Sims barbecue is delicious if you haven't had it

Joletta Kerpan:

yet. And you can always golf and take it to go

Fuzz Martin:

back. No, I think I know what I'm doing for lunch today. Billy Sims and then a nap No. So this year's event is sponsored by Grace comments, what can you tell us about grace comments?

Lynn Grgich:

Grace Commons is a Senior Community Center headquartered by Capri Communities. We have the gables of Germantown is also capris, and grace Commons is just over the line in Menomonee. Falls, they are using this event to help promote awareness of their facility. They even get some of their residents to golf in our event, which is you know, we love having them. And they're just utilizing this event for you know, its purpose to bring awareness to their community, their business, and we're trying to promote the heck out of them, which

Fuzz Martin:

sounds great. Yeah, what will the funds raised from the Germantown golf outing support,

Lynn Grgich:

actually the operations of the chamber so the funds from this our major fundraiser just help us support businesses to do what we need to do every day, in addition to membership dues, the golf outing, and then we have a couple of events that bring in lesser amounts, but it seems chambers and golf outings kind of our have always been a thing. Although Golf has changed a little bit as the business acumen has changed a little bit timing is difficult, but it's still the best fundraiser that we have. People have fun at it. It's a friendly competition. We do really appreciate all the support we get from this event, because like I said, it helps us do what we need to do to support our members.

Fuzz Martin:

If someone wants to learn more about the Germantown Chamber of Commerce golf outing, where can they go,

Lynn Grgich:

they can come to the chamber website, we've got a lot of information of event page there. Give us a call at the office or stop in we'd be glad to talk to anyone about the individual sponsorships what exactly that does for them. And like I said, we No, not everything fits every business, though, we can kind of get down to the nitty gritty on what's the best fit. Sounds good. What

Fuzz Martin:

is your website URL?

Lynn Grgich:

Fuzz Martin:

Very good. Let's make a final plea then. So why should a local business join the Germantown Chamber of Commerce,

Lynn Grgich:

it's a great way to get yourself connected to the community to not only businesses but other municipal school district community organizations, were a great resource and it will just help you kind of ease into maybe some of the things away from the business part of it, you know, helping promote your business, we try to make it very easy for you.

Fuzz Martin:

And if someone would like to join, how do they start the process, you can go on

Lynn Grgich:

the website, there's an online application, you can complete a PDF if you're more comfortable doing that we accept credit cards for dues payments are stopped in the office, we'd be glad to help you out. They're also

Fuzz Martin:

very good. Lynn and Joletta thanks again for joining me today and have fun at the ballpark. Well thanks again to Lynn Grgich and Joletta Kerpan for joining me on this week's episode of Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz be sure to sign up for the Germantown Chamber of Commerce golf outing on Thursday, June 23, of the Washington County Golf Course a beautiful course. A whole lot of fun and harder to lose your ball when there are less trees, fewer trees. Speaking of Washington County, if you do have positive things happening in the area that I should know about, drop me a line and let me know my email address That's "fifteen" spelled out. If you type in the number 15, nobody will get it or maybe someone will, but I highly doubt there's another Fuzz out there doing a 15 minutes thing. Again, you can also visit and click contact. Thanks again for listening. Have a great week, and we will talk to you again next Monday, right here on Fifteen Minutes with Fuzz.

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