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Welcome to Chamber Insights - February 2011

The monthly newsletter of the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce.
Editor: Sue Stivers
President's Message: Ron Heath
Feature Writers: Sue Stivers, Ramie Hutchinson, Stephanie Barrett, Roger Meadows
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"
"If you want to touch the past TOUCH A ROCK.
If you want to touch the present TOUCH A ROSE.
If you want to touch the future TOUCH A LIFE.."
President's Letter

During March, the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce will conduct its annual membership drive. Board members and volunteers will be contacting businesses and individuals in the community to invite prospective members to join the Chamber and to encourage past members to renew their support. In 2010, the Chamber had more than 250 members. Our goal this year is to surpass 300 members.

Roger Meadows, Chief Operations Officer at United Citizens Bank and Vice President of the Chamber Board of Directors, is serving this year as Chair of the Membership Drive. His enthusiasm for the Chamber of Commerce and Adair County is contagious. In preparation for the Membership Drive, Roger has put together a list of "benefits" that make belonging to the Chamber an investment for business owners and individuals. His article describing those benefits is included in this month's newsletter.

While the benefits of being a member are a nice bonus, nothing beats the feeling you get from knowing you're doing something good for the community. One of the Chamber's main goals each year is to help grow the business climate in Adair County. As the local economy becomes stronger, everyone benefits. There's more money being spent locally, businesses can look to expand which means new jobs are created, and more tourists are attracted to our community.

This issue of Chamber Insights also contains testimonials from a number of area residents and businesses that belong to the Chamber. There's no better way the Chamber can make a case for you to join than to use statements from current members in their own words as to why they belong to the Chamber. They understand the Chamber can make a difference in the community.

When you are contacted to join the Chamber this year, I encourage you to talk with the volunteer about what the Chamber does for the community; ask questions, offer suggestions. The Chamber is only as effective as we the members make it. By joining the Chamber you make a strong statement that you want to do your part to enhance the quality of life for everyone in your home community. We welcome your involvement.

Looking Ahead
  • February 15 to March 31 - Membership Drive
  • March 8 - Chamber Board Meeting - 7:30 AM Chamber Board Room
  • March 9 - Economic Development Authority, Inc. - 8:00 AM at Chamber Bldg.
  • March 15 - Monthly Chamber Meeting - 11:45 AM at The Pines at Lindsey Wilson
  • March 15 - Tourism Commission - 6:30 PM at Chamber Board Room
  • April 15 - Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet - 6:30 PM, Cranmer Dining Center, Lindsey Wilson College
What do I get for being a member of the Chamber?
By Roger Meadows, Membership Chairman


CHAMBER BENEFITS

Use of Facilities


As a benefit to Chamber members you can use the Chamber Basement to hold business meetings free of charge. The basement will accommodate 50-55 people and also has kitchen facilities. We ask that if a meal is catered, that it is catered by a Chamber member. Check with the Chamber office for available caterers.

Marketing

Take advantage of free publicity like ribbon cutting ceremonies, sponsoring an event, making new relationships as a committee volunteer. Chamber members have a better connection to the community because they are connected to each other. By phone, walk-in, email and internet, the Chamber of Commerce gives hundreds of referrals each month. As a member, you will directly benefit from these new customers. You may be surprised how many consumers look for the Chamber plaque and window decals as a sign that you are a reputable member of the community.

Members are welcome to display brochures or business cards in the Chamber's brochure rack located in the lobby of our office. Visitors enter the Chamber daily to inquire about different businesses, the community, relocation, and much more.

Networking

People do business with those they know and trust.

The Columbia Adair County Chamber of Commerce offers networking opportunities to build and maintain relationships among our members. The secret within networking is to listen and focus on the other person. You will be amazed at the doors of conversation that will open.

We offer an extensive list of networking opportunities to pick and choose the best fit for your business/organization. Our goal is for you to find success within your business relationships.

Business Development Resources

The Chamber of Commerce sponsors a leadership development program (L.E.A.D. Adair) to assist you in developing future leaders. The chamber also has a partnership with Lindsey Wilson College to help entrepreneurs get started. The chamber works to keep its members informed of impending legislation that might impact their business or this community.

The Chamber of Commerce sponsors educational programs that are free to Chamber members. Two recent programs were "How to Buy and Sell on eBay" and "Changes in the Tax Laws for Businesses and Individuals."

Sponsorships

Make the Most of Your Chamber membership and take advantage of the opportunities throughout the year, Annual Golf Tournament, Christmas in Columbia, Chamber Luncheons, and Annual Award Banquet are a few of the options available.

Advertising

Chamber members are entitled to a free listing in the Chamber Directory, as well as a link to their e-mail address and home page from our official Chamber Website.

Build your customer base by participating in the Wares Fair held each fall at the start of the Lindsey Wilson school year. There's no fee for Chamber members to participate and it's a great way for businesses to get information including their name, location, and the goods and services they offer to more than 600 potential new customers.

Why I Belong To My Chamber of Commerce

The annual Chamber of Commerce membership drive is coming soon! Here's what 20 Chamber members had to say why they are a member of the Chamber. I'm sure every chamber member could say the same.
  1. Because through the Chamber of Commerce the individual citizen can best discharge his or her obligations to the city in which he or she lives and makes a living.

  2. Because I reap benefits in my personal affairs through the concerted planning, counsel, and action that is best obtained through the work of the Chamber of Commerce.

  3. Because I realize that every man owes a debt to his community that cannot be paid in taxes - a debt of personal service.

