Mr. President, I wish to recognize the 100th anniversary of the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, the first chartered chamber in the United States. When the United States Chamber of Commerce was formed at a conference held by President Taft in April 1912, four delegates from the Maryland’s Frederick County Board of Trade were in attendance. Inspired by the conference, the Frederick County Board of Trade applied for membership to the newly formed chamber the very next day.
The newly renamed Frederick County Chamber of Commerce committed itself to serving the business interests of Frederick County. During the ravages of the Great Depression, the chamber was a beacon of hope, advocating for Federal work programs and organizing the Community Chest, now known as the United Way of Frederick County.
Over the past 100 years, the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce has successfully promoted economic vitality in Frederick, and has been a crucial partner to countless local businesses and organizations. The Frederick Arts Council and the Tourism Council of Frederick County were both chamber initiatives that grew into independently successful organizations. The Chamber has also been a leader in promoting women and minority-owned businesses. In 1969, the chamber worked with the NAACP to form the People’s Opportunity and Information Center, and in 1997 they welcomed their first female president.
Today, the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce works with nearly 1,000 member businesses to expand Frederick County’s economy and improve the quality of life for Frederick County residents. By bringing business leaders together to tackle challenges and proactively plan for the future, the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce has strengthened the community and the region.
I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce on 100 years of leadership and advocacy on behalf of the businesses and citizens of Frederick County.