Al Schmidt, Chamber President Della Schmidt and Chris Baudhuin, Vice President of Thern and former Chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors proudly display a gift from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Celebrating 100 Years of U.S. Chamber Membership in Our Nation’s Capitol

On April 22, 1912, the business community found a national voice. At the urging of President William Howard Taft, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was established by a gathering of 700 delegates at the Willard Hotel, including a delegation from the Winona Chamber. Today, 100 years later, the U. S. Chamber is the largest business advocacy group in Washington.

Since 1912, the Winona Area Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber, together, have been proudly standing up for American enterprise. The opportunity to celebrate a 100-year anniversary doesn't come often, so we, along with many of our fellow founding member counterparts, celebrated this milestone at an anniversary reception on Tuesday, May 22, during America’s Small Business Summit in Washington D.C. For the Winona Area Chamber of Commerce, this was a celebration of dual importance, as the Winona Area Chamber of Commerce is also celebrating its 100 year anniversary this year.

Of course, in part this is about both the U.S. Chamber and Winona Chamber’s 100th birthday, but this event sends an even greater message about the power and longevity of the free enterprise system and our great nation. Our Winona Chamber, like many others, has been working tirelessly for 100 years to protect free enterprise, encourage growth, and create jobs in our community. We have learned from each victory, and defeat, how to be better, stronger, and more nimble for our members, our community, and our free enterprise system.

As President of Winona Area Chamber of Commerce I am honored to celebrate 100 years of serving our nation’s business community alongside the U.S. Chamber, and I look forward to making the next 100 years worth celebrating even more.

Della Schmidt, Chamber President & CEO