CEO Nikki Hanna Drives the Davie-Cooper City Chamber Forward

The Davie-Cooper City Chamber of Commerce has been helping local businesses grow for more than 80 years. In the last two, they redefined what a chamber of commerce looks like and became the fastest growing chamber in Broward County.

The revolutionary change was the brainchild of Chamber CEO Nikki Hanna, M.S.. We sat down with Nikki to learn more.

How did the Davie-Cooper City Chamber of Commerce become the fastest growing chamber in Broward County?

A chamber of commerce is a business just like any other business. The chamber needed to be redefined and have a new strategy to meet the needs of our business community. Nothing can stay the same forever. We have to evolve, shift and grow with the times and demands in our community.

I wrote a strategic plan when I started. We have probably changed it a hundred times since. A key to success is staying flexible. The first thing I did was ensure the chamber had a board of directors that understood our mission and wanted to utilize their leadership skills, talents and connections to make change happen. Once that was in place, we put the plan into action.

I see the chamber as an epic revolution to really grow your business. We focus on creating value for our members through our bi-weekly leads groups, committee work, Women in Business initiatives, Government, Economic & Community Affairs committee, large monthly chamber luncheons, signature events, monthly after-hours events, being a part of community events in the Town of Davie and the City of Cooper City while making time to listen to what our members need.

I’ve hired the best people in the industry. They understand the goals. We want to be the main source of economic help and growth in our community for small and large companies.

How are you making  The Davie-Cooper City Chamber of Commerce relevant to younger people?

We created an under 40 committee, #UPandComing, to help Generation X, Xennials and Millennials to learn to use face to face business interaction rather than just using the internet, Facebook and social media to gain clients and resources.

We have over 15 opportunities a month for members to meet people and build solid professional relationships. We have a student member program to help local college students start the process early of networking and possibly finding a future job by meeting decision makers of chamber member companies. It has been amazing to see how we are helping everyone succeed through the different opportunities we provide.

Tell us about the West Broward Leadership certificate program. Why did you create it?

Two years ago, it was clear to me that there was no professional certificate programs available in our market that gave business leaders the tools and knowledge they needed when the interact with the city or town. People simply had no idea what the town and city had to offer! I developed a program focused on giving our members real-world experience, including opportunities for entrepreneurs to visit fortune 500 companies and tell their stories. This type of learning can not be done by textbook only. Our members got to see firsthand how leaders in different sized businesses all face similar challenges and find solutions to those problems.

In March 2019 I facilitated our Inaugural West Broward Leadership Program after 2 years of developing the program from research and seeing what would help our leaders excogitate and enhance their current background.

You are known as a “rainmaker” and one of the most influential women in the industry. What has been your driving force to lead change and make such a huge impact?

Since I was a little girl, I had the gift of making friends. I wanted everyone to be friends and come together. Both of my parents were also influential people in their careers and in the community. They took my sister and I everywhere with them. My father and grandfather were a part of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce through our family business. I knew about chambers and the impact since the early 90’s.

I stayed local for college and attended & graduated from Nova Southeastern University, where I earned a Master’s Degree in business and in leadership from Huizenga School of Business. This foundation was the starting point to where I am today. The people I grew up with are now holding positions in politics, CEOs of large companies and owners of privately-owned businesses. They are making a difference and I am proud to see them create jobs in the community, work on legislative issues and give back.

The “rainmaker” trait comes naturally to me. I love putting people together and seeing people succeed. I have been mentored by incredible people over my life. I connect with business owners because I know the start-up struggles, the monthly expenses that come with owning a business, managing people and how to reinvented yourself and your business as times change. When you join the Davie-Cooper City Chamber of Commerce you are getting a world of resources just with your initial conversation with me. I love to hear what our members do, their stories, how they overcame hard times and what they are doing in their business to meet their goals. I learn from them. It makes me a better CEO and leader.

You will always hear me say we all have the power to influence.  It is how you use that power you are given the right way to make a difference. Use your power to create, help and build a better tomorrow. Help others succeed and be happy to see people prospering because they are working hard to build their dream.

What professional associations is the Davie-Cooper City Chamber of Commerce a member of?

I am the 2019 Chair of the Broward County Council of Chambers. The Davie-Cooper City Chamber of Commerce also belongs to the Fort Lauderdale Alliance, Broward League of Cities, Florida Restaurant Lodging Association, Public Relations Society of America, 2.1.1. Broward and the Davie Women’s Club.

When I started, we were only a part of the Broward County Council of Chambers. We are very lucky to have a strong group of Chamber leaders that are working county-wide to help make a difference.

These professional organizations strengthen our resources to help better serve our members. They each provide a different niche from education on the latest economic topics, to assistance to different industries, political topics that are having in our county, in our state and nationwide, the impacts the community faces with different companies coming into the area and help people personally who are struggling with work life balance.

  •  To join the Davie-Cooper City Chamber of Commerce contact Nikki at [email protected] or call the office at 954-581-0790.