Two longtime small business advocates have joined the staff of the Quad Cities Chamber. Michelle Lewis is leading the Quad Cities Chamber’s regional business outreach work, and Adam Guthrie will lead Moline Centre.
Lewis, a former business owner and director of the State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity SBDC / International Trade Center (ITC), will conduct one-on-one interviews with area businesses in order to identify resources to help companies overcome growth challenges. As part of the Chamber’s economic development division, outreach conducted by Lewis will be focused on the region’s targeted growth industries of advanced manufacturing, agricultural innovation, corporate headquarters, defense and logistics. She will work one-on-one with companies on areas including workforce, sales, innovation, policy and infrastructure, connecting them with area resources such as workforce development programs, the Chamber’s advocacy efforts, and municipalities among others.
“We continue to elevate our focus on helping local businesses grow,” says Paul Rumler, President and CEO, Quad Cities Chamber. “Through the work led by Michelle, along with last month’s announcement of the new business services division aimed at helping small and medium sized businesses, we now have the resources and expertise in-house to service all types of businesses.”
During her time at the SBDC / ITC Lewis worked closely with business owners to help them expand and grow through international opportunities, identifying promising markets, addressing cultural issues, pricing, marketing, and research. As a previous owner of a local manufacturing firm, Lewis spent 20 years working in a variety of capacities including auditing, evaluating manufacturing efficiencies, and operational management.
“I’m passionate about helping companies in the Quad Cities and I look forward to connecting businesses to resources available at the local, state and federal levels, explore opportunities diversify their business, as well as potential government contracting engagements,” says Lewis.
Community Champion to Lead Moline Centre
Adam Guthrie, previously the Vice President of East Moline Main Street Business Association, will join the Chamber staff as the Executive Director of Moline Centre.
In this position, Guthrie will work closely with downtown businesses and property owners to create a vibrant downtown including active storefronts, events to draw customers and awareness to Moline, and improved hardscape and beautification of the area.
The Quad Cities Chamber has led Moline Centre since 2013 through a contract with the City of Moline. Similarly, the Quad Cities Chamber also operates the Downtown Davenport Partnership.
“Thriving downtowns are an important part of successful communities and the ability to attract and retain businesses and people,” says Paul Rumler, President & CEO, Quad Cities Chamber. “By creating events that get people out enjoying their downtowns, and working closely with businesses, the city and developers to bring exciting new projects into the communities, Moline Centre is contributing significantly to growth in the Quad Cities.”
Guthrie joins the Chamber with extensive experience supporting local, small business growth. He has been active in the community through a variety of positions including owner of Guthrie Development, Inc., the Chair of the East Moline SSA, co-founder of EasMoMentum, and board member for the East Moline Small Business Association, Sprouting Minds Learning Farm board, and the Greater Quad Cities Hispanic Chamber.
“I’m thrilled to be able to do yet more for the Quad Cities through my new role with the Chamber,” says Guthrie. “I look forward to working alongside businesses owners in downtown Moline and spurring continued growth in the area.”
About: The Quad Cities Chamber is a champion for business and community growth in the region.