Plans for year-end events were finalized during the October meeting of the Monett Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
A total of 21 restaurants and caterers have signed up to bring their culinary specialties to the ninth annual Festival of Flavors. The annual dinner will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at the First United Methodist Church, 1600 N. Central in Monett.
A limited number of tickets are available for the event and are now on sale at the chamber office, located at 200 E. Broadway. Lisa Schlichtman, co-chairperson with Donna Beckett, reported volunteers from Monett High School will assist in the set-up. Tables and chairs are being donated by Weiser Tent.
The ninth annual Festival of Lights will open on Monday, Nov. 19 and run through Dec. 31 at Monett's South Park. The Christmas lighting displays will be open for viewing from dusk until 9 p.m. Jeff Meredith, executive director for the chamber, said several slots remain open for elf hut captains supervising volunteers to hand out candy canes and accept donations.
"Monett Express" is the theme for the annual Christmas parade, which has been scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 8. Chairman Rod Anderson said some judges are still needed. Anyone interested in having a float, classic vehicle, marching unit or equestrian unit in the parade can call the chamber office at 235-7919 to register.
Deadline to sign up to be judged for one of the prizes or trophies in the parade is Nov. 23.
Chamber members will have two opportunities to network in the coming weeks. A fifth Friday coffee will be held on Friday, Nov. 30 at the Scott Regional Technology Center, sponsored by Crowder College. An after-hours business gathering will be held on Thursday, Dec. 6, at Crown Double K Realty.
A membership mingle is planned for noon to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20 at the chamber's community room. The "chingle mingle" will also serve as a holiday open house at the chamber office.
Board members made several business decisions during the meeting. Annual commercial insurance, which included an errors and omissions policy for board members for the first time, was awarded to Huffmaster Insurance for $5,000 out of three bidders.
This was the first time insurance coverage had been placed for bid in several years, Meredith said. Board members agreed that unless any of the half-dozen policies included in the package rose by 15 percent in a single year, coverage would not be placed up for bid again for several years.
Mark Von Moss, from the Insurance Center in Joplin, served as an unofficial expert, providing advice on the policies offered. Meredith said the chamber was able to save money to bidding the package.
A new city map will be produced for the chamber by Spring Hill Press in Mt. Vernon. Meredith said supplies of the five-year-old map had dwindled and the advertising was outdated. Spring Hill, because of its local connections, will be able to produce the map for less.
The flip side of the new map will show most of Barry and Lawrence counties around Monett. The full-color map will be available in early 2013. The board agreed to order a smaller print run this time and produce a new map every two years.
Work on the new membership directory was approved to begin in February. Encore Publishing of Neosho and Joplin will make the new edition.
In ongoing programs, Meredith reported the chalk walk art contest, scheduled to be held at the last Broadway Nights, was rained out. Consequently, the activity has been rescheduled for the 2013 Strawberry Festival. All entries in the recent round will be automatically signed up for the next contest and will be contacted with the new date.
The fall session of Leadership Monett program has gone well with two sessions remaining. Graduation has been scheduled for Nov. 15 at The Family Room restaurant.
Two new members recently joined the chamber: Computer Recycling Center, of Springfield, and Coffee Ternurita, a home-based coffee wholesaler, of Monett.
Business at the license office continues to operate smoothly. Meredith said the volume of transactions was very similar to a year ago. With the change of hours to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the last four business days of the month, dropping fourth Saturday hours, more traffic has been seen and no complaints about the change, he added.
City Administrator Dennis Pyle briefed the board about the latest work by the Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri (DREAM) Initiative.
The chamber office will have new faces in it during the coming weeks. Meredith said interns from business classes at Scott Tech will help cover for administrative assistant Adriana Salas while she is out on maternity leave.
Board members decided to cancel their November meeting and scheduled the next session for Dec. 19.