During the Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber of Commerce’s regular board meeting, Jan. 9, Executive Director Tammy Cotton announced four new members had joined the chamber. Members include: Superior Wood Products, Warsaw; Pontoon Restoration Co., Warsaw; Huntington St. Bar & Grill, Syracuse; and Casey’s General Stores Inc., which is based out of Ankeny, Iowa, with a location in Syracuse.
Cotton added the chamber has also received $8,000 in renewals, noting they have had a few members upgrade their package. Chip Erwin, who heads the chamber’s Ambassadors Program, shared good membership news, too, stating he has five potential members lined up.
Village Keys have arrived at the chamber with board members hoping to sell 200 of them. Cotton stated she had been sending flyers to businesses along with the renewal forms, hoping to drum up more participation from area businesses, who will be able to send out store specials to key holders. Board members hope to have a table set up at the chamber’s annual banquet as well as at other chamber events to raise awareness and sell the keys.
Sylvia Gargett reported on a meeting she and Erwin had held with representatives from Oakwood on Jan. 7, noting Oakwood was really willing to work with the community and were hoping to bring in area people. Gargett stated she offered the chamber office to Oakwood as a place for interviews, noting everything in the hotel and restaurant was being gutted and brought up-to-date. Gargett said May 18 was still the goal for Oakwood to reopen.
Cotton and Syracuse Police Chief Tony Ciriello, who is also a board member, discussed a symposium, “Communities that Care,” which they attended in Indianapolis. The symposium was about prescription drug abuse, which has grown a lot worse than meth.
Ciriello stated the Syracuse Police Department will be launching a prescription disposal box like what the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department already uses. Ciriello estimated they would put up the box within a few weeks at town hall, noting it will be locked with 24/7 surveillance. Individuals will be able to drop off unused prescriptions without even getting out of their car. The pills will then be taken for incineration.
In other chamber news:
- The chamber’s annual awards banquet is Jan. 29, so far they have received 35 RSVPs.
- The board approved the purchase of Chamber Master software to be used by Cotton.
- Cotton announced they will be doing website updates, which includes launching business spotlights of chamber members, banner ads for members and posting chamber newsletters.
- The chamber board will have their annual board member retreat March 20 at the Wawasee Episcopal Center.
The chamber’s next regularly scheduled board meeting will be at noon Feb. 6 at the chamber office.