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The Desloge Chamber of Commerce welcomed a new executive director during its monthly investors luncheon held Tuesday at the new El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant.

Shelley Tracy, chamber board of directors president, introduced Paige Faircloth who began her new duties as executive director earlier that day.

"Paige actually just graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in December with a minor in business administration," Tracy said. "We are so blessed to have her be on our team. I'm sure she's going to make her way around and meet all of you, not only today, but in your businesses and you can get to know her a little bit better.

"She is extremely enthusiastic - one thing I love about her - but she has a really big background in social media and being able to get into the online world a lot. So, I think she's really going to help us out in that way and help all of your businesses out in that way, too. Know that's coming."

Faircloth fills the vacancy left by previous executive director, Loni Ruediger who resigned to spend more time with family, as well as work with her husband on their golfing accessory business. Although it was planned to recognize Ruediger for her service to the chamber at Tuesday's meeting, she was unable to attend due to illness.

Guest speaker for the luncheon was Arthur Robbins of the Maloney, Wright and Robbins CPA firm who spoke about the overhauled U.S. Tax Code recently passed by Congress and how it could potentially affect their businesses.

Prior to Robbins, the monthly Business Spotlight featured two Desloge Rivermart employees who told the crowd about all the convenience store has to offer - from food to gasoline.

It was announced that the chamber will be hosting a blood drive from 2 to 7 p.m. Feb. 22 at Desloge City Hall, 300 Lincoln Drive. The Desloge chamber is in a friendly competition with the Bonne Terre chamber to see which organization can get the most blood donations.

The Chamber Trivia Night will take place on March 2 at Stone Park. This year's theme is Dr. Seuss - chosen because March 2 is the beloved author's birthday.

Also, a Social Media Marketing for Small Business Workshop is set for March 15 at Mineral Area College's North College Center. Breakfast and networking will take place from 8 to 8:30 a.m., with the workshop taking place from 8:30 to 9:30. The program is being led by "Karen the Connector," a social media expert. The cost is $10 for chamber members and $15 for non-members. Call 573-431-3006 to register by the March 9 deadline. Belgrade State Bank is sponsoring the workshop.

The next chamber noon luncheon will take place March 6 at Desloge City Hall.

Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or



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