Chamber approves 12-member board
Greg Orscheln outlined a list of goals for the Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce at its annual business meeting Thursday at Tonganoxie VFW Hall.
The chamber board member’s list started with a goal of the Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce being the finest chamber in Kansas.
Financially, he set a goal of getting people to invest a total of $100,000 in the chamber.
Another goal was to coordinate with Tonganoxie City Administrator Nathan McCommon to accomplish common goals.
As far as an online presence, it was Orscheln’s goal to revamp the chamber’s website and make it a “first-class website.”
His final goal: to have each board member of the chamber serve as a liaison to specific organizations, such as Leavenworth County Development Corporation, Tonganoxie Recreation Commission, the police department and other groups.
Also at the meeting, chamber members approved its board: Jeff Clinger, pastor at Tonganoxie United Methodist Church, Ryne Wheatcroft of Mutual Savings Association, Gavin Olds of Tonganoxie Chiropractic, Alan Kerkaert of Edward Jones, Orescheln of Everlasting Specialties, Michelle Derry of Reece and Nichols, Jill Dickerson, Tonganoxie Middle School principal, Nancy Bishop of the Sam’s Club at The Legends, Kelly Fann, Tonganoxie Public Library director, Ron Swaim, pastor at Cornerstone Family Worship and David Hodge of First State Bank and Trust.
Ex officio board members are Cecilia Harry of LCDC, Tonganoxie Mayor Jason Ward, Tonganoxie police Chief Jeff Brandau, Bill Graveman of Magnatech Engineering and McCommon.
Chamber members also adopted new bylaws at the meeting in which about 35 attended. The board was increased from seven to 12 members and board members would be elected annually. A board member also could serve for three successive years, the bylaws stipulated, with the option of returning to the board after an absence in the fourth year.
Before voting on chamber business, members heard from Tonganoxie High School Family, Career and Community Leaders of America members. The THS students told the group about the local FCCLA chapter and the history of the organization, which changed its name from Future Homemakers of America in the late 1990s.
Acting president Jeff Clinger discussed the chamber’s recent history, which included a crossroads earlier in the year when the board determined it would not replace its director, Susan Freemyer, after she accepted another job, citing a declining amount of funds. Some board members stepped down at that meeting as well because they no longer could commit the time to the chamber.
During that meeting, Clinger was named acting president and Orscheln stepped forward to join the board and work to resuscitate the chamber.
Clinger mentioned an episode of “South Park” in which gnomes were stealing the main characters’ underpants as part of a three-step business model: First was to steal underpants, second was undetermined and third was to make millions of dollars.
Clinger commended Orscheln for his work in moving the chamber forward and trying to determine the organization’s next steps.
“I don’t just want to be stealing underpants,” Clinger joked.