Chamber not just suits and ties

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The South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce really knows how to throw a ball.

And not just the fancy-gown, boring-music kind of ball you might expect from a chamber. We’re talking full-on, down-and-dirty dodgeball.

About 120 chamber members traded their business attire for gym clothes March 12 and faced off at Littleton’s YMCA. They strategized and schemed, but it still came down to winning the old-fashioned way — get there first, keep your eyes on the competition, try not to trip over your own feet and duck when something’s coming at your head.

“We are creating meaningful relationships in a new kind of way,” said Taren Shuck-Boehler, the chamber’s strategic events planner. “By pounding each other with dodgeballs.”

The dodgeball throwdown was one of the chamber’s more unique celebrations of its monthly Business After Hours event, billed as “anything but stuffy.” Guests gather at member organizations with an eye to creative networking, key for a chamber with more than 1,300 members comprising more than 85,000 employees.

“We’re getting to know each other on a personal level,” said Shuck-Boehler. “It’s not just handing over your business card. That’s not what the chamber’s all about.”

Mac Stringer of Bighorn Roofing and Exteriors met new people by joining a “straggler” team that ended up winning all three of its games, proving the chamber’s philosophy that “individuals working together are a true force to be reckoned with.”

“It was a ball,” he said. “The chamber’s a team, and when you’re part of a team, you have to come out. … It’s great to be able to be a part of a network instead of just networking.”

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