Novi Chamber of Commerce hires Janet Bloom as president

By: Charity Meier | Novi Note | Published February 9, 2023

 Janet Bloom

Janet Bloom


NOVI — The Novi Chamber of Commerce has somebody new at its helm.

Janet Bloom started in December as the chamber’s first president.   

According to Bryan Smith, chairman of the Novi Chamber of Commerce board of directors, the chamber wanted to have its executive director be able to focus more on events and member relationships, and thus created the position of president. He said the board was searching for somebody who had a “little bit more inside-of-the-office type mentality” and a strong growth mentality of seeking new businesses. So the chamber now has Bloom as the president and Farah Shammami as the executive director. Smith said Bloom was selected from an initial nine candidates after two rounds of interviews.

“Janet just stood out as an amazing candidate with some strong attributes,” said Smith. “Basically, she had her children born and raised here in Novi. She herself has lived here for a lot of years. She’s involved with the high school, involved with different organizations such as robotics, and we just saw that she had some relationships and kind of bled Novi. We wanted to make sure that whoever we brought in understood how important of a community Novi was, and we felt like at the end she was the prime candidate for that.”

Bloom has been a resident of the city for 23 years and said her children attended the Novi Community School District. She said she chose to live in and raise her family in Novi because of its diversity.

“It’s a beautiful community, very well supported with city services and lots of activities going on and great shopping in the area,” said Bloom. “Coming back to Novi really was an opportunity for me to be able to serve the community that I raised my family in.”

Bloom was born in Sturgis, spent nine years of her childhood in North Carolina and a year in Pennsylvania, then returned to Sturgis to graduate high school. She attended college at Michigan State University, where she obtained two bachelor’s degrees, in marketing and advertising. She then gained employment at Walt Disney World in Florida, which she said was a wonderful experience. Bloom said she still taps into some of the training and skills she gained during that time.

“When family started moving back to Michigan — that’s what Michiganders tend to do is boomerang back — and I also did the same and have been back in Michigan ever since,” she said.

She said that initially she worked in the advertising field, but in 2002 she started working for communities. She began at the Novi Chamber of Commerce as its marketing and events director, and worked there for seven years. During that time, she started to really get a better understanding as to how to work with businesses and downtown areas, the different factors that impact local businesses, and how to promote them. She said she learned what makes business owners tick and the different things they have to look for when managing a business.

“I just did my best to absorb as much information as I could,” Bloom said of her first experience at the Novi chamber.

She then worked for the Farmington Downtown Development Authority. There, she said, she gained insight on Oakland County and the Michigan Mainstreet program, as well as the economic development side of activities. She said that working with the DDA causes one to look more at city infrastructure and façade improvement grants, and more economic data, measurements and traffic counts.

“You get a good opportunity to look at additional factors that impact a community and a downtown,” Bloom said.

She then worked for the Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce, and for the last three years Bloom has worked as east and west DDA operations manager for the city of Dearborn.

“I look forward to using my skills that I’ve developed by working at other chambers and using my economic development side from my time at the DDAs and being able to pull those together and make it a driving force for the focus that we want to move forward as a chamber,” said Bloom.

Bloom said her goals include bringing in additional resources for the members. She said she hopes to do this by bringing in more panels, forums and access to information. She said she also hopes to bring additional professional development items to the program. She said the chamber will be bringing back two programs that ended during the pandemic: the ambassador program, which is a team of professionals that help to mentor new members; and the young professionals program, which serves young leaders ages 21 to 40 who are “eager and engaged” and want to learn and network. She said the chamber also is talking about having CEO roundtables and peer-to-peer meetings.

“We’ve got some good traction on that and we hope to launch that this quarter,” said Bloom. “I look at it as having my economic development side. I am bringing more of that conversation into the chamber world and kind of blending those two, because I think it’s important.”

“One of the things that had her stand out is that she is not afraid to go out there and promote the different events and promote the different programs that we have to offer,” said Smith.

Bloom said those who are thinking of joining the chamber should consider it a “great tool.” She said it is a resource to allow them to meet with other businesses that they can use as resources, and it helps them to market their businesses and gain referrals. She said there are many different ways for businesses to be active in the chamber.   

Bloom said that at the chamber’s last mixer event had two people provide testimonials about the services they had used from other businesses represented at the event.

“It really is great for networking, kind of that web of connection for Novi,” Bloom said of the chamber.

According to Bloom, a common misunderstanding is that in order to be a member of a chamber, a business must be located in that city. She said that simply isn’t true. Any business that wishes to market to residents within a certain community, such as Novi, is welcome to join the chamber.   

She said chambers are not part of the city, but rather they are membership driven and event revenue supported. Membership rates are based on the number of employees, with every two part-time employees being considered as one full-time employee. She said there is also a reduced rate for nonprofits.

“I think I bring a unique perspective. Having worked directly with businesses, having listened to businesses, the different impacts that programs/events do, and I think also having that economic development arm, I can provide resources or direct them to resources that are available,” said Bloom.

She pointed out that businesses might not be aware of and utilizing all of the grants that are available, which the chamber may be able to help them do. She said the chamber wants to provide business owners with any information they need or want for their business.