Henderson businessman known as champion for local business

Laird Noble Sanders proud to be Henderson Chamber member for 18 years

HENDERSON, Nev.  – Laird Noble Sanders won’t buy coffee locally from a business that’s not a member of the Henderson Chamber of Commerce. Ever.

To Sanders, the idea that business isn’t personal is an antiquated concept. To this Henderson businessman, business is ­– and always will be – personal. As a member of the Henderson Chamber of Commerce for the last 18 years, Sanders is the organization’s chief cheerleader. He’s also a champion for happy business owners in his community, which is why it’s not uncommon for chamber members to receive pastries or to hear him reassure them with his signature line, “you’re the best.”

“If you’re going to be in a community and have a business there, you should be a member of the chamber,” said Sanders, who also serves on various chamber committees as well as the boards of the Salvation Army and Touro University. “When I joined the chamber, it wasn’t to get more business. It was to get to know other business owners, get to know the community.”

Sanders sees past the brick and mortar buildings associated with commerce and meets the people who have poured their hard work and passion into industry. He maintains a 600-person e-card mailing list for holidays and has a mental tally of all the good people he’s glad he met because of his membership. The chamber is large enough to represent the businesses of a growing metropolis, yet small enough to still provide a small town, personal touch.

“It’s small enough that I can call the mayor or the CEO of St. Rose Dominican Hospitals, or they can get in touch with me. You can find a person to help you or have the same interest or cause. We have to work at it together,” Sanders said. “I think being a member is the quickest way to get in touch with a lot of good people at one time.”

Although Sanders is quick to provide assistance to his fellow members, he’s been the recipient of advice as well. As the business world progresses and changes, the Henderson business community keeps members informed through monthly networking events and the Roadmap to Success workshop series. The workshops, led by local experts, discuss topics relevant to business owners and provide information that can otherwise be timely and difficult to corner.

To see the value, members have to be active. If a business owner thinks he or she can join the chamber of commerce, hang up the membership shingle and wait for business to roll in, they will be disappointed. Chamber membership is a tool, not a business generator.

“You have people willing to help you keep up. The advice I’ve gotten from other people has helped me with my business,” he added. “You have to network. You need to give back. You can go to five seminars, get good ideas, meet people and get five hours of information. The people and the businesses you meet are worth the price of admission. If you get one good idea, it’s worth the whole seminar.”

Although Sanders is the Henderson Chamber’s chief cheerleader, he also embodies the environment the organization strives to provide.

“Laird’s personality embodies what the Henderson Chamber of Commerce is all about,” said Scott Muelrath, president and CEO of the Henderson Chamber. “Henderson is, and will always be, a small town because that’s how people like Laird and other chamber members make it feel. No matter how large the city becomes, business will always be personal here.”

And his passion for people, business and his community is contagious.

“If you touched a few hearts, made a different in a few people’s lives, it’s worth it. You just have to treat people the way you want to be treated,” Sanders said. “And make fun out of it.”

The Henderson Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit, voluntary organization committed to promoting and supporting member businesses and economic development.

For more information, call the Henderson Chamber of Commerce at 702-565-8951 or visit www.hendersonchamber.com.

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