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Chamber Insights. Complete January 2012 issue

  • Editor: Sue Stivers
  • President's Message: Roger Meadows
  • Feature Writer: Ramie Hutchinson
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 of the Month:: "There will be a time when you believe everything is finished" "That will only be the beginning"


PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
By Roger Meadows

One of the duties of the Chamber President is to define his or her Vision for the coming year. In creating my vision, I wanted to start with a few definitions.

First, what is the Chamber of Commerce? A Chamber is a local association to promote & protect the interest of their businesses. It is a volunteer organization of individuals and businesses that band together to advance the commercial, financial, industrial and civic interest of the community.

Next a Vision Statement. A Vision Statement should answer the question - Why are you doing what you are doing. I believe we are all doing this to create a community that is better than the way things are today. We are doing this to improve the business environment that we have today.

So what do we want to do in 2012?

We need to do more to promote Chamber businesses, each year the Chamber participates in a number of events including Buy, Swap, Sell & Trade days, Downtown Days, etc. At each of these events we pass out hundreds of packets of information on Columbia & Adair County, but nothing regarding our members. In 2012 we will publish a business guide to include in these packets promoting Chamber members. With the number of visitors we have for various events we want to make sure they are frequenting the businesses of our Chamber members while they are in town and experiencing the hospitality to bring them back.

We will work with our members to add a short description or slogan of their business to our Web site. In 2010 (numbers for 2011 not available at this time) we were receiving 120 visitors per day to our Web site (http://www.columbia-adaircounty.com/) with each visitor viewing 3 pages. What a great opportunity to market our Chamber members business and let potential customers know what is special about that business. I would also like to begin a bi-monthly Business Spotlight meeting. This would allow a Chamber member to invite other members in to their business to show them what is available and highlight what makes that business unique.

Education -

We need to provide educational opportunities for businesses. We will partner with Lindsey Wilson, Adult Education and others to identify and offer classes to benefit Chamber members and the community. This could be basic computer classes or Tax Preparation, or application specific training like Excel & Word. We will work with L.E.A.D. Adair to help promote their efforts for another class this year.

Promote volunteerism

This community is second to none when it comes to giving of their time and money for worthwhile efforts. We will communicate to members about upcoming events and seek additional volunteers to improve events we are involved in. I would like to thank each of you in advance for helping your Chamber make each of these items a reality.

I recently read an article that said Microsoft's vision in the early 80's was to have "a PC in every home running Microsoft software". Obviously they have not reached that vision and it indicates they still have room to improve. I feel the Chamber is accomplishing many worthwhile things today for our community but we also have room to improve.

CHAMBER MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL

It's the beginning of a new year, a time to renew your membership in the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce. Chamber membership runs from January 1 through December 31.

If you have not paid your membership dues, now is the time to renew. You may do so by mailing in the form that was sent to you or stop by the Chamber office at 201 Burkesville St.

Your Chamber membership is an investment in your community, your business and yourself. It's through the Chamber and its program of work that we bridge the gap that enables us to reach people, places and organizations that are viable to our success as individuals and as a community.

The Chamber is the voice of the business community. It is keeping abreast of issues that affect your business. The Chamber speaks out for or against legislation of issues that affect our businesses and community. Your local and State Chamber is working in this legislative session in Frankfort on issues that will help your business and our community.

New Chamber members are welcomed. If your business is not a member of the Chamber, or if you are an individual who would like to make an investment in our City and County, this is your "special invitation" to become a member of the Columbia-Adair county Chamber of Commerce. Stop by the office or call 384-6020 for more information on becoming a member. The Welcome Mat is always out to you. Let the Chamber work for you in making our community a better place to live, work and play.

WELCOME NEW MEMBER

The Chamber welcomes the Best Western-Columbia Inn as a new member. It is now under new ownership, being owned and operated with Raj Idnani as President of the Company and Ravi Godhwani as the Vice President. Ravi is the manager of the Best Western and attended the January monthly Chamber meeting. He has been actively involved in other chambers where he has lived. Columbia-Adair County extends a warm welcome to you and wishes you much success. We are happy to welcome you to the Chamber and look forward to working with you.

The Chamber would like to say a special thank you to Jay Ladd, former owner of Best Western for his membership with our Chamber of Commerce throughout the years. Jay was also an asset to the Tourism Commission. His efforts in promoting tourism in Adair County are greatly appreciated.

LOOKING AHEAD -

  • February 7, 2012 - Hospitality Training - 9:00 to 11:00 am CT, Basement of the Chamber of Commerce Building, 201 Burkesville Street.

  • February 14, 2012 - Chamber Board of Directors Meeting - 7:30 am Chamber of Commerce Building. 201 Burkesville Street

  • February 21, 2012 - .Chamber Monthly Meeting - 11:45 am. The Pines of Lindsey Wilson. Guest Speaker: Emily Wood of St. Jude's Hospital. Corporate Sponsor: WAIN Radio Station
ENROLL IN HOSPITALITY TRAINING

If you have a job working with people, you will want to attend the Hospitality training to be held Tuesday, February 7, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 11:00 a.m. in the lower level of the Chamber of Commerce Building, 201 Burkesville St. This training is provided at NO COST to you.

You will love this two hour class...learn new ideas on how to improve your skills in helping people and making them feel good. This is customer relations...Good customer relations improves business and will make you a more popular and highly respected employee not only by your employer, but those you serve.

