The Times West Virginian

Opinion

August 7, 2013

Chamber of commerce has successful year to celebrate

The Marion County Chamber of Commerce takes center stage tonight, and well it should. It’s been another good year for the chamber, as most years have been.

Tonight’s the night for the chamber’s 60th consecutive dinner meeting. As has been the case for about as long as anyone can remember, the dinner will be held at the Falcon Center on the shared campus of Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College. The keynote speaker tonight will be Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan Inc.

Once again, a number of local individuals will be honored at the dinner, which is a top attraction each year at the annual event. Marion County is fortunate to have the group of leaders being honored tonight. Each of them has played an important role in the success of Marion County and is truly deserving of the honor to be accorded them tonight.

It’s been a good year for the chamber. One big plus was the addition of 57 new members during the past year — a total that is higher than usual.

Chamber president Tina Shaw was very pleased with this figure.

“I think it says something when your chamber grows at this pace,” she said. “It’s saying something for the community — that we are a strong organization with a very strong board of directors.”

She believes one of the reasons for the high number of new members is the number of benefits the chamber of commerce provides to those who join.

Shaw said that sometimes “people just walk in and ask to join the chamber. And we’ve had quite a few of those this year so it’s been fun.”

Having 57 new members has helped the chamber grow, but it also has benefited the members themselves.

“This improves the chamber because it allows us to offer more networking events,” she said.

The chamber is working with the United Way on a Dancing With the Stars fundraiser that will be held in October. The event will feature prominent members of the community teaming up to raise money for both organizations.

Shaw thinks this will be the event to see in 2013.

“The dancers themselves are all getting involved and the competition has already begun between them,” she says. “They are trying to figure out ways to outwit each other.”

The chamber also offers a Women’s Expo, a Legislative Breakfast, Coffee With Congress and a Veterans Day walk and run, among other events throughout the year.

Shaw said she is hopeful that the chamber will continue to grow.

If the Marion County Chamber of Commerce continues to give its members the kind of programs they want, it should indeed continue to see the growth it is seeking.

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