From the Executive Director
For this office 2018 started with fits and starts but mostly fits. With my list of tasks ready to go after the holiday I had planned to hit the ground running. … Get the website updated and re-directing viewers to the new site, get the contents of the member packets ordered and promptly delivered immediately after January 1, draft a long over-due operations manual for the board to approve at their first meeting, get the committees for Heritage Days started early on their planning … and so on.
But alas, January 8 while walking to Farm & Home, I slipped on ice and broke my wrist. It would be March before I would be able to type with any speed and using both hands. And as of the writing of this column, I am still in OT striving to get back full range of motion and strength. But it’s better and I’m feeling like I can do my job again! Thanks to friends and members who stepped in and helped me type return messages, assemble member packets, and keep the essentials of the office going. I appreciated it more than you know.
Since the last newsletter there have been 2 board of director meetings and 3 member luncheons. I had to miss the first one due to surgery but I attended in February and March. We had about 8 members attending each meeting. I felt that the take away for me was very valuable in terms of what members had to say about scheduling Heritage Days events and ideas we could explore to change it up. I felt like members were able to walk away with some valuable insight as to how they can more fully take advantage of the event for their business. I hope more members will start attending. Other than our annual meeting this is the only time we meet as an organization. In September we might have a guest presenter but the plan is to reserve these luncheons for social engagement and networking between members. Our next luncheon is Thursday April 19.
Your leadership is ahead of the curve in making plans for Heritage Days. Committees were set up in January and at the February meeting the chairs reported on their progress. Hopefully in May, if not sooner, everything will be at the stage of hurry up and wait and we won’t be scrambling to get stuff together in June at the last minute. Buttons and posters for windows where buttons will be sold are already here and out in shops for selling to the public. Look for this sign:
In addition to our work on Heritage Days, we have a task force looking at some survey results from a survey sent to board members. The purpose was to help us identify a project for the chamber that addresses the second half of our mission statement “promotion of quality of life”. Watch for more on that!
WANTED ASAP: VOLUNTEER TO SPEARHEAD NATIONAL BIKE WEEK
Finally, your chamber office would like to reach out to community members to take a lead on involvment in May’s National Bike Month. Some great ideas have been discussed that would not take a great deal of commitment or time … just some dedicated leadership to see it through. Participation in the event is something that Chamber could support and get behind if we/I can generate some energy to that end. If you know of someone or if you are interested in supporting the event or taking a lead role, please call the chamber office. 712-358-1621. If you want to lend a helping hand with handing out water bottles to kids, spending a few hours showing kids how to wear a helmet and maybe adjusting their seat and airing up their tires, or sponsoring some prizes for a Bike to Work contest, please call the chamber office. 712-358-1621. This needs to come together in the next week or we will have to abort the effort. May will be here before we know it!
My office is open by chance or appointment. You might notice I randomly post to Facebook when I’m here but I don’t always do that. If you know my car and never see it out front of the Flex, don’t assume I’m not. Sometimes I hitch hike my way here!
From the President
I would like to thank everyone for this opportunity to be the President of the Chamber of Commerce. I am a mother of two teens and I have been married to my husband for almost 15 years. I am the Administrator of the Pocahontas Manor. I have worked there for 5 and a half years. I also have my Registered Nurse’s License. I am very involved in the community. I am not only the President of the Chamber of Commerce I am the President of the Pocahontas Rotary. I am also on the St. Peters Lutheran Church Council and the Hometown Pride. My goal for anything I do is to do what is in the best interest of Pocahontas. As the President of the Chamber of Commerce I aim to improve the day to day life of the businesses and the town.
From the Executive Director
Thanks for your confidence in selecting me to serve as your executive director.
I spent the first week interviewing each of your board of directors individually to get a sense of the best way I can serve your organization. Based on those discussions here is how are the things I feel I have been hired to do.
First I am going to call up on the board to do some serious assessment of how the chamber is doing. Is it meeting its mission? Is it doing so in the best way possible? Are there ways we could re-invent this organization to better serve the mission?
