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Chamber Insights, complete issue, July 2010
Welcome to Chamber Insights - July 2010
The monthly newsletter of the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce.
In this issue:
"Thought of the Month"President's Message
Who Runs the Chamber of Commerce?
This question has been asked many times since I became President. The Chamber of Commerce is run by a Board of Directors composed of 15 members elected to three year terms. Members of the Board are not paid. They volunteer hours of their time because they care about their home community.
The Board meets monthly to consider issues that impact not only area businesses but also all of Columbia and Adair County. Between the monthly meetings, committee meetings and other activities, Board members spend many hours working on behalf of the people who live and work in Adair County.
Since the few Board members can't know all the challenges and opportunities in the county, they are encouraged to seek input from others.
The Chamber is most effective when it is helping to meet the needs of area businesses and residents. In that respect, the Chamber of Commerce is run by its more than 240 members.
More than 90% of the budget for the daily operation of the Chamber comes from memberships and fund raising activities. Every Board member is expected to help during the membership campaign each year as well as participate in fundraising activities. This is not an easy job. Yet they do it because they are committed to making Adair County an even better place to live and work.
Virtually all the money raised each year stays in this community to fund activities like Christmas in Columbia, Treats on the Town, and educational seminars, as well as to maintain the roadside park, and provide promotional materials for prospective businesses and visitors to our community. As well as to pay the utilities, maintenance, and any capital improvements to the Chamber building.
Even with all their dedication and hard work it's difficult for 15 Board members to do all that's required. That's why it's so important to expand the outreach of the Board by involving other community people as members of various standing committees.
Spreading the work and activities among more people would allow the Chamber to accomplish more each year. It would also give committee members a sense of pride that they are involved in something that will enhance the quality of life in their home area.
If you're interested in becoming more involved, there's an opportunity coming your way. On Saturday, September 18 the Chamber will hold its annual golf outing at the Pines at Lindsey Wilson.
Other than the membership drive this is the Chamber's most important fundraising project each year. As we begin planning you may have some ideas that could help make the golf outing a great success. Whether you're a golfer or not we could use your help. Since the golf outing is only a short term commitment this would be a good way to "get your feet wet" volunteering for the Chamber.
If you're interested in helping with the golf outing or volunteering in some other way, call the Chamber office at 384-6020. We've got a great opportunity for you.
The members of the Board of Directors for 2010 are as follows:
New Member Highlights - The Chamber is extremely pleased to welcome four new members to the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce
August is time for last-minute vacations and back-to-school preparation. It's a special month as we celebrate the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville, KY where many Adair County youth and adults will be participating in various events and competitions.
The Chamber wishes each participant the Best of Luck. Did you know that August is the month for celebrations? Family Fun Month and National Golf, Catfish and Picnic Month...a great time of year for fun and recreation.
Some other thoughts:
Communities that have it, know they've got it. Those who don't have much else to brag about probably use it the most. And those who really have it probably don't brag about it enough. But these things are certain: Quality of Life is a slippery concept to define, and it's a commodity that is difficult to create, a challenge to protect, and so very easy to destroy.
I have a prediction to make. It's based on a bit of intuition and a lot of experience in community development. Here's my prediction: When it comes to growth, you will hear much more about "quality" than Quantity" in the years to come.
In fact, we are already hearing more about it than we did ten years ago!
Columbia and Adair County have the potential to be virtually anything they choose to be. But we must choose carefully how we invest our limited resources. And what I hear from many business leaders in our community is, we should choose to invest in QUALITY growth and development that enhances our quality of life.
From a business development perspective, quality of life isn't just an important thing...it's EVERYTHING. According to some of our people who have moved to Adair Countyfrom other States, they say Quality of Life was one of the reasons they chose to move here. Sometimes we need newcomers to remind us how lucky we are.
I have asked several of our business leaders in Columbia and Adair County how they would characterize "A Quality Community". Here's what they said:
"A quality community is one that cares about how it looks...including tasteful signage, beautification, good litter control, and nice recreation areas."
"It's a community that has a vibrant downtown. I've never seen a community that I would call "Quality" that had a decayed downtown".
"A quality community is one whose educational institutions stress academics over athletics, and that continually raises the bar of expectations for children, parents and educators.
"Quality means taking business seriously and making sure that we treat them fairly and help them grow."
"Quality communities understand that recreation and cultural opportunities are not luxury items...they are necessities."
"Quality communities make a conscious effort to diversify their local economies with a goal of becoming virtually recession - proof."
Enhancing and protecting quality of life is one of the most important tasks we face.
Many communities talk about attracting technology businesses and companies. They provide the kinds of jobs that are generally considered to enhance community quality.
However, if we are serious about it, we'll need to build communities that can compete nationally for top-notch young scientists and engineers.
We have some serious work to do on the rest of the country to make people want to live in our community and industry come to Adair County.
I'm confident that a sincere emphasis on "QUALITY OF LIFE" is the ticket to that game. That is what the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Authority, Inc. and the Tourism Commission is working hard to accomplish. -Sue Stivers
This story was posted on 2010-07-19 09:30:23
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