Last updated: July 18. 2013 7:03PM - 156 Views

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PRESTONSBURG — The Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual business meeting July 24, at the Mountain Arts Center, and the event was sponsored by Rock Solid Records Management.

This year, the annual banquet committee decided to break the large annual banquet into two separate events, an annual business meeting and an annual awards banquet. This change took place in order to shorten and improve the flow of the large event. It entailed the business required each July by the by-laws, including swearing in of the new chairman, officers, and board members.

The Chamber thanked immediate past chairman, Tracy Syck, of Shred-All Documents, for all of her hard work this past year and inaugurated Danny VanHoose, director of marketing at Appalachian Wireless, as its new chairman. VanHoose has been an active member of the Chamber for several years, serving two past terms as chairman of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce. VanHoose’s work in the Chamber has included service as chairman of the Hillbilly Days Volunteer Committee and chairman of the Annual Dinner Committee. VanHoose also serves on the Hillbilly Days Festival Committee. He has served countless hours on the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors during the past years.

“The tagline of this Chamber is ‘The Power to be Heard.’ Let’s make sure they hear us. Let’s make sure they hear from all of us and let’s have the courage to take a stand and make a difference,” VanHoose said.

Shadd Walters, of Citizens National Bank, was also named vice chairman during the meeting.

Outgoing board members Trina Allen (Office of Employment & Training), Pam Howard (Pike County Physical Therapy), Mike Litafik (Creek Consulting), Jim Maynard (Williamson ARH), Dennis Rohrer (Crossrock Drilling, LLC), and Randy Walters (Walters Chevrolet, Buick) were also thanked and recognized for their hard work and dedication to the Chamber during their term.

The Chamber also welcomed new incoming board members Joe Adams (Coca Cola), JR Blackburn (Merrill Lynch), James D. England (Wells Fargo), Brad Hall (AEP – Kentucky Power), Skip Holmes (Fairway Outdoor), Amanda Legg (Servpro of Floyd, Knott and Pike Counties), Mike McCoy (Bank of Hindman), and Bruce Walters (Bruce Walters Ford) for the 2012-2013 term.

“Over the last year the chamber has seen tremendous growth,” said Jared Arnett, SEK Chamber President/CEO. “We added 131 new members, 20 percent to our budget, and played a major role in securing a $750,000 federal grant for Commercial Air Service in eastern Kentucky. We also took up issues for our members, such as the Mountain Parkway Expansion in Salyersville, providing over 1,000 letters of support for a public university in eastern Kentucky, and gave our members a voice in the fight for our local coal industry.”

Arnett concluded by saying, “Moving forward, I believe we have a responsibility to provide the vision: To be the voice of reason and hope for our members and all businesses of eastern Kentucky, to point out opportunities where others see challenges. Our 131 new members believe what we believe. We are all here tonight because we share a common belief. That when we work together, in the end, you and me, our organizations, our families, our children, and all of eastern Kentucky wins.”

At 6 p.m., on August 23, at the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center, the Southeast Kentucky Chamber will recognize those members who have made contributions to the economic wellbeing of eastern Kentucky at their Annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony.

For more information on registering for the Annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony please visit www.sekchamber.com or call 877-738-4400.

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