NEW BUFFALO — The New Buffalo Business Association (NBBA) looked back on 2019 and ahead to the new year during its Dec. 5 Annual Meeting at the Marina Grand Resort.
NBBA President Katie Maroney said the non-profit organization, comprised of more than 100 member businesses, represents the region of New Buffalo (City, Township and surrounding communities).
AMong the annoucements made on Dec. 5 was that a new website will be rolled out in 2020, and an area map will be produced.
NBBA 2020 board members nominated and voted on during the meeting were: Toni Morris (current Vice President), Dawn Fadden (the current secretary), Audrey Tuszynski, Blagica Bottligiero, Abby Voss, Trace Lauricella and Lisa Werner (for seven open seats)
Also on the board are Lisa Gawron (treasurer); and ex officio (non-voting members) Emma Brewster (New Buffalo Explored); Dee Dee Duhn (the DDA); Mark Kroll (New Buffalo City Council); and Judy Zabicki (New Buffalo Township Board).
Officers will be named in early 2020.
Events sponsored by the NBBA include (Maroney thanked those who make them possible including Burck, Karen Poff, Cathi Rogers, Shelby Sexton, Tim Rogers, Paul Billingsley, Colleen Ryan, John Humphrey, municipal partners and sponsors): Beer in the Buff On the Go (held as a pub crawl ibn 2019); spring and fall sidewalk sales; May to October New Buffalo Farmers Markets; an annual Independence Day Celebration including a symphony concert and fireworks on July 3; the Ship and Shore Festival (“we brought it back” and are excited for 2020 and beyond Maroney noted) during the second weekend in August; the Columbus Day weekend Harvest and Wine festival; and the new for 2019 Whittaker Winter Wonderland held on Nov. 30.
Gawron gave a treasurer’s report — saying the NBBA’s operating expenses and the amount brought in by memberships are both about $20,000 per year.
She said donations, sponsorships (which help fund events), give-back dinners and other fund-raisers are big help.
She noted that a total of around $60,000 was raised in 2019 — $20,000 more than in the past.
The organization also is looking to bring in another 10 to 20 members next year.
Maroney said goals for 2020 include: stressing the improvement of member benefits; finalizing the new website; enhancing communication and branding by “staying true to our name and who we are;” confirming the events calendar and contracts by Jan, 1; cultivate and implement a social media plan and print content calendar; continue to collaborate with area municipalities, chambers, foundations and other charities; assist with the economic viability and development in the region; create an increased sense of community through outreach programs and activities.
Maroney said the NNBA (“In Season, Every Season”) has almost 8,000 followers on Facebook, an info booth in downtown New Buffalo that members can place flyers and other literature in, and plenty of new member benefits such as Seasonal Outings, Video Profiles for New Members, Social Media Sharing for Specials and Events, Lunch & Leanrs and Up-Skilling Events.
Among the organization’s committees are: Events (Morrison is chair); Membership (Fadden and Tuszynski are co-chairs); and Communications (the chair is Bottligiero).
Current Executive Director Adam Burk said he is leaving (has had a full-time job in Buchanan since January)