Chamber board members elected
The Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce conducted its 2012 annual meeting via electronic correspondence Thursday and has announced four new board members.
The new board members are Laura Atwood, Fairfield Community School District; Dawn Bechtel, Golf Links to the Past; John Oleson, TrafFix Devices Inc.; and Alan Shank, Hy-Vee.
Each will begin their first three-year term Jan. 1. The term expires at the end of 2016.
In her annual report chamber president Terry Baker stated 2012 has been a year of challenges, growth and excitement for the chamber of commerce.
“In spite of a slowly recovering economy and several organizational changes, I’m proud to report that your chamber continues to be a vibrant, healthy organization and a strong advocate for you, our membership,” said Baker. “The chamber has an 85-year-long history of building a strong community by hosting and sponsoring numerous social, community and networking events, and promoting our dynamic business community.”
Baker recalled that earlier this year, the chamber was given the opportunity to hire a full-time executive director – a position it had not had for many years.
“Your board of directors worked tirelessly throughout the summer, meeting weekly to define the direction of the chamber and set into place effective leadership and staff for the organization,” said Baker. “In spite of the time it took to sort out these issues, I am very proud of the leadership exhibited by the board. It was both humbling and gratifying to work with such a diverse and devoted group of people who to this day continue to explore all the ways and avenues to make our chamber even better. With the hiring of Nancy Morrissey as our executive director and Lori Knox as our chamber administrator, a foundation for continued progress has been laid. The experience these ladies bring to the table and the dedication of the coard to serving you, our membership, will help build a stronger local economy by nourishing Fairfield’s dynamic business community.”
Baker said one of the primary objectives of the chamber of commerce is to celebrate success and focus on the positives in the community.
“The chamber advocates for all of its 337 members and that makes your chamber the single most powerful voice for the business community,” Baker said. “Throughout this year, our business relationships have remained strong, attendance at our events has grown and the chamber staff continues to seek ways to serve our membership. We remain cautiously optimistic about the economy, continuing to provide networking and educational opportunities while adding initiatives to help grow business in Fairfield. Most importantly, we share your goals of making Fairfield the best community to live, work, raise a family and conduct business.”
She continued, “Our success as a chamber depends upon meeting the needs of our members. We rely on membership revenues and event funds to finance our operations, but we also rely on you, your expertise and opinions and your participation at chamber events. .”
In his annual report, treasurer Fred McElwee said the 2012 balance sheet reflected a very modest increase in reserve assets, specifically in the area of the organization’s investments. The reserve assets, along with all financials, are reviewed monthly by the full board. By year end, the chamber will experience an increase in the balance sheet and an overall improvement in financial position as compared to 2011.
McElwee said the board of directors is reviewing the membership fee structure to make sure the structure is equitable and fair to all members. This, along with an aggressive program of works, will be the foundation to generate funds for future operational and member services expenditures.
During the past year, the chamber has upgraded financial software, creating improvements in the financial management of the organization while maintaining a secure, transparent and alignment of duties required as part of fiscal management.