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Chamber chairwoman to pass the gavel

For most people, time spent serving on a board can sometimes seem to drag. That wasn't the case for Angela Blair, who spent the last four years serving on the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. She was the chairwoman of the board for 2009. Mrs. Blair said she doesn't know of any board that works harder than that of the chamber of commerce.

"Wow, it doesn't seem like it's been four years," Mrs. Blair said. "But, when you take an active part in the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce, you lose track of time, because you enjoy seeing the growth and accomplishments being achieved. People believing in Thomson and McDuffie County enough to invest in our community's growth are the ones we should salute. ... My hat is off to the chairpersons before me and I hope I've lived up to the job they have done."

Each COC board chairperson serves for one year. Bobby Hildreth succeeded Mrs. Blair the first of January. She will publicly pass the gavel to Mr. Hildreth during the chamber of commerce annual banquet Tuesday night at Belle Meade Country Club.

When she received the gavel at last year's banquet, Mrs. Blair acknowledged that she was "just a voice of 285-plus chamber members," but that she had "no problem being heard." One accomplishment she is proud of is the board's amending the chamber's by-laws and bringing them up-to-date -- something that had not been looked at in many years. She's also proud that the entire chamber membership voted to approve the amendments.

"Policy and procedures were followed with our board standing united with our decisions," she said.

Mrs. Blair also shared with the board something she learned in a workshop -- the importance of keeping the membership in mind on each decision that required a vote. She asked the board members to always ask themselves two things before casting a vote: What if the business members knew? and What would the business members do?

"I can say with confidence that the four years I served on the board of directors of the chamber of commerce, we strived to act on the best interest of its membership. And as I stay on this final year as an ex-officio, I look forward to continue doing the same," she said.

Another point of pride is the chamber of commerce board of directors' establishment of "Chamber 411," which placed chamber members' business information in the hands of consumers through daily radio salutes, assisted chamber members with concerns and local issues, such as the city's proposed sign ordinance.

"I'm very pleased and feel that it has been a productive year," Mrs. Blair said.

"I encourage the business community to stay involved and be heard, because it does bring on change. Our downtown is coming alive, our county is growing, and I'm proud to be a part of it."

For more information on the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce, call (706) 597-1000.

Web posted on Thursday, January 21, 2010

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