Program Recap - April 9, 2014
Stephanie Edwards, Executive Director of the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce, told of progress since her arrival in July 2012. A strategic plan was established by the Chamber Board of Directors in 2013. The goals use a systematic approach, are measurable and are ongoing and evolving.
The accepted core values include energy and enthusiasm, integrity, leadership, hospitality, and preservation of the Cashiers culture. The Chamber's core purpose is to provide extraordinary leadership as an advocate for business, information service for the community, community information and destination awareness source, and responsible source.
Goals have been set for the next 25 years to 2028. These goals include membership size, funding sources and volume, visitor center plans and services and staff. There are also mid-term 3-5 year goals.
Financial stability was achieved in 2013. Systems development has included computer tracking of financials, broadcast phone calls to announce special events and email communication with members and others. Also emphasis has been increased on public and government relations, and Jackson County TDA (Tourism Development Authority) leadership. She noted that Brien Peterkin, a Cashiers businessman, is the Vice President of TDA.
Looking to 2014 opportunities, Stephanie provided flip chart size pages and marking pens to each table, asking for issues that will impact local business success, new methods for community communication, and ways to build destination awareness and responsible growth.
The Chamber expects a much larger Tour de Cashiers with more bicyclists already enrolled than last year. The Christmas Parade is another Chamber event. They also publicize and help with efforts by the Rotary Club of Cashiers Valley and other organizations.