Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce votes in 2014 board
The Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 board of directors has been decided.
The chamber had its annual luncheon Thursday at the Tonganoxie VFW Post Home.
During the meeting, members approved next year’s 12-member board, a mix of five returning and seven new board members.
Returning for their second year on the board: Alan Kerkaert, Edward Jones; Jeff Clinger, Tonganoxie United Methodist Church; Michelle Derry, self-employed; Kelly Fann, Tonganoxie Public Library; and Greg Orscheln, MACS.
New board members are Steve Christensen, First State Bank and Trust; Mike Graveman, Magnatech Engineering; Julie Hansen, Vintage Park; Samantha O’Hare, Tonganoxie Nursing Center; John Vohs, Kramer and Associates; Randy Weseman, Tonganoxie USD 464; and Jamie Smith, Community National Bank.
Kerkaert spoke to the board about the need to promote the chamber and let businesses know the value of being a chamber member. He also said the board needed to work with others in the community, such as Entrepreneurs Achieving Success Together and city officials to determine what can be done to improve Tonganoxie.
The chamber currently has 36 members and wants to continue to grow that number each year, he said.
He mentioned that he’s heard some call Tonganoxie a ghost town with some of its vacant buildings, but he doesn’t agree.
“I don’t see that in Tonganoxie,” he said. “I see our proximity to (U.S. Highway) 24-40 and I-70.”
Orescheln touted the chamber’s website, tonganoxiechamber.org, as an important tool in promoting the chamber and the community.
Like Kerkaert, Orescheln is optimistic about the city’s future.
“We’re not the status quo,” he said. “I think we need to realize that.”
Christensen, as well as Bill New, discussed a survey a Kansas State University economics professor is doing in cooperation with Tonganoxie.
KSU professor Vincent Amanor-Boadu has surveyed Tonganoxie businesses and is working on a strategic plan for current businesses for success in the future.
New said more information about the findings would be released in the new year.