It's hard to believe the time has come to say, "Merry Christmas." It seems like only last week we were sweltering in the summer heat and wishing for cooler days. Well, those cooler temperatures have finally arrived and along with them, plans for Christmas parties, family gatherings and special activities at our churches. This is such a wonderful time of year, and I have promised myself to pause occasionally to enjoy it. Chamber business does move forward, however.
November proved to be extremely busy with the Farm-City Prayer Breakfast and our "15 Under 40" Gala and Dinner. I'd like to congratulate all of our "15 Under 40" recipients; especially Our TWO Outstanding Young Professionals: Dr. Denise Webb and Mr. Ben Baldwin.
We are working on upcoming events scheduled for early next year. Ashley James with Innesto Marketing has begun calling on local businesses selling ad space for our 2013 Minden USA Relocation Guide. Please support this publication. It is placed in all area hotels, real estate offices, doctors' offices as well as other businesses and is a great help to people visiting and those considering a move to Minden and South Webster Parish.
We are excited to offer "A Passion for Service," Wednesday, January 16th. Bill Drury will conduct this half-day seminar on improving customer service. Bill worked for Zig Zigler for over 10 years and says, "70% of customers who stop doing business with a company do so because of the way they were treated. 96% of unhappy customers never tell the owner or manager that they received bad service! 91% of them will never buy again from a business that has offended them." Bill will address these and other issues when he teaches attendees "How to Win Customers and Reduce Lost Sales." The seminar will be held twice; 8:30-11:30 and 1:00-4:00 at the Minden Community House. This will enable businesses to send their entire staff; one group in the morning and one in the afternoon. Cost before January 4 is $89 per person. Sponsorships are available. Please call the office if you would like to take part in this educational seminar. You may also hear a sample of Bill's presentation at www.apassionforservice.com. Space is limited, so call today!
The date for our annual Membership Banquet has been set for Thursday, February 21st at the Minden Civic Center. Terry Gardner and his committee are planning an elegant affair with a scrumptious menu. Our Title Sponsor is MBL Bank and our two Premier Sponsors are Dr. Philip Rozeman and Citizens National Bank. Corporate Sponsorships are still available. They are $500 and come with a host of benefits. Please call the Chamber if you are interested. Tickets for the banquet are $40 each and may be purchased in advance by calling 477-4240.
Don't forget, we still have space available for our trip to Tuscany. Full payment is due by December 15. This is a wonderful trip and one we are thrilled to be able to offer to the community. Round-trip airfare out of Shreveport and two meals per day are only two of the benefits of this fabulous trip. It would make a wonderful Christmas present for someone; or why not treat yourself?
Our 16 Webster Youth Leadership students have enjoyed two sessions so far. This month they will learn about the world of finance by visiting area financial institutions. A big thank you to MBL Bank, Drew White with Edward Jones, and Schelley Francis at the Dorcheat Historical Museum for hosting our group on December 12.
Plans are in the early stages for a unique and fun event in early spring next year. I can't reveal the particulars at this time, but I can recommend that a little target practice might be in order in the coming months. Stay tuned for more details...
Please remember to save that gas money, and shop our local businesses for all your Christmas gifts. On behalf of the Minden-South Webster Chamber of Commerce, its Board of Directors and Members, I pray a safe Holiday, a Happy New Year, and remember: Without CHRIST there is no CHRISTMAS!!
Jerri de Pingre' is president of the Minden-South Webster Chamber of Commerce.