Cosgrove takes over as chamber's CEO

By: Carol Feineman, Editor
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Tom Cosgrove, a former Lincoln City Councilman for 18 years and former NEC Electronics manager for 17 years, is the nonprofit Lincoln Area Chamber of Commerce’s new CEO.
He takes over from Julia Jordan, who was the business advocacy organization’s CEO from last March to November.
“I want to grow events the chamber is currently doing and add services for our members,” Cosgrove said Monday, as he started his second week on the job.
He also hopes to bring in new businesses to the area, including small businesses, professional offices, retailers and industrial companies, the latter to the airport area.
“I want to focus on businesses that bring jobs to the area,” Cosgrove said, “15 or more employees. Part of the reason this is important is they provide jobs but also become customers of our other businesses. Business to business is very important.”
Lincoln chamber President Mark Luster said his board was pleased to hire Cosgrove.
“Tom’s knowledge of the community, coupled with his private-sector experience and his knowledge regarding local, regional and state level issues brings a unique set of talents to the chamber,” Luster said. “In the past, I have worked with Tom on many issues. I now look forward to working with him in his role as chamber CEO.”
Downtown Lincoln Association President Wayne Sisneroz also “is extremely excited” that Cosgrove is the new CEO.
“Tom has proven leadership, incredible attention to details and he is known throughout the business community,” Sisneroz said.
The Downtown Lincoln Association works with the Lincoln Area Chamber of Commerce, according to Sisneroz.
“The Downtown Lincoln Association has a very good relationship with the chamber,” Sisneroz said. “I expect the relationship to be even more solid between the Downtown Lincoln Association and the chamber.”
The Lincoln Area Chamber of Commerce has 365 members and hopes to expand to 500 members by next year, according to Cosgrove.
For more information about the chamber of commerce, call 645-2035.

Cosgrove’s priorities for this year
The News Messenger asked Cosgrove what he hopes to accomplish this year as CEO:
“Over the next year, the chamber will work with its members to increase the visibility of their businesses within the community through events such as the Farmers’ Market and Showcase and we will use media and social media to link our residents to our member’s businesses.
Many of our members contribute significantly to support our schools, other nonprofit organizations, animal rescue groups and art programs. We want the people who live here (and around here) to know about the philanthropic efforts of our members. Our members rarely advertise about their community involvement but we believe the community should know about the great work they have done, and continue to do.
While our members are great community partners, they have their hands full operating their businesses. The chamber will become more active in representing our member’s interests at all levels. We can do the research, give them feedback, be their voice at different levels of government and be their advocate on issues that affect their businesses.
The chamber will also be more involved in working with local government on economic development issues. A growing business economy is good for our residents, the city and our members.
The chamber also provides the opportunity to learn more about our community. The Leadership Lincoln program class three will graduate this June and the next one will begin soon after. Each class chooses a project that will benefit the community. Each participant gains leadership skill in the process and gives back to the community as well.
We will also be providing opportunities for our members to learn about business techniques, planning tools and financial management skills that will help them become even more successful as their business grows and they expand.”