The Personal Value
of Chamber Networks
Laura Cook Kroeger has been a long-time member of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. As vice president of resource development and external affairs for Gateway Community and Technical College, she’s often experienced many benefits of membership, including, she said, “advocacy, networking with key leaders, legislative assistance and so much more.”
Laura Cook Kroeger and son, Tristan, reunited in Kentucky following his hasty departure from India.
Kroeger’s 23-year-old son, Tristan, had recently completed three months of teaching in India. “He had planned to tour the country for his final three weeks when he received an urgent notification from the embassy discouraging him from any travel,” she wrote.
A team of U.S. Navy SEALs had just killed Osama Bin Laden, and anti-American sentiment was growing in some regions of India. To make matters worse, the previous day a local Indian newspaper had published a front page feature about Tristan, including a photo of the young American living alone in a hostel.
“We had to get Tristan out of there,” Kroeger said.
“Just one mention of my situation to a group following a chamber meeting sparked extraordinary overtures of concern that spread like fire,” she wrote. One colleague immediately emailed clients who had relatives living near Tristan. Another had contacts in the military. Another had a friend who just moved there. “An airport official contacted Delta Airlines which quickly and graciously changed Tristan’s ticket, at no charge, for this emergency.”
For Kroeger, “the years of networking and chamber involvement on behalf of Gateway paid off in a gratifying, unexpected way. There is indeed value in chamber membership both professionally and, on rare occasions, personally. Thank you members of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Your quick actions and amazing individual networks of contacts quickly brought Tristan home to a deeply grateful mother.”