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Chamber of Commerce update from President Steve Turner
An update from the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce President Steve Turner:
Tahlequah Area Chamber Board of Directors
September 23, 2014
Submitted by Dr. Steve Turner
You are aware the 2-month agreement between the Chamber and Tahlequah Main Street ended in August. Drew Haley did a great job getting us through a difficult time and we sincerely appreciate his leadership. Drew's leadership enabled the Executive Committee to focus on providing information to those conducting the criminal investigation. Additionally, we were able to fill all vice president positions and complete the mandatory training. In June following the resignation of the former Chamber Executive Director, I met with Trae Ratliff, Amy Carter and Drew Haley of Tahlequah Main Street to discuss their views of allowing Drew to help the Chamber for a 60-day period. My commitment was to keep this special agreement in place only for a short period. We are at a place now to use the Executive Committee and the VPs to keep things moving forward. We are also using the expertise of Mindy Barnard, and her 8 years of experience to help with day-to-day operations. It is most appropriate to enable Drew to focus on Main Street activities and spend time with his family. Thank you Drew and the Main Street Board.
Today the Board of Directors approved the following motion related to job duties for Mindy Barnard.
• Assist Vice President of Membership Development to increase and retain Chamber Membership
• Assist the President, Executive Committee and all VP's to maintain schedules and produce related documents
• Schedule and coordinate Ribbon Cutting events and Business After Hours
• Respond to all requests to the Chamber for statistical data for the Tahlequah Area
• Develop and publish electronically the Chamber Newsletter
• Develop a new Chamber Web Page
• Other duties as assigned by the Board
Furthermore, this motion includes a recommendation to increase in her hourly rate from $12.00 to $15.00. These additional duties and the supplemental compensation will end when the new Executive Director's employment begins.
The remaining two Directors who were unable to attend the required mandatory training on August 25 will complete the training immediately following today's meeting. The facilitator from the non-profit resource center will be here at 9:30. Today, all Chamber Directors have completed the mandatory training program
In 2010, the Chamber lost its IRS 501C6 Status. On Saturday, September 6, the renewal application, along with the required application fee, were mailed to the IRS. According to IRS regulations, at the time of the postmark, the Chamber began again to function again as a 501c6. I want to thank Stephen Highers for taking the lead on this effort assisted by Anna Knight.
Friday, September 26 through Friday, October 3, Chamber Directors will work at the Chamber Office in four or 8 hour shifts to answer the phone and provide information while Mindy Barnard takes some time off. The work schedule is in your packet. Thanks for volunteering to work.
The 18th Class of Leadership Tahlequah had its first meeting last Thursday with 20 participants.
The Organizational Development Committee led by Jodeen Worth continues their work to update the Chamber Bylaws.
The Community Development Committee led by Angela Tinsley has scheduled a "Taste of Tahlequah and Silent Auction" on Tuesday, November 18. The event will be held in the University Center at Northeastern State University.
The Tourism Council will soon be renamed the Convention and Visitors Bureau and is seeking applications for the Tourism Director.
I am also happy to report that on Monday, September 15, the Chamber paid the property taxes for 2011, 2012, 2013 along with the penalties. Although the Board approved using the line of credit at BancFirst if necessary to pay the taxes and penalties, we were able to pay the expense with available funds. Today we have real property insurance, we are paying our current federal and state payroll taxes, and we have workers compensation insurance.
The Executive Director Screening Committee met on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 to review the first draft of the Position Announcement to be published in appropriate outlets. The initial draft was modified based on the collective comments. We present it today for approval. I anticipate the review of applicants will begin in early November with the goal of having the next Chamber Executive Director on the job by January 1, 2015.
Chamber Executive Director Screening Committee
Dr. Steve Turner, Chair
Isabel Baker, Chamber Director
Mayor Jason Nichols, City of Tahlequah
Jim Berry, Member
Mark Gish, Tahlequah Industrial Authority
Danielle Coursey, Member
Elizabeth Bird, Member
Genny Maiden, Tourism Council
Drew Haley, Main Street Program
In conclusion, I want to thank the Vice Presidents for submitting their reports in writing in advance of today's meeting. Having this information included in the Regular Meeting Packet allows Directors to be better prepared to ask questions and vote. Going forward, all reports should be submitted in writing to Mindy Barnard by 5:00 PM on the Thursday before the Regular Meeting. Directors will receive the packet via email no later than 5:00 PM on the Friday before the Regular Meeting.
Thank you for your contributions to the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce. We are moving forward and supporting our valued Chamber members. The future is bright!