By Tommy Hartzog

Executive Director, Hickory Nut Gorge Chamber of Commerce

Your Chamber was reformed four years ago after a two to three year shut down. A group of citizens worked for over a year to reorganize and restructure the organization’s mission to meet the evolving demands of the future. Currently a very representative Board of Directors meets monthly to review progress and deliberate on new initiatives.

Some of that new focus includes the following:

Economic health by way of fostering startups, recruiting essential needed businesses and strengthening current businesses.

A responsive, organized office and staff that maintains organizational and community data, communicates with membership, interfaces with local jurisdictional bodies and serves as the hub of planned events throughout the year.

Organizes, funds, promotes and executes numerous events for citizens and visitors annually.

The Chamber exists and works for all the citizens and property owners throughout the Hickory Nut Gorge, thusly, contact and communication with “the people” is a top priority and is affected by frequent personal visits, e-mails, calendar updates, Facebook postings, and by events we hold.

We organize at least six “business after hours” per year that we call Chamber ReCharge. All of our members receive multiple invitations to attend and are encouraged to bring a guest.

Our last three ReCharge gatherings have had record crowds with much enthusiasm. The spirit of teamwork and the sense of common purpose combined with deep gratitude for the place we live is positively contagious and serves to increase energy and momentum for good.

The value of team spirit (unification of purpose) cannot be overemphasized. An informed people who have the opportunity to express differing views and agree, after debate, on constructive goals is a powerful force.

History shows us:

A unified people….

…created a free and independent country!

…built the Empire State Building in one year!

…rallied to liberate Europe from a tyrannical stranglehold!

…put a man on the moon!

…made “tear down this wall” a reality

A united people will make our Hickory Nut Gorge Community the best that it can be.