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Chamber Insights: Complete September 2007 issue

In this issue-
  • President's message. Darrell Overstreet
  • Corporate Sponsor: WAIN radio
  • New Members; Dairy Dip, Cafe' on the Square, Central Financial Services
  • October calendar
  • Planning Christmas in Columbia
  • October: What makes it special?
  • Great first impressions
  • Commerce pushed for Written Communication
  • Become informed: Listen, Act

Welcome to Chamber Insights, the monthly newsletter of the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce.

Editor: Sue Stivers, Executive Director

Feature writers: Darrell Overstreet, Vonnie Kolbenschlag

The purpose of the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce is to Promote and Enhance the Business, Cultural, Educational and Civic Well-Being of Columbia and Adair County.

Thought for the month:
The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.

President's Message

I am writing the Presidents Message after hearing David Hawpe, the Editorial Director for the Courier Journal, speak at the Chamber's September meeting. What an honor it was to hear him speak and we appreciate Lindsey Wilson College sharing him with us. He spoke about changes in his industry and how those changes will affect the future in the newspaper business.

Every time I hear someone speak about changes, I think about the changes in my business and the changes that are taking place around us. Most of us do not like all the changes that take place and we can get down rather than moving forward. An article i was reading this week talked about how we break out of the doldrums and get back with the task of living. This writer gave two key things one can do to start the process of getting over it and back in the game. The first is to focus on the future and the other is to manage one's energy.

I know Columbia and Adair County is in the midst of huge changes. We need to get off our current circumstances and start thinking about the awesome future and how we can handle the challenges. I am so proud of Mayor Pat Bell and the City Council and Judge Ann Melton and the Fiscal Court for looking beyond today and planning for the future of our community.

It is not up to the world to make things happen, it is up to us and it is a choice. A choice we can make today, to be a part of "Columbia, KY, A Great Place To Call Home".

Corporate Sponsor of the Month

A special "Thank You" to WAIN Radio Station for being the Corporate sponsor of the Month. As Corporate Sponsor of the Month, the business owner has the opportunity to share information about his business. If your business would like to be the Sponsor of the Month or would like more information, call Executive Director Sue Stivers at the Chamber office at 384-6020.

The following remarks were made by Gary Phelps, Manager of WAIN Radio Station at the monthly Chamber meeting held Tuesday, September 18th.

WAIN has a strong tradition here in Adair County.

WAIN AM signed on the air over 55 years ago and continues to go strong.

WAIN FM has received numerous honors over the years, including being named the Grand Ole Opry's small market station of the year in 2000.

In 2002 WAIN FM received the second highest ranking for listenership in their home county, according to Arbitron.

WAIN continues to focus on local programming bringing you monthly updates on Tourism, Social Security, Weekly reports from the Cooperative Extension Service, as well as Adair County High School Sports, Little League baseball and softball, and Lindsey Wilson Sports as well as being an affiliate of the University of Kentucky, not to mention the hundreds of people weekly that call the Man About Town Show.

Recently, WAIN FM added the Jeff Foxworthy Countdown Saturday nights and Casey Kassum's American Top 40 from the 1970's on WAIN AM Saturday mornings. We now have a local gospel artist showcase on Sunday's as well as the Egypt Quartet and Gospel Greats show.

As the radio industry continues to evolve, WAIN will continue to try our best to serve the public of Adair and surrounding counties.

New Member Highlights

The Chamber is rejoicing with our all time high of 259 members.

It's and exciting time to be a part of the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce! We are extremely pleased to welcome three (3) new members during the past month.
  • Columbia Dairy Dip, located at 114 Jamestown Street, is owned by Mike and Mila Newton and Dicky Walker. They can be reached at 384-4644. Much excitement has been created throughout the community with the reopening of this business that is a part of Columbia's history.

  • Central Financial Services, located at 340 Office Park Drive in Columbia, may be reached at 385-9590. Tammy Morrison is the manager.

  • Cafe' on the Square, will be a new business owned by Stephen and Ellen Hingle. Work on their building, located at 212 Public Square is near completion and they hope to have their Grand Opening in late October. Phone 378-5274.
A special "thank you" to each of you for placing your membership and becoming a part of the Chamber family. Your investment means an investment in your community. Your membership shows that you believe in the mission of the Chamber and you care about making our community a better place to live. Chamber meetings are held the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 11:45 AM at Lindsey Wilson College Dining Center unless otherwise announced. The red carpet is out to you...inviting you to attend. If you have any questions about the Chamber, please feel to call the Chamber office and talk to Ms. Stivers at 384-6020.

Looking Ahead....Fun For Everyone
  • Saturday, October 6...Annual Giles Arts & Crafts Festival, 9:00 AM-4:00 PM
  • Friday, October 12...Downtown Days
  • Saturday, October 13...Folklore of the Old West
Mark these dates on your calendar and make plans to attend. Bring the entire family and spend time having fun, enjoying food and entertainment, visiting the booths of the various vendors, visiting old friends and making new ones. Support these county events with your presence.

Planning Christmas In Columbia

Plans are underway for the annual "Christmas In Columbia" which will be held the first week end in December. Lots of volunteers are needed to make this a successful week-end. All Chamber members are encouraged to support this event either financially or as a volunteer. Dave Johnston, CEO of United Citizens Bank will again serve as Chairman. If you would like to serve on a committee, contact the Chamber office at 384-6020.