Second I will be giving guidance to the leadership on making their meetings more efficient. I will try to steer them toward basic fundamentals of parliamentary procedure using Roberts Rules of Order. The purpose of Roberts Rules is to be efficient and fair and to keep a group on task in their discussions and motions. So I will be offering support in that regard during their meetings. I will also be holding leadership accountable to the bylaws as you may have noticed at the annual meeting when I disrupted a motion to advise electing the new officers with a ballot in order to be in compliance with your bylaws. Bylaws are essential and they are a legal document an organization must adhere to. We will also be looking at establishing a policy manual, which is not a legal document but a guide for operations of the organization
Third I will be facilitating the organizations internal communications. Email will be used often but hopefully not at an annoying level. Please take surveys you are asked to take. It is part of the communication that I am talking about that will help Chamber better serve you and the community. I want to make sure we give membership voice in the decisions of the board. Better communication will give the board access to support resources in the implementation of Chamber projects and events. Members will need to step up and help in order to drive the vision but we will adhere to the many hands make light work concept and try not to abuse or use up anyone!
Finally I will try to help the leadership structure their activities in a way that is efficient and involves all members. I will encourage early planning, division of labor, and acceptance of change. If, for example we have had an event that is expected every year at Heritage Days but no one is willing to take it on to make it happen, I will suggest to the board that it be eliminated. Sometimes change is good. Sometimes you find out it isn’t but you don’t know until you try.
I look forward to helping your leadership make chamber strong and successful. So far I am really enjoying the job and appreciate the pass on a few mistakes I have made getting up to speed in a very busy quarter of the year! I am impressed with your board. They are young, enthused, and visionary from what I can tell. I think you can expect good things to come from them!
Approved Nov 9, 2017
3rd Thursday of every month – Chamber Member Lunch 12:00 – 1:00
January 25 – Thursday
March 7 – Wednesday
May 9 – Wednesday
June 22 – 24 – Friday/Saturday/Sunday Heritage Days
July 11 – Wednesday
September 12 – Wednesday
November 23-24 – Friday/Saturday Hometown Christmas
November 8 – Thursday - 5:00 p.m.
Third Thursday Lunch
Beginning in January, we are going to have lunch meetings the 3rd Thursday of every month at the Family Table. The private room has already been reserved for 12 days the entire year of 2018. These are part social, part informative member meetings. No one is expected to come every time but we hope to see all of you at sometime or other during the year. It is your chance to have your voice heard and to brainstorm with leadership if they have an idea they think would be good for the community. The lunch is not free. (What is?) But we hope you join us.
Survey of Hometown Christmas
We tried to energize the parade this year. I think we succeeded and already we have a larger group of participants for next year if they are good for their word. The lights put up by Interact and the spot lighting of the Log Cabin were good additions. As well as the carolers and Santa roaming around on Friday night greeting shoppers. We have some ideas for next year already and will be exploring them later in 2018. Parade winners were: 1st place, Poky Sales and Serice, 2nd place, Woods Grocery Store, and 3rd place Pocahontas Ford.
A brief summary of the survey 30 of you participated in disclosed to us that more than 1/3 of those surveyed attended both Friday and Saturday of the event. What are the keepers of the festivites we offered? 82% of those surveyed want to keep the luminaires and 79% want to keep the carolers, extended shop hours and the carolers. The light parade and log cabin show casing were favored but they came in last as what to keep for next year. Even then 75% of those surveyed want those brought back in 2018.
What do we want to add in the future? In this order, you chose 1) Holiday music on a P.A. system during 2) More lights on Main street 3) a trolley of sorts for moving shoppers to Front Ave and the log Cabin.
And in comments there was a question about the vendor show and the chili cook off. The vendor show was being offered elsewhere in Pocahontas in December and the chili cook off was scheduled for a later weekend in December as well. Both were considered and simply passed over due to what seemed logical.
Effective January 1, vendors of the Chamber are asked to only charge to the chamber when they have been notified by Jake Heuton, treasurer, or Carmella Schultes, Executive Director that the charge is approved.
Effective immediately, Chamber has a form we would like our partners and members to use when we support activities that are not Chamber events or projects. The from can be requested by emailing Carmella at email@example.com or calling 712-358-1621. It is a simple form that collects information regarding expections of Chamber, in particular expectations of financial support.
Congratulations to these winners of our lighting contest.
Quilting on Main
Believe Boutique/Pocahontas Abstract