We have been rocking along at the Chamber; read on below for just a small slice of what we have been up to!
January and February were both action-packed for the Chamber! Here are just 10 of the many things we had the opportunity to work on or be involved with!
1. Auburn Service Group – MLK Day of Service
After months of planning and preparation, we welcomed a large group of students from Auburn University on MLK Day. These students divided into teams and they lent their time and talents to projects across town. While some groups worked on painting and repair projects, another handed out thousands of pounds of food in conjunction with the Selma Area Food Bank. We were so grateful to have these students serving our community on such an important day, and we look forward to having this group again next year!
2. Lexden’s Formal Boutique Grand Opening
We had to reschedule this awesome event to work around the forecasted snow and ice. Thankfully, the weather wasn’t as bad as predicted. The Grand Opening, on the other hand, exceeded all expectations. The team at Lexden’s has stocked a gorgeous space and are providing the highest quality formal wear and service to our community! If you haven’t already, check them out on Facebook or in the store!
3. Hosted/Presented at Southwest Alabama Tourism Partners Regional Quarterly Meeting
This was pretty neat. We had leaders in the tourism industry form all over the Blackbelt region. Not only did we only host our friends at the Selma and Dallas County Public Library, but Landon also presented to the group. The discussion centered around branding and communication, including strategies that our tourism partners throughout the area can utilize to streamline and unify their messaging.
4. Kennesaw State International Leaders Group
We had the opportunity to get to know this group last year on their first voyage to Selma, and we were thrilled to work with them in the months leading up to their most recent visit. The group of students representing Thailand, Brunei, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Myanmar, Laos, and Japan got a tour of Selma and enjoyed several of our local attractions, including the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute!
5. Orrville Community Plan
If you haven’t been down to Orrville lately, do yourself the favor! This sleepy little community (the smallest incorporated municipality in the state!) is undergoing a renaissance. Not only has the Orrville Farmer’s Market taken off, but the lady behind it all has an even broader vision for Orrville. Mrs. Judy McKinney is an absolute force of nature and we are blessed to have her working to improve Orrville and Dallas County. At the Chamber, we were able to help Mrs. McKinney lay out a draft of her vision for a revitalized Orrville.
6. Celebrities Only Salon & Spa Grand Opening
What a space. Mrs. Bonner really pulled out all the stops to make this your local destination to be pampered. The space on Alabama Avenue is absolutely incredible, and the friendly staff is there to please! Book your appointment today!
7. AL Lifestyles Expo
This was pretty darn cool. Sheryl and Landon packed up the car with loads of Selma and Dallas County information and took it down to Orange Beach to share with almost 4,000 snowbirds and conference attendees interested in destinations throughout the south. Not only had many of the attendees already been to visit Selma, but the Chamber team was able to recruit several hundred new leads who are interested in coming to our area!
8. Centre for Commerce Annual Meeting
The Centre for Commerce houses the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Information and the Economic Development Authority (The EDA), and each year we come together to host a formal dinner with a well-known speaker on a relevant subject. This year, we had the pleasure of hearing from Mr. Ed Castile, Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Workforce Development Division, Director of AIDT. Ed discussed the workforce needs in the State of Alabama and the role that workforce development has to play in securing commerce in our state and region. Whether it is on the Chamber side of the equation (retail and small business) or the EDA’s side (industrial recruitment), we along with our members and investors recognize how critical it is to have a workforce that is prepared for the challenges of an ever changing economy.
9. Southside Career Fair
As part of Career Technical Month, the Dallas County Career Technical Center hosted a Career Fair themed “Celebrate Today, Own Tomorrow!” This event was incredibly well attended by students and employers, alike. Students had the opportunity to hear from a wide range of representatives from different industries, employers, and educational institutions. They also had the chance to climb an awesome rock wall. Employers had the chance to connect with their potential new employees and recruit students to further their careers!
10. Rare Disease Day
With great support from one of our own, John Farris Harper, Alabama Rare Disease Day 2017 recognized and raised awareness for those fighting rare diseases! Through advocacy at the state and local level, organizers like Mr. Harper made sure that the governor and our state legislators know the importance of supporting research and development in these areas. We thank Mr. Harper and the many rare disease warriors out there for their perseverance and dedication.
Below are additional photos from some of the happenings we have been involved with!