October...What Makes It Special?

The month of October is all about change...the changing of the leaves along with the change in the weather. Let's not forget Columbus who founded our continent and those ghosts and goblins that add fright to our nights.

In addition to Columbus Day and Halloween, it's the month to celebrate Boss's Day and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And oh yes, it's Major League Playoffs and College and Pro Football time!

Some suggestions you may want to use are:
  1. Use an "explore" theme during the week of Columbus Day.
  2. Partner with a local pumpkin patch to offer discounts and coupons to your guests or give away fall flower bulbs for planting.
  3. In honor of National Breast Cancer month, offer to bag groceries at IGA, or make a donation to Relay For Life.
  4. With the Major League baseball playoffs held in October, decorate your business or home in a baseball theme.
  5. Businesses may want to offer "Howling Good Time" Halloween specials and activities or sponsor Halloween costume contests and offer prizes.
  6. October and every other month is a time to remember the words of Bill Gates and I quote, "What I do best is share my enthusiasm".
Great First Impressions

Current trends show more retailers are concentrating on the skills that create good first impressions and build customer loyalty. Therefore, when analyzing your staff--look for behavior that builds lasting relationships, such as:
  • Strong eye contact, friendly smile, personalized non-business like greeting and professional behavior.
  • A good first impression includes ease and skill in introducing oneself during the first minute of greeting a visitor, asking for the visitor's name and using the name during conversation.
  • Ability to determine a visitor's needs through skillful questioning and listening before suggesting appropriate merchandise.
  • Knowledge of available inventory and complete familiarity with the product.
  • Ability to handle objections through clarifying and trust-building questions.
  • Skills in multi-selling and closing the sale.
  • Relationship-building skills that include requesting permission for future contact, offering a business card, thanking customers for their purchase or visit, confirming their purchase, inviting customers to return, and if possible walking them to the door.
  • Professional telephone skills.
Commerce Pushed For Written Communication

Civilization developed in the Middle East with an agrarian society about 9000 years ago. Rather than hunting and gathering food, people began growing crops and domesticating animals.They established homes and began trading. Trade as commerce led to economic development and the need to keep accounts of buying and selling. But there was no writing system.

More than 5000 years ago people living between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, in what is not Iraq, used clay to inscribe wedge shapes that were stylized pictographs representing objects, later the shapes progressed to representing sounds of words. This was the world's first written language. It lasted 3000 years, and then was no longer used. Egypt also developed picture writing near the end of 4000 B.C. Each pictograph or hieroglyphic stood for the first consonant sound of what it depicted.

The Phoenicians on the Mediterranean Sea needed to facilitate their extensive commerce with a simpler way than pictographs. They borrowed and improved the Egyptian pictographs using stylized symbols representing 22 consonant sounds. The first two stylized symbols represented what was important in their life: cattle, Aleph and home, Beth.

The Phoenician Aleph and Beth were adapted and changed by commerce with other countries. By 1000 BC it had spread in all directions. The Greeks added symbolized vowels and their Alpha Beta is the forerunner of our western alphabet.

Writing/reading is a remarkable human achievement, but it had its detractors at the very beginning with the fear that people would no longer improve their memorizing skills if things were written down.

Commerce depends on the amazing system of written symbols that represent sounds. Our brains quickly grasp word meanings by marks we know as letters. However, we still use pictographs: figures of a man or woman on a restroom door, walking figure or a hand indicating when it is safe to cross a street, traffic signs indicating a hill or curve and the increasing use of logos as stylized pictographs.

Commerce continually pushes us to find ways to communicate.

Become Informed - Listen, Think, Act

Doesn't it seem like the solution to just about everything these days is better communications? Whether it is business, social, personal, spiritual, or any other forum? Better communication seems to be the cure for most relationship ills.

You may have found that over the years it has become painfully apparent that your conclusion drawing or problem solving style that may work so well in your occupation, may be ineffective in other aspects of your life.

The more you become involved with the Chamber that is made up of 259 members, or any other organization, supported by you and its volunteers, the more you understand there is plenty of room for better communication.

In an effort to further enhance us and to help us have a better understanding the following are some thoughts on the subject.

First, we need to realize how difficult we are to talk to when we have a preconceived idea, thought, or opinion.We need to understand that we don't have all the information. Our current beliefs came about from an accumulation of information.Each new nugget tweaked that position.Everything you believe today is subject to change with the addition of new information.

Second, we need to listen to, understand...not just to hear, correct, or find a place to interject.

Listen to acquire new information and a better understanding.

Third, we need to think before we act. Quite often we feel compelled to blurt out a response. That is succumbing to fear. Fear that we won't appear intelligent or attentive. It is acceptable, and even advisable, to pause, ponder, and peruse before speaking or doing.

At last, we need to act from a more informed and enlightened perspective. Have you ever heard it said you have "too much" information? Having too much information can be overwhelming, but having the "right" information is imperative.How do we know when we have the right information?You have to take time to be quiet...Slow down and listen to what you feel. Take a break from the noise. You'll know.

Don't expect perfection from yourself...Just expect better. Old habits are hard to break, especially if they are justifiable bad habits. But with a little work of changing your attitude, thoughts and actions, you will be better...You can do it!
Chamber of Commerce

This story was posted on 2007-09-27 13:24:51

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