Local Officials Breakfast kicks off 2019 for Chamber

The Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce got 2019 off to an exciting and enthusiastic start by hosting a Local Officials Breakfast on Monday, January 7 at the Pulaski County Visitor Center.  This is an annual event where Chamber leadership meets with members of the various governmental bodies in Pulaski County to share their plan of work and focus for the year.

Particular emphasis is put on new initiatives that will be starting during the new year.

In addition to continuing programs, several new initiatives have been developed for 2019.

The Chamber Ambassadors Program, led by Michael Solomon, will be in effect the welcoming committee of Pulaski County. Chamber member businesses are invited to designate a person from their company to serve as a Chamber Ambassador.  This person will be a representative of the business at Chamber ribbon cuttings, events, and be present front and center any time the Chamber is announcing good news and celebrating what is good about Pulaski County.

The Human Resources Chamber Connection will be led by Tina Kapalin SHRM-SCP.  The group will provide personal development for those working in the field of Human Resources.  They will be looking at developing recruitment and retention ideas, on-boarding techniques, and similar things that the businesses can share with each other.  This will be a closed group creating an internal network of resources in the workforce community.  Ms. Kapalin stated, “We have to work together like warriors to address the employment needs of the businesses in our community.”

Shay Dunnigan will lead the Young Professionals Group, a networking group open to all participating Chamber members aged 20 – 40 years old who want to serve our community and develop qualities to equip themselves to assume leadership roles.

The Couch Steering Committee is a designed for that group of thinkers and doers who often are unable to attend meetings but who are willing to meet via Zoom once a month to discuss and assess business needs and how the Chamber can best address those needs.  This committee will be limited to ten members and be led by Brad Burrus.

The Retail Committee (membership by invitation) meets quarterly and is split with four lead partners who will grow the group based on their market and guidelines.

In addition to these new offerings, the Chamber will continue to have a lot of the same programs that they have had.  This includes such events as 8th Grade Reality Day, the Welcome Back Yankees Luncheon, Manufacturing Day, Inspiring Pulaski County Chamber Women, and the annual Golf Tournament.

Watch for exciting details for an outdoor EXPO in May at Claytor Lake, a Candidates Forum in October at New River Community College, and a sanctioned disc golf tournament in August.

The Chamber will, of course, continue to play a large role in Tourism.  Some of the things going on in 2019 will be the 2019 Evolution Celebration, Civil War Reenactment, Agritourism Conference, Back to the Garden Farm Tours and so much more.

A new Tourism Website will be rolled out next week and GIS, a mapping app, will be operational by summer.  For more information visit the Chamber’s new website, pulaskichamber.info. for Hot Deals, Job Listings, Business Information, Things To Do, and Calendar of Events.  In this new website, Chamber member businesses will have almost their own individual websites with enhanced listings.

A special thanks goes to the local leaders who took their time to come out and learn about the many aspects of the Chamber focus for 2019:

Pulaski County:  County Administrator Jonathan Sweet, Michael Solomon.

Pulaski County Board of Supervisors:  Andy McCready, Charles Bopp, Joe Guthrie.

Town of Pulaski:  Town Manager Shawn Utt, Mayor Dave Clark, and Brooks Dawson.

Town of Dublin:  Town Manager Ty Kirkner.

Pulaski County School Board:  Dr. Kevin Siers, Mike Barbour, Paige Cash, Becki Cox Akers, and Tim Hurst.

New River Community College:  Dr. Pat Huber.

Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce 2019 President Joe Levine, Bill Cunningham, Brad Burrus, Sheila Smith, Danielle Hiatt, Lisa Webb, Stacy Tuck, Shay Dunnigan, Sean Pressman, and Dr. John Knarr.

Peggy White, Chamber Executive Director, also wishes to thank Food City who sponsored the breakfast.

For more information about the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, check out the new website or call (540) 674-1991.

By SHEILA D. NELSON, For The PC Chamber

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