Our Featured Investor
Don Reilly, DJR Imaging
March 2012 - Featured Monthly Investor
As the saying goes, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ In the case of the Loveland Chamber of Commerce, a picture by Don Reilly of DJR Imaging, tells the story of business and community prosperity achieved by the Chamber through its various programs and events. Don has volunteered his time, and his photography skills, to the Chamber’s Annual Dinner, Valentine Business Decorating Contest, Old Fashioned Corn Roast Festival, various Business After and Before Hours and Ribbon Cuttings. For his contributions and volunteerism through the Loveland Chamber of Commerce, Don Reilly is recognized as the March 2012 Featured Monthly Investor.
In 2010, Don offered his services to help capture the community fun and smiling faces involved with the Chamber’s Old Fashioned Corn Roast Festival. The growth of the event depends heavily on the experience, capturing that experience and marketing that experience to newcomers and potential attendees. Having a professional photographer see the need of a nonprofit association for quality pictures and offer to jump in and help the event grow was a powerful opportunity for the Chamber.
“Don Reilly is a community advocate to his core. He believes in Loveland and in Loveland businesses and uses his expertise to generate visibility and opportunity for local businesses and the community through Chamber channels,” said Ann Baron, business development manager.
Most recently, Don put significant effort into making the Chamber’s 2012 Valentine Business Decorating contest a success, according to Renee Hagar-Smith, the Chamber’s office manager. Not only did he visit each entered business and take wonderful photos showcasing their decorations, but he took the time to make sure each business’ staff was in photos when available. In addition, he promptly answered investor questions regarding the contest, and interfaced with the Chamber to provide a truly representative gallery of photos.
According to Baron, “outside of photography, Don is recognized as one of the Chamber’s wonderful and always happy members. He comes into a room with a beaming smile and camera in hand. He is an Ambassador and encourages new members to make full use of what the Chamber offers.”
Lisa Grindle, administrative assistant at the Chamber said, “I was impressed at all he did for the Valentine Decorating Contest. His photos on the website were outstanding. At the events, he welcomes everyone and is great to visit with. In addition, Don is eager to help up-and-coming photographers like myself. He helped me purchase a new camera.”
Hear it from Don
A key market segment for DJRImaging is doing assignment photography for small business to help them create visual communication – photography for their business website, blogs, social media and printed marketing materials. Therefore, the Chamber is an excellent place to get to know the great variety of business members who have an interest in communicating their business to the community.
How have you capitalized on your Loveland Chamber investment and what has it brought you?
My type of business depends upon personal relationships and referrals, so I've focused on the many opportunities to attend events and establish personal relationships with other Chamber members. This is really enhanced by the warm and welcoming atmosphere by Chamber staff and other Chamber members at events. These great attitudes immediately tell you a lot about the value of Loveland Chamber involvement. The benefits to me are a growing awareness of my photographic services and I've had so much opportunity to be a listener to other investors needs. It’s great to have this access to other businesses and learn about their passion, mission and strategic efforts to build their business.
What Chamber events, committees etc. do you find the most valuable?
My single favorite event is Business Before Hours, where the group size enables each of us to do a short "elevator speech" to the entire group. I can give a brief overview of what I do and how I serve my clients. This also lets me learn about others, where I might be able to make a referral about them or to them. I'm also a member of the Chamber Ambassadors and wish I had joined earlier. I've see a significant improvement of awareness and opportunity for my business since joining Ambassadors and, its fun! Ribbon Cutting Events enable a one-to-one contact with a business when they are conducting a milestone event and it's not likely they will forget other businesses who attended their Ribbon Cutting.
What would you say to someone considering Chamber investment?
No matter how successful or self-contained a business may seem to be, there is always much to be learned by being involved with other businesses. Ideas get generated in conversations or in attending Chamber sponsored events to educate and inform investors. The sense of community by being involved with other investors is very powerful and builds motivation for a business owner, their leadership team and all of their employees. For a prospective investor, I'd recommend listening closely to Chamber membership staff about options and I'd also recommend attending some Chamber events and talking to active investors on how they get value for their $$ and time investment in the Chamber. But, the best move is simply making the decision to join and commit some time to being directly involved. This will result in generation of ideas and contacts that will make Chamber investment well worthwhile. Remember those words of wisdom, "It's not who you know, but who knows you." This can happen for Chamber members who are involved.
What has been the top benefit to you for your chamber involvement?
For my "business services" marketing, it has become virtually the sole source for my business-to-business clients. Also, the personal relationships have played a key factor in my growing capability for using social networking as a means to communicate my business. And, of special importance, has been the opportunity to learn so much about local markets and the range of businesses that serve them.
Which events will we see you at in March?
In March, I will attend the monthly Ambassador's Meeting/Luncheon, Business Before Hours, Business After Hours, Early Birds Leads Group and all Ribbon Cutting events where I have no scheduling conflict. Ribbon Cuttings are usually at 4:30 p.m., a good way to not interfere with the demands of the earlier part of the day and a nice transition to personal time in the evening. In April, I’ll attend the InFocus Series event on Investing in Water - Liquid Assets, these are always enlightening programs with opportunity to meet new people.