Triangle East Chamber Moves Into 50th Year with Unprecedented Growth
SMITHFIELD, NC – When Michael Mancuso accepted the position of Chamber President and CEO in February of 2018, the Triangle East Chamber of Commerce was known as the Greater Smithfield-Selma Area Chamber of Commerce. Although the Chamber’s reach included the surrounding towns, Smithfield and Selma were the major points of focus for the membership. Mr. Mancuso, along with the Board of Directors, saw an opportunity to make a long-term and positive economic impact along the 95 Corridor of Johnston County by creating a new mission to re-center the work of the Chamber on a regional level. To reflect that goal, the Greater Smithfield-Selma Area Chamber of Commerce became the Triangle East Chamber of Commerce and welcomed three new towns into their membership in 2018: Kenly, Princeton, and Wilson’s Mills.
The inclusive vision of the Chamber brings representation from each town into economic development, workforce readiness, education, and legislative affairs. Mayor Donald Rains of Princeton credited the Chamber with helping their town to “no longer feel like an island.” Having an active voice in regional conversations built new bridges of communication between the individual towns and made new resources available for their business communities.
Over the course of 2019, the reach of the Triangle East Chamber expanded yet again to include the Town of Micro. The ties to the Triangle of North Carolina were strengthened as the Chamber led efforts for regional transportation studies, unified with area chambers to support legislation issues, and supported the smart growth of Triangle East.
This proactive approach led to an unprecedented step: the former Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce (GCCC), located in western Johnston County, reached out to connect with the Triangle East Chamber. Seeking maximum exposure, benefits, and advocacy for their members, the GCCC merged with the Triangle East Chamber on December 30, 2019, becoming the seventh Triangle East Chamber community. The transition into the new year of 2020 only brought more growth, as the Town of Archer Lodge became the eighth Triangle East community on January 2nd.
Michael Mancuso welcomed the newest Chamber members with this encouragement: “Together we are over 550 members strong, representing over 20,000 employees and 60,000 family members. We are committed to giving you a strong voice and a platform to help you Connect, Grow, and Prosper.”
The goal of the Triangle East Chamber is to create a collaborative atmosphere among their communities, believing that the unique perspective of each area is important to building a strong, unified region. As the seventh largest chamber in the Triangle Region of North Carolina, the members and communities have a robust voice in County, State, and Federal issues that matter to the economic future of the region.
The Chamber that began in 1970 with a single partnership between Smithfield and Selma launches 2020 with the unity of eight communities. Greater together, the Triangle East Chamber of Commerce will continue to facilitate the development of the Triangle East region of North Carolina into a nationally competitive, economically diverse, relevant and collaborative community.