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ICCC to give Christian business a voice

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Money is arguably the resource that drives business, and the Apostle Paul once noted, “Love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.”

However, an increasing number of business owners in Indiana are placing more stock in spirituality and community service than the pursuit of money.

These entrepreneurs will soon have an opportunity to join forces and fellowship, thanks to the establishment of the new Indiana Christian Chamber of Commerce (ICCC).

The organization will be launched during a special event called Faith in the Boardroom, which will take place Oct. 19 from 2-4 p.m. at the Ritz Charles, 12156 N. Meridian St., Carmel.

The event will feature Roxanne Wilson, a finalist on NBC’s “The Apprentice,” along with a panel of business leaders who will answer tough questions about getting their faith “out of the workplace closet” and applying biblical principles to their daily business dealings. Participants will also be able to enjoy gospel recording artist John David Webster, hors d’oeuvres and networking.

Sue Swayze, executive director of ICCC, said the organization is a perfect opportunity to bring Christian business owners together, develop new skills, fellowship and work in an alliance that can be used to engage community leaders.

“The chamber will put all of those elements together,” said Swayze. “Faith is woven in everything we do, and we would like to celebrate that by using our success to further the kingdom, serve the community, enhance each other and have fun in the process.”

According to Swayze over 200 entrepreneurs from various denominational and ethnic backgrounds have signed up to be a part of the chamber.

“Over the last two months word has gotten around and our phone has been ringing off the hook,” Swayze said. “We’re very pleased with the response we have received so far.”

ICCC was inspired by Randy and Julie Faulkner, publishers of Christian Professional Magazine and the Christian Phone Book, which combined last year to form Christian Professional Inc.

ICCC will work with existing Christian business organizations such as Truth@Work, the Christian Business Leaders Association and the Catholic Business Exchange.

At the same time however, ICCC will offer original initiatives, such as sessions on resolving business disputes and supervising employees in a Christ-like manner.

Members will be able to sign up for different packages as an individual, business or church/nonprofit organization. Standard benefits for all members will include discount legal services, business/life-coaching sessions, involvement in legislative initiatives, opportunities to participate in mentorship programs and monthly charity drives.

Stew Friedman, a professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania, noted that ICCC is representative of how spirituality is taking a higher profile in business.

“The old paradigm of leaving your beliefs behind when you go to work is no longer satisfying,” he said. “More than ever, people want work that fits in with a larger sense of purpose in life.”

A longtime business analyst and lobbyist, Swayze previously served as vice president of business advocacy for the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. She is currently director of Indiana Family Action, a Christian family advocacy organization and has served as policy director for United Way of Central Indiana.

Roxanne Wilson, who will offer a presentation during the launch event, is an Austin, Texas based attorney who gained national attention while competing for a position with real estate tycoon Donald Trump on “The Apprentice.” She is also a certified Jazzercise instructor and motivational speaker who is still active in her church music ministry and professional group.

“She is an excellent example of how you can maintain your faith in the boardroom,” Swayze said. “Here’s someone who was on a popular secular television show but never hesitated to use her faith in that situation. We look forward to having her join us.”

For more information about the Indiana Christian Chamber of Commerce log on to www .indiana christian chamber.com or call (317) 783-4639

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