Michelle Allen will be giving the training. She is representing TOUR Southern and Eastern Kentucky, an organization that is based at the Center for Rural Development in Somerset. Michelle has been teaching hospitality training for years throughout Kentucky and other States. She is also a popular speaker at numerous State and National conventions, conferences, etc. This is a great opportunity for self improvement and will be helpful in providing better customer relations.

You must register for the class. Come by the Chamber office and register before January 31. This training is for anyone who interacts with the public. The better informed we are, the better customer satisfaction.

For additional information contact the Chamber office at 384-6020. The Chamber expresses thanks and appreciation to Vonnie Kolbenschlag, who is serving as chairman of this project.

EACH OF US IS A SALESMAN

By: Sue Stivers

I am proud to be in a position to meet visitors...commercial travelers, vacationing families, business people, industry leaders, day trip visitors and other professional people. It gives me an opportunity to tout all that is good, precious and wholesome about our community:

The people, places, businesses, attractions, artisans, our hospitality, and oh yes...our redbuds, and dogwood trees and other beautiful things and beings that adorn Columbia and Adair County.

That makes me a saleslady for our community, because I myself was sold on this community by the wonderful folks of Adair County, years before I came here to be the County Extension Agent in 1966.

While on the subject of selling, yes, we need more involvement in our Chamber from every citizen of our unique community. We've got to have done many things right to be in a position to attract so many new business to our community, and with it to add the many citizens who have moved here from other places in Kentucky and other States.

Being in the "hospitality" industry, I constantly come across visitors, especially businessmen and the corporate movers and shakers with whom often times I will enter into intense discussions before I find myself again selling the advantages of our community to new business, visitors, retirees, parents of students who are planning to attend Lindsey Wilson College, and other people in general. I am a "people person" and it has been my good fortune to act as a window to the outside world during my years in working for the UK Cooperative Extension Service, Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Commission and the Economic Development Authority.

Bottom Line: Our community has seen tremendous growth in the past few years. All indications are that when the final census comes out, we will see an increase in our population and we will continue to grow during the next decade. Are we ready for it? Can we attract more businesses? Can we attract more industry to our area with a skilled workforce? Are we educating our workforce, and providing them with enough skills and tools to be able to provide 21st century-class skills to the businesses/industries already in our county and the ones we must seek to attract our community? Are you yourself convinced that we have more to offer in terms of quality of life than our neighbors to the north or south? And can sell that? Only if we are ready, will our businesses continue to stay with us. Will new businesses have faith in us to locate here?

Each person in this community should be a salesman. We need to constantly be telling people what a wonderful place Columbia and Adair County is. We have so much to brag about. If you don't believe this is true...come to my office and let me tell you.

We face powerful competition from the north. We all need to roll up our sleeves, pull up on our bootstraps, and seek to keep our local businesses robust by patronizing them first, and do our utmost at spreading the news about all that is good in Adair County...indeed a land of milk and honey.

FACEBOOK TIMELINE

By: Ramie Hutchinson

If you are an avid user of Face book, you may have seen some changes on your friends' profile. The "Timeline" as Face book calls it, is the new profile layout of the most popular social network site in the world. Set to launch for all users in the near future, the Timeline offers some great new features as well as the old.

Here are several new features that Timeline offers:

There's a seven-day review period - Once upgraded, Face book users will be able to work through their Timeline and get things ready before it goes public. During the seven-day review period, the Face book user will be able to publish it at any time, however, after seven days the post will update automatically if you haven't taken action.

Your cover photo is your chance to make a splash - The most striking feature at the top of the new Face book profile is the cover photo, which stretches across the page's width. The Face book user's profile photo, which is seen across the site, is now just a small square.

No new information is being shared - Timeline is bringing back a bunch of old posts. But these posts have long been viewable on Face book. Now you can just click on the year that you wish to view and you can reminisce on your life. It's sort of like a virtual scrapbook.

Your privacy settings on old posts will remain - A post shared four years ago that was set to be viewable to just friends will continue to be viewable to just friends. The only concern here lies in how a user's definition of friend has changed. A photo or status update that in college that was OK for friends might not be OK for friends now, which might include coworkers.

Posts can be expanded - Timeline already tries to guess which of your posts will be the most interesting and it makes those viewable. It can try and guess here by how many likes or comments a post has received. If there is a post that should be expanded and is not -- like a new job or college graduation -- you can expand it.

The Activity Log is the best place to edit a Timeline - Face book has built a very helpful new page called the Activity Log, which can be accessed from a profile page that shows every single piece of content Face book has from a user. Each item can be deleted or tweaked from this page.

For your eyes only - If there is a post in your Timeline that you don't want to zap completely from Face book, but don't want anyone to see, you can change the post's visibility to "Only Me."

Users can add other life events - Face book is hoping that users flesh out their Timeline with information from B.F. (Before Face book), too. Anything added to the Timeline can now be given a date. So, if a user uploads an old photo from summer camp, he or she can set the date to June 1995 so that it appears chronologically in the Timeline.

There's no sense in holding out. Face book Timeline will eventually go live for everyone on Face book, whether or not the user has taken the time to optimize the Timeline view. It's best to be proactive and make sure what people will see is what you want them to see.To get your timeline, simply visit Facebook.com/timeline


This story was posted on 2012-01-26 09:40:44
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