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Looking back on 2013

Posted December 27, 2013 in Community Blogs

1498142_641765835875760_730614220_oIt’s the end of one year, and the beginning of another.  What a great time to look back and see where we’ve been and to think about where we want to go.

2013 was a good year for the Chamber, we added 42 new members!  Two new businesses, Resale by FRAS, a resale shop with mostly furniture and Fiscellas, Italian bakery and meals have filled our incubator spots.    We’re working with towns along Highway 20 on a promotion to encourage visitors to travel the Highway.  We are also working with Mid Iowa Growth Partnership to develop a marketing plan that works for us all.  We applied for and received two grants from Travel Iowa, Iowa’s Tourism division. One to help with costs of the Activities Guide and one on a promotion for the county utilizing Tourism Currents cofounder Sheila Scarborough to teach us how to more effectively use our skills to encourage visitors to travel here.

The Annual Dinner is January 22 and hope that you all attend.  The theme this year is Stir It Up and that’s what we have planned for many events throughout the year.  Keep Iowa Beautiful will be in town to host their statewide meeting here May 7.  A new event, JunqueFest in Webster City, will happen over Memorial Day weekend at Wilson Brewer Park.  You can join us for Summer Nights, Boon Bash River Dash, Crazy Day and the golf outing over the summer!

The Chamber is more than just events.  The Downtown Design Project was a success, and we’ll receive the final reports in January.    We are also working with Chamber Discoveries and have a trip to Ireland planned for over St. Patrick’s Day.  It’s a fundraiser for us, and a guaranteed great time for anyone on the trip!  There are still spots available.  Our How to Wow Education Series kicks off again in January and the Education Committee is working on new ideas for our members.  A local group is working on a project to honor our citizens who are over 90 years of age, and we’ll assist them whenever possible.   We’re working very hard to keep our website up to date and encourage you visit it often!

Every year I choose three words that guide my direction for the year. This year I’m considering just one word for my work with the Chamber of Commerce.  Compassion.  It’s a feeling of understanding where the other person is coming from.  It’s walking a mile in the other person’s shoes.  It’s the golden rule.  It’s not feeling sorry for someone, but really listening and looking for solutions and giving when you can.  It’s working together for the betterment of all.

Let’s expand the word a little. Community passion.  What if we all become passionate about living and working with each other in our community?  What if we simply made this the best community to live in?  Let go of the negative and be passionate about the positive.  It can happen you know.  I believe in this community and I’ve met a whole bunch of people who also believe.

Good 2013, and Happy New Year to 2014!

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