I want to say a big thank you to the Durant Democrat for the continued publication of the C-D. I’m sorry I missed out on last week’s edition. I hope everyone is well, despite all the flu/bronchitis/strep cases. It has been a busy few weeks – we really appreciate everyone that has been sending in their membership dues and nominations for citizen of the year. This week you should have received ballots to elect our new board members for 2018-2021. It is an honor to be selected to serve on the Chamber board of directors and we look forward to receiving your votes. If you have any questions about the process, please give me a call.

I would like to announce that three community members have been appointed to fill positions on the board due to recent vacancies; Joyce Stowers (Blessing Gravel), Randy McCollom (individual), and Donovan Stowe (Martin Marietta) are going to be wonderful assets. We are lucky to have them. The Chamber’s 2018 officers include Tammy Parish – President, Donovan Stowe – Vice President, and Michaelle Gray – Secretary.

I recently had a visit with Tara Mullins, Executive Director of the Chickasaw Country Marketing Association, and CCMA offers discounted rates of membership to Chamber members! If you haven’t checked out what they have to offer and how they help businesses related directly to tourism, Google the organization. I look forward to working with Tara and complementing the work that she does in our area.

There isn’t much by the way of events going on next week that I am aware of, but it is a new year, so I would appreciate members letting me know if there is something that I should add to the calendar online. I’ve noticed several other sources utilizing the information that I put there and in the weekly e-newsletters, so please continue sharing!

One fun thing that has happened recently is the mayor’s proclamation of Tishomingo as a “Monarch City”. Joanne Ryan at the Tishomingo Wildlife Refuge and Wanda Gray have been working on this project, which will add value to our tourist industry, the efforts regarding our trail systems, and more. Last year there was $3 million dollars available in grant money related to monarchs, and luckily, we have some great grant writers in Johnston County. I encourage anyone who has interests in wildlife conservation, gardening, classroom projects, volunteering or painting (local artists, beginners and experts, mural projects) to contact Wanda Gray at INCA RSVP to get involved, 580-371-2352.

We would like to welcome Workman’s Corner Market of Coleman to the Chamber! Coleman, Oklahoma has an interesting flow of traffic and dynamic businesses that are certainly capable of taking care of the needs of more county residents and visitors. Shop and Dine Coleman! You can learn more about our members online at www.johnstoncountyokchamber.com/membership.

Stay warm and healthy, Johnston County!

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