Gilbert: My name is Dr. Casey Gilbert. I lived in Brevard County from 2008 to 2015, before moving to Portland, Maine, and I recently relocated back to Indian Harbour Beach. My business, PowerWith Consulting, is located on Front Street in Melbourne.
During my five years in Portland, I had the pleasure of serving as the executive director of Portland Downtown, a business improvement district, and helping the organization implement a 5-year strategic plan. At the same time, I also received a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Southern Maine. After transitioning from my role with Portland Downtown, I launched PowerWith Consulting. The idea was to use my skill set to make a greater impact – helping individuals and organizations reach their goals.
Launching a new business during a pandemic was a challenge, but it also provided the opportunity to work virtually with clients across the country, PowerWith Consulting’s services include meeting and retreat facilitation, executive and leadership coaching, strategic planning, onboarding, and advocacy. Whether you’re retooling your onboarding process, refining your mission, or developing long-range strategies, PowerWith will provide your company a roadmap with clear expectations and deliverables.
Can you share a brief overview of your relationship with the chamber?
Gilbert: When I relocated back to Brevard a dear friend and colleague of mine let me know that the chamber was looking for a consultant to help develop a work plan that would complement the organization’s current strategic plan. I feel really lucky to have been selected for that project and to have delivered a successful work plan to such an amazing organization. In addition to the work plan project, I’ve become involved with the chamber as the co-chair of the Nonprofit Council, alongside Anne Conroy-Baiter from Junior Achievement of the Space Coast.
How long have you been with the chamber?
Gilbert: Through my current venture, PowerWith Consulting, I have had a relationship with the chamber for less than a year. When I lived in Brevard prior, I had a relationship with the chamber through my position as Executive Director of Melbourne Main Street.
What facet of the chamber is most appealing to your business?
Gilbert: For me, it’s twofold. I see the chamber as a place to get plugged in, build relationships, and network. I think that’s something businesses need to be intentional about, and the chamber provides ample opportunities to do so. On the other hand, especially as I’ve stepped into this new profession as a consultant and co-chair of the Nonprofit Council, I’m really seeing the chamber as a place to give back.
As co-chairs of the Nonprofit Council, Anne and I recently had the opportunity to organize a fantastic panel of nonprofit leaders to bring their shared wisdom to a Zoom Room with dozens of other nonprofit leaders. And so, to me, the chamber is a way to give back through volunteerism.
How has the chamber positively impacted your business?
Gilbert: The chamber has positively impacted my business by introducing me to potential clients and collaborative partners. Recently, I worked with a nonprofit organization who needed help with social media marketing and website design. Because I have been introduced to so many talented entrepreneurs through the chamber, I immediately thought of Caitlin, co-chair of the Small Business Council, who has a PR + media firm called Éclat. Those connections are invaluable and help me to identify other great vendors for my clients who are in need of an array of services.
Can you share any measurable benefits your business has achieved since joining the chamber?
Gilbert: I would say that it comes back to connections. The people I met through the work plan process, I later invited to be panelists for the Nonprofit Council’s event on board culture and development. Those connections, while hard to measure, are the magic of being involved with the Melbourne Regional Chamber.
In what ways does the chamber make you feel more connected to the community?
Gilbert: In a number of ways. The first is staying up-to-date on issues that are relevant to my business. Even if I’m not able to attend all the meetings, I’m still seeing the topics, what is being discussed, and what is important to the small business community. That information is also communicated through the chamber’s email newsletters. The second way that the chamber makes me feel more connected to the community is through the opportunity to build relationships and network. Lastly, I would say the opportunity to promote my business. Through the chamber, people get to know me, my business, and the services that I provide, so it helps PowerWith Consulting stay at the forefront of people’s minds.
Why would you recommend other businesses to join the chamber?
Gilbert: As a small business owner, I feel like the chamber is a place where you can showcase your unique skill set and provide mentorship, insight, and knowledge to others. There’s also unlimited access to networking opportunities, which can help you to build relationships within the community.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Gilbert: I am increasingly impressed with the chamber team. I think they have a fantastic staff, and I just see it improving, day by day, week by week. I also think that their volunteer leadership, board of directors, and committees care deeply about their mission.