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2018 Chamber Board

The Madison County Chamber of Commerce Board chose its new officers at its Jan. 8 luncheon. Pictured (left to right) are Treasurer-elect Ashley Bales, Vice President-Elect Allison Boyer, Secretary-Elect Kim Long and President-Elect Tessa Rehkop. 

Victoria Kemper

The Madison County Chamber of Commerce met Jan. 8 at the Depot Cafe.

Nominations for the 2018 Madison County Chamber Board Officers were accepted at the meeting. President-elect Tessa Rehkop, Vice President-elect Allison Boyer, Secretary-elect Kim Long and Treasurer-elect Ashley Bales accepted and were approved as the official nominations. The four new officers will be sworn in at the Bicentennial Kick-off dinner Jan. 11 at St. Michael Church. 

The chamber discussed its upcoming dinner Thursday night.

"We are sold out on tickets," Allison Boyer said. "We are actually oversold. We are still taking people if they want to come, one or two at a time. We don't want to turn people away if they are as excited about this as we are. We want them at our event."

"It is bowties and blue jeans attire," Boyer said. "That means if you want to wear your blue jeans that is fine and if you want to come in a tuxedo that is fine with us too."

Tables will be decorated by local businesses. Those sitting at the table will have a chance to win the center piece from the table they choose to sit at. Door prizes have been donated by Auto Plaza Group which include things such as oil changes and detailing. 

The event will also include a slide show provided by the Madison County Historical Society and the unveiling of the oldest of Madison County including church, resident, business and farm.

Other bicentennial events planned to celebrate or use the bicentennial theme discussed at the meeting include: A poster contest for students sponsored by the Madison County Retired School Personnel in February; Missouri Whitewater Championships in March; window decorating contest in April; Azalea Festival in May; concerts in the park and Lion's Club Rodeo in June; Optimist Club Fourth of July Celebration; Pioneer Days and Cub-Arama in September; Madison County Fair and Freakytown in October; Veterans Dinner, beard contest and Small Business Saturday in November; and church tours sponsored by the Fredericktown Fillies and Miracles on Main Street in December.

"We want a full year of events," Boyer said. "If anyone sees an event they want to help with say 'I want to help! I want to help!'"

Boyer said with a smile, "The bicentennial is here, it is among us and oh am I overwhelmed already."

The chamber also discussed the design and production of a bicentennial coin to sell as a souvenir and flags to hang on the light poles around town.

All future chamber meetings will be luncheons and have been moved to the first Thursday of the month at 11:30 a.m. This will give chamber members with conflicting availability the opportunity to be involved with Perk Before Working scheduled in the morning and the monthly meetings in the afternoon.

2018 Chamber Membership dues are due. Prorated dues for the current year will apply to any businesses which became a member after the first quarter of last year.

The idea of holding a job fair was discussed by the chamber. Boyer said the board members are looking at spring dates and are working with the Missouri Job Center.

"A lot of people are looking for jobs in Madison County and they just can't find them," Boyer said.

Boyer said the chamber has a current tax bill of $5,006.29, held over from the previous chamber. She said it is "water under the bridge," but the chamber is trying to work it out and make it right.

Boyer ended the meeting by thanking the past board members and officers for all of their hard work in 2017. 

The next regular meeting of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce will be at 11:30 a.m., Feb. 1. The location has not been determined.

Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at vkemper@democratnewsonline.com

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