Chamber meeting, Aug. 31, 2016

Chamber Executive Director Tamaka Hudson (back) and vice president Britt Madden Jr. discussed various items needing attention during the Polk County Chamber of Commerce board meeting at Cedartown’s One Door Polk on Aug. 31. 

Kevin Myrick

Fall political forum coming at month’s end, Boots and Pearls fundraiser set for December

Several events were among the topics of discussion during the Polk County Chamber of Commerce’s latest meeting, especially a fundraiser coming up before the holidays with limited tickets to be available.

The Boots and Pearls benefit is set for Dec. 10, with plans for a silent and live auction along with music and refreshments and a night of fun overall. Ticket prices and a start time at Hightower Falls in December are still to be determined, but the Chamber is hard at work getting everything ready.

One area of need, especially for participating Chamber members, is items to be donated for the auctions to be held that night according to Executive Director Tamaka Hudson.

The chamber will be using a company to handle most of the work and even furnish some of the bigger prizes to be available, but what is really needed is local participation.

She’s asking interested chamber member to get in touch at the office in Rockmart about what they might be willing provide.

In the meantime, the Chamber is getting ready for events coming up sooner on the calendar.

Their Rise ‘N Shine breakfast is coming up Wednesday morning at 7:30 a.m. at the Cedartown office of the Department of Labor. The cost is $6 per member, $10 for non-members and will give people a chance to hear from local nonprofits.

Charlotte Harrison, president of the Cedartown Humane Society, and Debbie Ross of the FERST Foundation are set to speak.

On Sept. 14, the Chamber is holding their Chamber 101 meeting at 7:30 a.m. in the offices in Cedartown.

Sept. 22 members are encouraged to meet at the Old Mill Venue at 12 Old Mill Road for their After Hours session from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. A drawing for a 3-minute commercial is also being held.

Finally the big event for the month will be the 2016 fall Polical Forum, coming up on Sept. 27 starting at 6 p.m. with local candidates invited either to briefly speak or to participate in a question and answer session depending on whether their office is contended.

Call Hudson at the chamber at 770-684-8760 for more information.

Lead Polk program looking to be overhauled

With April Welch likely absent from meetings locally for the rest of her term, Britt Madden Jr. took the helm for the board during last week’s meeting and will continue on lending a hand.

But in the meantime, he’s also busy with others looking at options on how to better build up business and community leaders within local companies.

The Lead Polk program, which has been on a bit of a hiatus for some time, is looking to come back with a bang according to Madden.

He said during the latest meeting on Aug. 30 that “we need new folks who can be better educated about Polk County and its needs” and that two options were up for the board to consider in October.

The first is a six week course that would be held one night a week and go over various aspects of Polk County life, business and economic development issues. The other option would condense that program down into two days, held more like a seminar or conference for those interested in participating.

Committees will first get a chance to take a crack at the plan, Madden said, before it comes before the board for a final vote on which plan to implement if either comes out as the end product.

New members joining Chamber as numbers up slightly

The chamber has some new members to join its ranks in the recent months, including one that hasn’t even started business yet in Rockmart.

A new restaurant Hawg Holler Barbecue, hasn’t opened yet but joined before even getting up and going according to Hudson, because the pair who plan to open the restaurant wanted to “start off in the community by already being a member of the chamber.”

She said that Big Spring Place, the Old Mill Venue and Springleaf Financial were also other new members.

Membership is increasing slightly, Hudson said, but wanted the board to consider whether they might put in place a plan where new members get a discounted rate for the first six months of joining.

That plan, approved unanimously by the board, would give a 30 percent discount on the current rates, which vary depending on the type of business that is joining the chamber.

The idea was prompted as the Chamber sought to recruit Demetrius Dulaney, who was a previous graduate of the Cedartown Biz Builder program. He recently opened Playful Parties and Events on Gibson Street in Cedartown.

It will host kids birthday parties and events, Madden said.