In business, networking is a critical skill. Memberships to associations or Business Chambers can help leverage networking opportunities for businesses both large and small. The term Social Capital refers to the relationships and interconnectedness that each of us have and use in our daily lives. Associations or Chambers often have commonality amongst the members.
The common ground may be a purpose, a mission, an industry and/or interest and the membership may be diverse in a multitude of other ways but share some collective values around specific issues. I am not sure how many times I have heard the expressions, “I know a guy” or “I know somebody who can” when somebody is asking for a handyman or a specific trade expert, like an IT person. When people connect they can share these contacts to help others achieve their goals and build more Social Capital.
Listen below to Vicki Hamilton-Allen and Steve Japinga talk about building social capital through membership associations!
About Steve Japinga
Steve Japinga is the vice president of public affairs for the Chamber. Japinga is responsible for overseeing the public policy, government relations, marketing and communications functions for the Chamber. Additionally, Japinga manages and provides guidance to the Lansing Regional Chamber-Political Action Committee (LRC-PAC).
Prior to joining the Chamber, Japinga worked as Chief of Public Policy and Legislative Affairs for State and Federal Government Relations for the Michigan State Medical Society representing more than 15,000 Michigan physicians. Before working on behalf of MSMS, Japinga was the Managing Director for Capitol Strategies Group, a multi-client government relations firm based in downtown Lansing representing several trade associations and companies, including MSMS, Johnson & Johnson, Michigan State University and the Michigan Association of Independent Agents.
Japinga graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science pre-law and resides in Lansing with his wife Katherine and their two dogs Charlie and George.