Members of the Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce gathered Thursday morning at The Bridge for the quarterly coffee meeting.
Cyndi Young, of Brownfield Ag News, was the special guest for the event. Young, who spoke at a presentation Wednesday night at Prem Sahai Auditorium, thanked the chamber and the ag committee for the opportunity to speak.
Young said she felt it was obvious that agriculture is a big part of the foundation of Hamilton County and Iowa.
- Daily Freeman-Journal photos by Anne Blankenship
Deb Brown, chamber of commerce executive director, congratulates Cindi Sweedler on her award of excellence from Pampered Chef. Sweedler was one of dozens of local business people who attended the quarterly chamber coffee Thursday.
Cyndi Young, of Brownfield Ag News, was the special guest for the quarterly coffee held Thursday at The Bridge.
"The strongest stone in the structure is in the foundation," she said. "I look around this room and I see businesses that are thriving."
Young said that isn't the case in many small rural towns. As agriculture has played a large role in the birth and growth of Webster City, Young predicted it will continue to do so in the future.
"Maybe you didn't grow up on a farm, but I guarantee that if you look back two or three generations, you have strong roots in agriculture," she said. "The agriculture committee is going to work to educate and bridge the gap because we need to have strong agriculture to continue to have a strong economic situation in Webster City."
"And that's 'my two cents,'" she said in conclusion, referring to the name of her morning radio commentary.
Mayor Doug Getter said he was pleased that business in Webster City was moving forward.
"There are clear signs that we are moving to the positive side for the first time in many years," he said. He pointed to businesses are posting hiring notices and some that are expanding.
Councilman Geary Meyer, who works at Van Diest Supply Company, gave an update the firm's expansion.
"Van Diest Supply Company is thrilled to be a part of this community and be engaged in this community," he said. "We've got jobs open and we're hiring.
Meyer said VDSC would be opening the largest expansion in the history of Dow Chemical in the next few weeks.
"Obviously this is one of the biggest expansions that we've ever done. In the last two years, we've hired a minimum of 75 people and expect to hire 60 more," he said.
Getter also encouraged those present to join him, the City Council and City Manager Ed Sadler as they accept the ice bucket challenge for ALS Monday night at about 9:45 p.m. during RVTV. He said the event will take place in front of the Webster Theater right after the lighting of the renovated marque.
Darcy Swon talked about the WCF Financial Bank update. She said the building was going up quickly and construction is "on track." She said the building should be completely enclosed within a few weeks at which point crews will begin work on the interior of the new bank.
Several businesses introduced new employees. Swon of inTandem Marketing, introduced employee Sarah Miller. Ed Sadler, city manager, introduced the new police chief, Shiloh Mork, and the new fire chief, John Conyn.
Lori Foster of Van Diest Medical Center introduced new CEO Lori Rathbun who discussed the hiring of Dr. Reda Daher and Kristen Chung, PA-C,, both who will practice in the VDMC main clinic, and Jody Harker, human resources.
Keri Holmes Rojas, the new manager of the Webster Theater, was introduced to the group by Tyler Abens. Angie Martin-Schwarze, library director at Kendall Young Library, welcomed Lindsay Anderson, the library's new teen librarian. Others introduced were Jamie Ragland of Upper Des Moines Opportunity and Krista Petersburg, Black Hills Energy.
Chamber Executive Director Deb Brown congratulated Cindi Sweedler, Pampered Chef representative, on the receipt of her award of excellence from the company. Brown noted that Sweedler was one of independent business consultants who belong to the chamber.
New members to the chamber this quarter were also welcomed: Foster Insurance and Financial Services; Legacy Learning Center; Lia Sophia Independent Sales Advisor Tiffany Larson; Phusion and Jay Heine; U.S. Cellular; PrimeLife LLC and owner Melanie Plain; and Lucinda Stone with Therapy Life Center of Massage College.
Janet Toering of All Cultures Equal reminded the group about the swap meets starting at the ACE building on the first Saturday of every month. Becky Koppen of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program told the group that her organization would be heading up the Warm Hearts Warm HomesBy project his year on Nov. 15. Angela Wesselink talked about the Zombie Fun Run being sponsored by Parent Connection and Building Families on Oct. 25.
Doodle Bugs and
Jerry Wells announced that Sept. 8 to 14 will be Doodle Bug Days in Webster City. The Doodle Bug Club of America, based in Webster City will once again host the annual reunion next week at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds.
Kay Ross of HERO discussed the upcoming Red Carpet Affair and grand reopening of the Webster Theater scheduled for Sept. 19 and 20 respectively. She reminded those present that the latest fundraiser, Be A Star, was still going on.
Marilyn Middleton of Southfield Wellness Community delivered her announcement about the Southfield Cruisin' South Car and Tractor Show in the form of a poem. The event is scheduled for Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Southfield parking lot.
Flu shots and flu clinics will soon be available, according to Shelby Kroona of Hamilton County Public Health. She said her agency was available to bring flu shots to businesses so employees can receive the shots on site.
Brown closed out the meeting by reminding those present about the RVTV events taking place on Monday night in downtown Webster City.