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Monett Chamber plans public events for August

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Staff with the Monett Chamber of Commerce and the license office will be busy on Saturday installing a new decorating idea. Since the license bureau focuses on street signs, manager Jamie Stephens suggested putting up old Monett street signs that have either been outdated or too worn for further use. The Street Department responding by donating a variety of signs, some of which are shown above with Stephens. The signs will be placed on the license office's east wall. The west wall will be decorated with license plates. Chamber Executive Director Suzy McElmurry said the donation of out-of-state plates would be welcome in hopes of having all 50 states represented. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
August marks a particularly busy month for the Monett Chamber of Commerce. A number of pending activities were reviewed during the July board of directors meeting.

The luncheon for new teachers and administrators coming to work at the Monett R-1 School District will be held on Aug. 2. Noel George reported preparations are complete to hold the gathering for the first time at St. John's Lutheran Church.

Thirty-three new employees are expected for the event. Heno Head will serve as the keynote speaker. A number of business leaders will help introduce the community and games such as "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" will be played.

Planners for the Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri (DREAM) Initiative will be back in Monett next week. Representatives from the engineering firm of Peckham Guyton Albers and Viets (PGAV) will lead four focus groups meeting on Aug. 3 and Aug. 4 at the Chamber meeting room.

Input will be taken from civic leaders, up and coming leaders, downtown stakeholders such as business operators and property owners, plus a focus group exploring cultural diversity. Chamber Executive Director Suzy McElmurry voiced excitement that the next step in the DREAM process is beginning.

The next Leadership Monett class will kick off with a retreat at Roaring River State Park on Aug. 11 and 12. Walter Branch reported the fifth class of the leadership program was almost full but some slots for registration were still open. Participation is limited to 15 people.

The leadership alumni held a cook-out at Monett's South Park on July 29. All of the alumni have agreed to serve as mentors or help the incoming class with a project.

The chamber will also host its second annual Chalk Walk art contest downtown during Broadway Nights on Aug. 12. The occasion will be further enhanced by the Cox Monett Hospital Auxiliary holding its garage sale in the former Front Page store.

McElmurry said information on the chalk walk was sent home to community youth through summer school and local vacation Bible schools. Entries are arriving to participate. Learning from last year's event, McElmurry said all participants will get to work in the shade this time.

Another change has come to the chamber board. Cindy Stone, who was elected to the board in March, has been transferred by Walmart to another position in Arkansas. Alternate Noel George will take Stone's place.

President Regina Bowsher noted both alternates have now become directors. Rod Anderson previously took Clif Crockett's place. She asked that the other board members stay put for the rest of the year.

Money collected from games and tips during the Industrial Appreciation Golf Tournament added up to $500. The money has been donated to the Missouri Southern State University Foundation to help the Joplin tornado victims. A letter of appreciation was received from the foundation.

Lexi Witt, one of the recipients of a scholarship from the chamber to attend the Leadership and Practice camp in Mexico, Mo., sent a letter expressing her appreciation for the experience.

McElmurry announced the chamber is partnering with Media Trust, the producer of advertisements for movie theaters, for a series of ads about Monett and the chamber to run from September through March at the Plaza Eight Cinema.

The Main Street advisory board has looked at signage to attract visitors to downtown Monett. They decided to place new signs place a sign at Second and Central on the island, and at 13th Street and Broadway by the flower bed. A smaller sign will be placed at the Pride and Progress sign to update the "centennial city" designation.

Designs and bids are being reviewed, McElmurry added.

Business at the license office has continued on pace with budget projections. A quarterly review was done in June by the Missouri Department of Revenue, in which the office was found to be in compliance with its contract.

All of the license office employees are now wearing polo shirts in a variety of colors. McElmurry said funds raised from selling the hardware to attach license plates to vehicles paid for the shirts. The staff has received compliments from customers on a uniform look. McElmurry said the shirts make the staff look more like a team.

Dr. John Jungmann, Monett R-1 School superintendent and an ex officio board member, provided an update on construction at both Monett Elementary and Central Park Elementary.

Board members expressed interest in Jungmann's description of the 21st Century Learning Task Force and moving farther into educating with technology.

City Administrator Dennis Pyle also briefed the board on the upward trend in sales tax receipts and the latest flood control plan for downtown.

The next board meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 17 at the chamber office.

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