Living Local 413’s Journey from 2023 to 2024
Dear Members and Supporters,
I trust this message reaches you in vibrant health and with an optimistic outlook for the exciting year ahead! As the Executive Director of Living Local 413, I’m thrilled to reflect on our remarkable journey through 2023 and to unveil our ambitious plans for 2024.
A Look Back at 2023
Building Foundations and Forging Connections
Our journey in 2023 was marked by significant achievements, primarily in enhancing our brand presence and advocating our vision. My colleague Bill and I participated in key networking events across Western Massachusetts, engaging with a diverse range of stakeholders – from business leaders and policymakers to academicians and community influencers. These interactions have been instrumental in advancing our mission to bolster the regional business ecosystem.
Key milestones of the past year include:
- Securing a substantial $100,000 grant through State Representative Brian Ashe’s office, was a pivotal achievement in bolstering our financial and operational capabilities.
- My onboarding as Executive Director in June marked a new chapter in leadership and strategic direction.
- Collaborative efforts with Bill to refine our programs and garner support, highlighted by our successful “Silver Platter Packages” initiative.
- Partnerships with Western New England University and Springfield College, providing vital research support for our “Pathway to Local” program.
- Launching our Community Calendar, a well-received platform showcasing regional business events, now expanding to meet our stakeholders’ evolving needs.
- Bringing on board Anthony Meccia, an enthusiastic Entrepreneurship intern from Western New England University, to spearhead our micro and small business initiatives starting in January.
Vision for 2024
Expanding Horizons and Deepening Impact
As we step into 2024, our focus is set on impactful growth and success. Our strategic initiatives include:
- Federal and State Grant Submissions – We’re poised to strengthen our financial foundation by actively pursuing relevant grant opportunities, emphasizing a strategic approach to grant writing that aligns with our mission.
- Building and Securing Business Memberships – Our targeted outreach program aims to foster robust partnerships with local businesses, offering personalized membership plans and networking opportunities tailored to the diverse needs of our business community.
- Developing and Acquiring Founding Partners – We’re committed to cultivating relationships with potential founding partners, focusing on shared values and collaborative possibilities for greater impact.
- Collecting Underwriters for Business Programs – Our pursuit of underwriters for our programs is designed to provide them with meaningful exposure and recognition, aligning with our mission and enhancing program success.
- Establishing Relationships with Media Companies – We aim to extend our reach and engage the community more effectively through strategic partnerships with local media, utilizing various channels for broader message dissemination.
- Working with Elected Officials – Strengthening ties with government officials at all levels will be key in advocating for our initiatives and securing essential support.
I am excited and ready to lead these initiatives, working closely with our Board and committees to bring these ambitious plans to life. Your unwavering support and dedication to our community’s well-being are the bedrock of our success.
I eagerly anticipate the shared achievements and positive impacts we will collectively forge in the year ahead.
With heartfelt gratitude and commitment to our region,
Robert E. Barkett
Executive Director, Living Local 413
Living Local 413
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