Chamber President Street says serving the organization's members is a top priority

By Greg Miller

Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce President Duncan Street stated that one of the top priorities for the Chamber this year is to serve the members in a greater way than ever before.
   "The board members want the Chamber to be used as a sounding board and be a resource for all the memberships," Street said. "One of the more exciting plans for this year is the board members meeting one-on-one with each business in the Chamber. This will be done to get better acquainted with the businesses, thank them for being a Chamber member and for supporting the Elizabethton/Carter County area. This will also serve as an opportunity to see if the Chamber can assist the business in any way."
   In addition to visiting each business membership, the Existing Industry Visitation will also be continued. "I have found this to be very successful and involves the Chamber deeper into the community," Street said. "Our membership is strong with sound businesses and we are anticipating membership growth along with maintaining the current membership by continuing these visitation programs."
   Street says another main project to open up better communication will be the development of a Chamber membership directory. "This directory will contain a listing of memberships, board members and who the executive director is," he said.
   "The community awareness program that was initiated last year will be made broader this year. Pat Holtsclaw will once again head up this program. We are thankful to Dale Williams (Carter County School Superintendent) and Judy Blevins (Elizabethton School Superintendent) for involving the school children, which in turn involved the parents. This program was very successful and we feel confident that this year will be as successful."
   Carmella Price and Keith Young will direct the Covered Bridge Celebration this year. "They are currently in the planning stages with thoughts of adding new activities for the festival," Street said. "This board is very energetic and have fun and exciting ideas that won't be expensive to do."
   The Vision Committee, a new addition to the Chamber's list of councils, should have a major impact on Elizabethton and the Carter County area, according to Street. "Our Vision Committee was formed from the Carter County Leadership Tomorrow Class," he said.
   "Carter County is a wonderful place to live and with the Vision Committee working hand-in-hand with the Chamber of Commerce, the area will have no choice but to grow and improve as each year passes. The Tri-Cities area is a 'tourist area,' and Carter County is included as one of the main places to visit. Hopefully, the scheduled events will promote tourism to our area and the area itself will speak volumes of attributes."
   The Clean Streams Program is so essential to the appearance of the area that the Chamber will promote the program again this year, Street said.
   Last year, Street served as president-elect of the Chamber board, which gave him the opportunity to oversee the councils and serve as a liaison between the councils and the Chamber of Commerce. The president-elect is also responsible for reviewing the policies and procedures of the Chamber, he stated.
   The last year prepared Street to have a broad overview of what the Chamber supports and how it is supported. In 2001, he was the vice president of the board's legislative council, handling all the duties related to the organization of the legislative breakfast.
   A board member typically serves for one or two years before they are asked to serve as a council vice president, Street said.
   For more information, call Barbara Treadway, the Chamber's executive director, at 547-3850 or e-mail Duncan I. Street at