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Chamber, Development review achievements, look to a positive future

January 29, 2008
By Tracy Runneberg — Daily Freeman-Journal Staff Writer
Webster City's Chamber and Association of Business and Industry held their annual meeting Monday evening. Troy Thilges, the 2007 executive board president , took those in attendance back over the last year to remember activities. The 2008 Commerce Board was introduced, along with three new members, Todd Lovelace, Kelly Wirtz and Connie Gilbert.

Thilges went on to describe some of the new activities held this past year, including Race Day, bringing back the newcomers social, the art festival, dog show and parade held during Crazy Days, the creation of the new visitors' guide and the passage of the Hotel/Motel Tax.

Although the Chamber lost staff members late in the year, including Luanna Ploeger and former Director Tami Hejlik, new personnel soon began their duties. Jamie Johnson is the new office assistant, and Carrie Fitzgerald was hired as the new chamber director.

"We've received 23 new members this past year," Thilges said, adding "communication is the key to success. We need to share ideas to help make events successful and continue this positive momentum."

Chamber Director Carrie Fitzgerald posed a question to attendees.

"What three things would you do to help create a community to live work and play. A prosperous community is viable, and has the ability to overcome obstacles. We can create a great Webster City, and the capabilities are endless."

Fitzgerald added that she would like to see more people get involved in the community with newcomers' social events, additional ambassadors, utilizing the Depot to capture Webster City's history and bring it to the community.

Gary Sandholm spoke on behalf of the ABI, stating that key accounting programs have been put into place to help learn more about the needs of local business needs. He would like to continue to attract people to Webster City with higher paying and higher skill jobs.

As the ABI works to attract new businesses, Sandholm stated that five businesses came to visit Webster City, but the city has had some challenges closing the deal. He added that the city must create an incentive package to assist in bringing in new companies.

"Our location is great, we have a great community, and we just need to work with the city to bring projects together. We have some very successful ventures, and we need to reach out to all areas, bringing in more people to work toward our final goal."

Article Photos

Troy Thilges, the 2007 Chamber of Commerce Board President, spoke to Chamber and ABI members during Monday night’s annual meeting. Thilges spoke of the Chamber’s achievements over the past year and stressed the need for more community involvement and the communication of ideas. Chamber Director Carrie Fitzgerald and ABI Director Gary Sandholm also gave presentations to the group.



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