Chamber supports area communication
by Lonnie Adamson, Managing Editor
Business and government leaders are encouraged by recent efforts to bring Elkin and Jonesville together in cooperative endeavors.
The joint objectives were the focal point of an event sponsored Thursday by the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce to introduce newly-elected government officials to business leaders. The reception was held at Cedarbrook Country Club.
In brief remarks to the crowd of more than 50, chamber Chairman Mike Hester said his organization wanted to thank the officials for working for the betterment of Elkin, Jonesville, and Surry and Yadkin counties.
"As one of the area's leading business associations, our chamber recognizes its role to serve as the voice of the business community in matters of public policy, providing a forum for dialogue on current issues affecting local businesses," Hester said.
"We believe it is our responsibility to work as a catalyst to bring about cooperation between the public sector and the private sector, to seek consensus, to ensure economic prosperity and to strive to always improve the quality of life for all citizens."
He pointed toward the changing economy in the Tri-County Area from traditional industrial and agricultural jobs to a more tourism-based marketplace.
"We support the expansion of programs through our local governments that will move this effort forward. One of the ways the chamber, downtown Elkin and the Elkin and Jonesville town commissioners and tourism development authorities are working together is through the Yadkin Valley Tourism Authority," Hester said.
The TDA is charged with promoting the Yadkin Valley area, seen as an area within a 15-mile radius of Elkin and Jonesville.
He also thanked Elkin and Surry County commissioners for their support of redevelopent of the Reeves Theater. Elkin commissioners made space available to the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild for a pottery studio, to help build that arts organization's strength in the tourism-related market.
Hester applauded the efforts of Elkin to improve the look of its downtown and Jonesville for building the new visitor's center on N.C. 67 near I-77.
Water and sewer issues have been tackled by both towns and Yadkin County, he said.
Commissioners were allowed time to introduce themselves and speak at the meeting.
Newly-elected Elkin Mayor Lestine Hutchens thanked the chamber for its influence on the communities over its 20-year history. She said that she became active in the chamber early in its existence and learned leadership skills there. That work led to participation in town government.
Elkin Commissioner J.L. Lowe said he was appreciative of the cooperation from Jonesville leaders on the regional sewer authority. Jonesville Councilman Wayne Moore also thought that effort was a good sign for cooperation between the two towns.
Jonesville Mayor Lindbergh Swaim said after the meeting that he thought it was a good idea. It brought leaders together face to face. "You can learn one another better that way," he said.
Chamber leaders hope to make the event an annual one.
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