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As we draw closer to the annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet and the end of the Chamber’s year, I would like to take the time to update the members of the Chamber of Commerce and the citizens of Magee on the things we have accomplished as a Chamber in 2015. We’ve had a whirlwind year, with a new Chamber Director and President learning the ropes together! All in all, things worked out pretty well.
A new position on the Board was Established, a “Membership Development Chair”, this position designates a specific point of contact for our Members should they have any issues and also gives the Chamber Board an opportunity to reach out to our members, old, new and potential to see if we can help meet any needs they may have. The position is new, so expect to see more from it in the future than you may have this year as it evolves and grows and we learn how to best leverage it to serve our membership.
Our typical Chamber events were held this past year as usual, Tea in the Gardens, Party in the Park, Crazy Day, the 59th Annual Chamber Banquet, and a few others; but that’s not all we’ve accomplished, there is much more to the Chamber than just putting on events. This past year we have dedicated ourselves to becoming more of an advocate for the City and our members, we have made a point to include the new Director of the Simpson County Development Foundation on our Board, in an effort to keep our fingers on the pulse of what is happening with our community, both in the city and countywide. We have transitioned our way of communicating with our members and have started to establish a weekly digital newsletter, this is something that a lot of larger Chambers around the state have started to do and we want to be on the cutting edge of technology and communications, just like they are; we firmly believe there is nothing a “big city” can do that we can’t do better!
We have chosen to reflect upon and question the way things have been done at every event we have held and every meeting we have; this has brought about much change with things like Crazy Day, which will be moved to October 22 this year (2016) to accommodate for better participation and Lord willing, cooler weather. We have also decided to make changes to a few of our other events, one for example being Tea in the Gardens, this year, because of a gracious donation from the Simpson County Arts Alliance we will be hosting well known, Mississippi Native artist, Wyatt Waters as he does a watercolor painting demo on the front lawn of the McAlpin House. We also partnered with Boswell to bring an “Art Show and Sale” to the Civic Center. We hope things like this can become recurring events as we move forward to bring new and exciting experiences to our City. One of our final accomplishments for the year has been in assisting the City with the purchase of barricades to help with crowd control during events, we were able to do this through a large donation from the Chamber and the dedication of our hardworking Board, who solicited donations from local businesses and individuals.
None of these things would have been possible without the support of a wonderful Board and a great Director, Doris Adcox. We have been blessed to have her join our team and look forward to many years of working with her to make the Chamber and the City successful. While we have several veteran members rolling off the board this year, we have the great opportunity to welcome their replacements who we are confident will do a great job “filling their shoes” and helping move the Chamber in a positive direction for 2016. I’m excited to be staying on the board this year as just a regular ole member, under the new leadership of incoming President, Chris Purdum. Chris has already helped take the reins while I was out on maternity leave and has proven to be an excellent leader. I can’t wait to see what this year holds for us. I hope you will all join us at this year’s 60th Annual Chamber Banquet to celebrate the year we have had and the progress that is to come for the Magee Chamber of Commerce and the great City of Magee!
Whitney Barnes Baker
President, Magee Chamber of Commerce