  4. Because I believe that the man who serves his community through active participation in the work of his Chamber of Commerce, will develop his own powers and broaden his own views.

  5. Because the Chamber of Commerce unifies the public spirit of any city and directs it into useful and constructive channels.

  6. Because the Chamber of Commerce helps create and express sound opinion on questions affecting the welfare of my city and county, state and the country at large.

  7. Because it links the people of the entire community together in a common enterprise, and makes possible great public and business-forward movements.

  8. Because my business judgment tells me that whatever is best for this city and my neighbors is too valuable an asset for me to pass up.

  9. Because the Chamber of Commerce is the gauge of a civic enterprise, prosperity, and ambitions, and reflects the combined wishes of the community.

  10. Because as a member of the Chamber of Commerce I am afforded an opportunity actually to work for conditions I have long hoped for.

  11. Because I profit in dollars and cents, both directly and indirectly, from the work of the organization and in personal satisfaction in working toward a goal that is not entirely in the range of self-interest.

  12. Because my membership in the Chamber shows my sympathy with an organized effort to better my city and improve conditions of life within it.

  13. Because active participation in community affairs is both a personal privilege and civic responsibility.

  14. Because it is unfair and unjust for me to derive benefits from a community-serving organization and not give it my active support.

  15. Because I consider that membership in the Chamber of Commerce pays a high rate of interest in community service, personal contacts, community betterment, and civic pride.

  16. Because the Chamber of Commerce holds up an ideal of civic development and commercial advancement that tends to the encouragement of what is helpful and the elimination of what is harmful.

  17. Because I am selfish enough to want the greatest return from my money and the best results from my efforts, and I know these can be best secured through cooperative effort with my fellows.

  18. Because I want to play my part in the organized development of my community and to carry my share of the public burden.

  19. Because the Chamber of Commerce is business insurance - an institution that is accomplishing great good for my city at a time when concerted action means more than ever before.

  20. Because I realize that attention to my own business is not enough. No individual business will prosper greatly unless general conditions are improved. The Chamber of Commerce is part of a nation-wide business movement working to that end. As an individual I want to pool my efforts with others for greatest results.
Be ready to sign on the dotted line when the Chamber calls on or visits you.

Debbie Selby - New Chamber Board Member
By Stephanie Barrett

While on winter break from Lindsey Wilson College, I made sure to set aside a great deal of time for reflection. I am amazed by the myriad of experiences and individuals that have permanently changed my life. One of these experiences was interning with the Smithsonian Institution's Office of Policy and Analysis this past fall semester. Living in the nation's capitol, I was surrounded by lawmakers and governmental agencies all working for the greater good of the country. Recently, I met a woman that reminded me of that spirit of community- Debbie Selby.

Debbie was elected to the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and will serve a three year term.

Selby has 35 years of experience working with the citizens of Columbia and Adair County. Her current position is as Administrative Assistant of the Bank of Columbia, located on the Public Square. She has been involved in the banking community for nearly 13 years. In addition to banking, she also has experience in the political arena. "I've been active in local government in the past and I worked for Congressman Hal Rodgers for a number of years, "she comments. She also held the position of Human Resource Manager for 12 years. Over the course of this impressive career, she married Dennis Selby, who is a Class D Coordinator for the Adair County Jail. She has one son named Chad Wheet who serves as an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) for the Adair County Ambulance Service. He also devotes his time to being a volunteer fireman. Selby also has a granddaughter, Bryleigh Wheet and a grandson, Solon Parker.

I inquired to what motivated her to become a member of the Chamber of Commerce of Adair County. She immediately replied that she wanted to become more active and productive for the greater good of the community. "I want to do all I can do and let people know that I am available," Selby went on the say. She also pointed out that she wished to see more jobs come to the area. "Jobs have always been an issue and Columbia is in a prime place to attract businesses since we're located right along the parkway," Selby further explained. She suggested that everyone, established businesses and ordinary citizens alike, strive to make Columbia a more appealing prospect for employers.

While speaking with this former Lindsey Wilson College student, it was evident that she was being genuine about her desire to "be there" for the citizens of Columbia and Adair County. This is why she reminded me so much of those striving in Washington, DC to make a better life for those living in the United States. "I want to use my past knowledge and experience to contribute to the Chamber and better the community."

(Stephanie Barrett is in the Bonner Program at Lindsey Wilson College and interns with Chamber Executive Director Sue Stivers. In the following months you will meet the new Board Members by means of Stephanie's column.)

Make your facebook page easy to find.
By Ramie Hutchinson

It seems as though the social network, Facebook, has taken over the Internet by connecting people, businesses and educational institutes. However, as a person or business it can be difficult to direct people to your facebook page due to complex web addresses.

For instance, if you have visited Duo County Telecom's facebook page, you will notice that the url (web address) looks like this; facebook.com/duocountytelecom. However, if you have not manually selected your url, your page will look something like this; facebook.com/profie.php?id=9768237647340319, which, unless you have someone manually search for you on facebook, it is almost impossible to find.

But there is an easy way to clean up your facebook address and get people directly to your page.

First, go to the url (address) bar and type in facebook.com/username

A page will pop up that says, "Now you can have a username for your Facebook profile...

It will give you several suggestions. If you do not like any of those url suffixes, you can click the circle that has an empty bar next to it which states, "Enter desired username." Once you enter your name or select one from the list, select "Check Availability." If the name isn't available, simply create another. If that name is available a message window will appear and ask you to confirm the name.

Once you hit Confirm your address has changed and you can start directing people to your new web address.


This story was posted on 2011-02-23 09:00:12
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