Abbi Espe, who joined the Chamber team earlier this year as a manager of member development, enjoys helping employers make those connections. Learn more about her in this brief Q&A.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
“I wanted to be a teacher for the longest time and I still sometimes think I want to be a teacher! Later, I wanted to be an architect and then I realized there’d be a whole lot of math involved. So, I did other jobs. Most recently, I worked in private wealth at a bank for eight years.”
How did previous jobs and life experiences prepare you for your role at the Chamber?
“The biggest preparation for this position was my position at the bank. Outside of that, I also have a background in politics. I was a state coordinator for a presidential candidate, so I know what it takes to run a campaign. In some ways, it’s like running a business: You have to get your brand and message out there – sometimes with a limited budget – and you need to relate well to people.
“That’s probably the biggest thing I learned from my experience in politics: You could meet 100 people, but if you don’t connect with them, it doesn’t even matter that you met 100 people.”
Describe one of this summer’s personal highlights.
“I have two new nieces that were just born! I have 13 nieces and nephews.”
What Chamber benefit do members utilize most?
“It depends on the business owner I’m talking to. Primarily, it’s the legislative advocacy. We understand that not every business owner has a thorough understanding of all the legislation that could impact their company. Our team of policy experts works on your behalf. With the Chamber’s lobbying efforts in 2018, each member company added $228 per employee to its bottom line.
“A lot of the people I’ve talked to are also really interested in helplines (provide free, confidential answers to questions about taxes, human resources and other issues), the Business Research Center and Member Spotlight (companies share their story by highlighting their products and services).”
What excites you about serving Chamber members?
“Businesses are important. And the people who’ve started them – that’s their passion. They’ve probably dreamt of doing that (career) for a long time. If businesses can do well, it’s good for their organization, it’s good for their families and it’s good for the state of Indiana. It’s a win-win.”