Chamber grows to 282 members, commits to New Year’s Eve dance

By MIKE BROWN Reporter Editor

From left, Cody Caldwell is 2010 Chamber chairman, president Denice Doss reported on past year, Becky Booker Marek urged Rockdale to become a “destination,” Chris Dyess said membership is at an all-time high of 282. From left, Cody Caldwell is 2010 Chamber chairman, president Denice Doss reported on past year, Becky Booker Marek urged Rockdale to become a “destination,” Chris Dyess said membership is at an all-time high of 282. The Rockdale Chamber of Commerce heads into 2010 with an all-time high of 282 members and faces unique challenges in a “post-Alcoa” climate.

Those were topics discussed in the Chamber’s annual meeting, held Thursday at the Patterson Civic Center, a session which ended with a frank discussion of the Dec. 31 New Year’s Eve dance, an event which saw the Chamber lose $5,000.

That f igure was given by Denice Doss, Chamber president, after Toby Johnson, a Chamber Ambassador volunteer, asked about the loss.

One more year

The Chamber is committed to holding the event at least one more year, Doss said

She sa id on ly 60 pe ople attended the 2009 event and that leftover food was donated to the Rockdale Regional Juvenile Justice Center.

A lot of experience in this discussion as Chamber ambassadors (L-R) Betty Backhaus, Anna Duncum and Genie Newton visit before Thursday’s annual Rockdale Chamber of Commerce meeting in the Patterson Civic Center. Reporter/Mike Brown A lot of experience in this discussion as Chamber ambassadors (L-R) Betty Backhaus, Anna Duncum and Genie Newton visit before Thursday’s annual Rockdale Chamber of Commerce meeting in the Patterson Civic Center. Reporter/Mike Brown Cody Caldwell, new Chamber chairman said he felt economic conditions played a part in the poor turnout. “And, of course, everyone in the world tries to do something on New Year’s Eve.”

“We’re going to cut it down so it doesn’t cost so much to put on,” he said.

Gaye Bland commended the Chamber for holding the dance. “I think its nice to have something local (New Year’s Eve) so people don’t have to drive.”

She also recommended scaling back expenses. “The meal was wonderful and well-prepared but I don’t that it’s necessary to have a full meal at this event,” she said.

Doss said Chamber directors have met and discussed changes for 2010 including reducing ticket prices and serving snacks or a breakfast in lieu of a full meal.

Membership

Chris Dyess reported Chamber membership has grown to an all-time high of 282, including three businesses who were admitted during Thursday’s meeting. That includes 25 new members in 2009.

‘Destination’

Becky Booker Marek reported on tourism and urged Chamber members to assist the effort to make Rockdale a “destination.”

Marek pointed to the growth and success of Rockdale’s Tejas Festival as an example of events drawing out-of-town visitors and crowds estimated at 3,000.

Directors

Caldwell, who presided in the absence of Michelle Lehmkuhl, 2009 Chamber chairperson, recognized outgoing directors Joyce Ford, Ward Roddam and Jeff Zapata. Ford wasn’t technically an outgoing director, he noted, as she has agreed to serve another term.

Other incoming directors are Wallace Jones, Hunter Matula and Michelle Morgan.

Other directors are Debra Jackson, Deedra Jacob, Lehmkuhl, Marek, Cindy Jerman, Dyess, Mitul Patel, Debra Burrough and Kristi Moreland.

Officers for 2010 are: Caldwell, chairman; Jerman, vice-president; Marek- treasurer.

In other business, members:

• Acknowledged contributions of Chamber Ambassador volunteers.

• Heard a treasurer’s report from Jerman. “We should do well on our hotel-motel tax collections during the first part of the year, while the work is going on at Sandow 4,” she said. “After that we just don’t know.


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2010-02-04 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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