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  • Posted on Friday, December 16, 2016
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Chamber Holds Annual Business Meeting and Dinner

The Marshall County Chamber of Commerce held their annual Business Meeting and Dinner on Monday, December 5, 2016 at the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' & Exhibitors' Association.  There were 215 in attendance.  The event began with R.L. Williams leading the pledge followed by Rev. Leland Carden offering a prayer.  Chamber President, Vicki Cain recognized the elected officials present including Rick Tillis, State Representative 92nd District Tennessee House and Senator Jim Tracy who was the guest speaker.  Some key points made by Senator Tracy were:

  • Tennessee has a balanced budget
  • In 2017 cutting of the sales tax on groceries will be discussed
  • Pension funds for Tennessee State workers look good
  • Unemployment rate for Tennessee is 4%
  • Goal is to keep people working in Marshall County instead of driving to another county
  • Issue in Marshall County is qualified workers for the jobs available
  • Partnership needs to be formed with community leaders, Chamber of Commerce, and schools to examine the training needed for the jobs
  • Career Technical Education is excellent in Marshall County at Spot-Lowe Voc Center
  • Continue to work on education
  • Education is one of the important factors when recruiting industry along with a qualified workforce  
  • Chamber of Commerce does a great job at promoting "keeping it local"

A video of the Chamber of Commerce newly updated website was featured.  Local businessman, Clinton Moore, Netchanics, designed the site and in the video it showed the different areas of the site such as the blog, link directory, membership section, and events calendar.  Coming in the spring will be the Marketplace and the Members Only Area.  The site is responsive on any device and Chamber of Commerce staff can easily make changes when needed.  

Recognition of the new members who were in attendance was given.

Vicki Cain also recognized the two individuals representing education:  Matt Lewis with Columbia State Community College, Lewisburg Campus and Leroy Cunningham with the Small Business Association at Middle Tennessee State University.

Vicki Cain, President, and Glen White, board member, presented the business awards to the recipients.  Each year the Chamber gives out business awards to those Chamber members who are nominated by the membership and meet the criteria of the award.  The nominations are reviewed and selected by a committee.  For 2016 the three award categories and winners are as follows:

  • Emerging Business of the Year:  Bonjour Boutique, Jennifer Chandler, Owner                                                                                                                                                                  
  • Business of the Year:  Action Tents, Steve Cain                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
  • Foundation Award: Lewisburg Industrial & Welding and NAPA Auto Parts, Al Henderson, Owner                                                                                                                                    T                                                                                                                                                                                               

Awards for the "Best Decorated Table" and "People's Choice" were given out.  The Chamber hosts these traditional awards to allow the businesses to be recognized.  The participants in the contest decorate a table for their business in a holiday theme.  The tables are judged prior to the dinner for the "Best Decorated Table" award.  The "Peoples Choice" award is voted on during the dinner by the attendees.  The following is the list of participating businesses and the two award winners:

  1. Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' & Exhibitors' Association, Winner of Best Decorated Table Award
  2. Columbia State Community College, Lewisburg Campus, Winner of People's Choice Award
  3. CB&S Bank
  4. Fast Pace Urgent Care Clinic
  5. City of Lewisburg
  6. Dorris Wayne Weaver, Marshall County Register of Deeds

A very special presentation was awarded to Chamber staff member, Sue Hill for her fifteen years of employment with the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce.  Sue retired from Bank of America then started working part-time for the Chamber of Commerce serving as Office Manager.  

Vicki Cain, Chamber President, gave an overview of the 2016 Chamber Year and a few of the 2017 projects planned:

  • Thirty new Chamber Members
  • Newly redesigned website
  • New community event: Fall Fun in the Sun at Victory Fun Park for the children of the community
  • For 2017 an event at Funtime Bowl will be planned for the children of the community
  • Partnered Events:  Rusted Magnolia Marketplace at Jubilee Hills and Industrial Appreciation Day
  • New Membership Directory in the works
  • Distributed over 2,500 pieces of information
  • Continues to host Leadership Marshall under the direction of Lynda Potts
  • Dale Carnegie Seminars
  • Ribbon Cuttings and Open Houses
  • Tourism Brochure in the works (result of a grant from the Dept. of Tourism with current partners City of Lewisburg and JECDB) 
  • "Keep it Local" campaign (door decals and more)
  • Traditional July 4th Celebration since 1956
  • Junior Miss Pageants
  • Relocation packages average 3 - 4 per month
  • Member to member discounts to be offered
  • Offer Certificates of Origin to manufacturers
  • 2017 Expo planned
  • Town day trip tours planned for 2017

The Chamber recognized the two Chamber members who renewed as Deluxe Level Members:  United Communications and Bills-McGaugh Funeral Home and Crematory.  At any time, a member can renew their membership to a Deluxe or Presidential Level.  More perks are offered with each level of membership.

The two new board members nominated by the membership were recognized:  Jared McCullough, who is a Loan Officer at First Commerce Bank and Race Wilson who is Assistant Branch Manager at First Farmers and Merchants Bank.  The Board of Directors and staff were all recognized:

2017 Board of Directors

  • Vicki Cain, President, Century 21 Buddy Tankersley Realty and Auction
  • Glen White, Marshall County Solid Waste
  • Kathi Calahan, CB&S Bank Cornersville
  • Gaye Wilson, Marshall County Senior Citizens
  • Julie H. Johnson, First Tennessee Bank
  • Sally Kania, Lewisburg Gas Department
  • Race Wilson, First Farmers & Merchants Bank
  • Jared McCullough, First Commerce Bank
  • Sherri Andrews, Treasurer, The Old Rink Emporium

 Staff: 

Ritaanne Weaver, Executive Director; Sue Hill, Office Manager; Megan Ski Hollingsworth, Office Intern

Each year at the dinner the reigning title holders assist by helping to give out door prizes and are recognized.  The three in attendance wore outfits from Bonjour Boutique on the Lewisburg Square.  The following young ladies were in attendance:

  • Megan Ski Hollingsworth, Miss Marshall County and Miss Tennessee Teen USA
  • Reagan Scarfone, Pre-Teen Junior Miss Marshall County
  • Charlotte Rose Liggett, Little Junior Miss Marshall County

The dinner was catered by Russell Catering.  Jim Bryan of Bryan's Photography photographs the event each year.  The Chamber By-laws require that the business meeting and dinner be held on the first Monday of December.

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