Last week the Madison County Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Dinner and Awards Night to celebrate its 2013 success while honoring hard-working volunteers, dedicated businesspeople and community citizens.
It was a wonderful night of food and fellowship, with jazz from a group of wildly talented local high school music students mixed in. We looked back at 2013 while also looking ahead to new events, programs and services on the horizon for our organization.
In 2014 we’re continuing with our popular Friday Chamber Community Coffees, which are held each Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. at participating host businesses. Come to chat and network with your fellow Chamber members, while we update the group on news and happenings and give our host business the opportunity to show off their operation. The hospitality is always warm, and it’s a great way to start your Friday.
We’re also bringing back the popular Winterset Wine Walk on May 10, Pie Squared on May 24, BBQ ShootOut on Aug. 16-17, 45th Covered Bridge Festival on Oct. 25-26, the Festival of Lights on Nov. 28 and Small Business Saturday on Nov. 29. We have great committees in place to carry out these activities and enhance them into bigger and better events for the community and area businesses. But, there’s always room for more volunteers. Call our office at 515-462-1185 if you’d like to join a committee.
In 2014, we’re reviving the former Lunch and Learn Series, which will be held quarterly beginning in March. We’ll feature presentations from experts from the Iowa Small Business Development Center, Iowa’s Secretary of State Office, Group Dynamic, and local law enforcement. Come out to learn about topics ranging from Disney-style customer service to business valuation, Iowa’s business climate forecast,and identity fraud and theft. Information can be found on our website, www.madisoncounty.com.
We’re also launching a new networking program, Business After Hours. These will be held monthly at member businesses and are a great way to stay in touch and network with members, especially if Friday morning coffee is a tough fit for your schedule. Our first Business After Hours event will be Friday, Feb. 28 from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Pizza Hut here in Winterset. Come out for pizza, wings, beer and fun. Information about Business After Hours can also be found on our website.
We’re partnering with Lakeview Country Club in June for a Chamber Golf Outing, working with the Madison County Development Group for a joint project in September and promoting a Madison County Studio Tour in late October to feature working artists and their studios.
But here’s our big news —stay tuned in the first quarter of 2014 for a new, refreshed Madison County website, as well as a tourism newsletter to keep in touch with our tourist friends and prospects.
The Chamber of Commerce is a busy office, but wow — what fun it is to promote this amazing community full of history, vitality, businesses, charm, nostalgia and beauty.