Shenandoah chamber elects new board

The Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce elected new members to its board of directors and honored members for their service to the community at its annual meeting this month.

The new members include Mike Ashley, owner and operator of Ashley Laundromats and Car Washes; Linda Kurtz, marketing director of Dutch Haven; Adam Miller, financial advisor for Lantz and Gochenour Investment Group of Wells Fargo Advisors; Peggy Hodgson, owner of BCA Solutions, an accounting firm; Brittany Clem, marketing coordinator for New Market; and Rich Church, owner and operator of The Market and the Yarn Shop in Woodstock.

Cheri Wright, chamber executive director, said the new board will bring “a new mix of older and younger” members to the organization.

“Brittany brings some youth to the organization and it’s nice to have more marketing people on the board, as well as representing more Strasburg and New Market interests,” Wright said.

Wright added, “To really enhance the county chamber, these new members will bring in new ideas and programs and make a stronger team.”

Among the programs include “Lunch and Learn,” a monthly networking event, more marketing opportunities for local businesses and more events coordinated between the Shenandoah County, New Market and Strasburg chambers of commerce.

“I think some of the chamber members feel the need to be part of one or the other chamber, but we all work together,” Wright said. “I want all the chamber members to know we are all working together to enhance their business experience in the county.”

The chamber decided to retain the 2014 executive officers, who include President Clay Arthur, Treasurer David Moore and Secretary Bill Smith. Wright said the decision stemmed from her coming into the executive director position in September.

“We just decided with having a new director put into place, it was better to keep the executive committee the same for the next year until the executive director learns the ropes,” Wright said.

The chamber is meant to help local businesses succeed in the county, whether it be through assistance in marketing, education or helping a new venture wade through the paperwork to go into business, Wright said.

“There are so many things now a business owner has to look at,” Wright said. “It’s not just opening the doors at 8 a.m. and closing at 5 p.m.”

The chamber awarded three local individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations for their contributions to the county.

Holtzman Oil received the “Business of the Year” award in recognition for its philanthropy in the community.

“There are so people who give back to community and want everybody to know about it, but Holtzman doesn’t,” Wright said. “They give so much to the community and never say anything about it. They’re one of those quiet heroes.”

Soul Food, a ministry of the Shenandoah Community Fellowship, received the “Nonprofit of the Year” award for preparing meals for the needy twice a month in the county. Wright said Soul Food serves an important function in the county.

“I think people would be surprised about the need in the community for this sort of thing,” Wright said. “If they could do more, they would. They just don’t have the funds.”

Wright added, “Our community has a wide range, from the rich to the very, very poor and organizations like this one can guarantee those people get food.”

Jane Beasley, the enhancement coordinator for Woodstock, received the “Person of the Year” award. Wright said Beasley is an “amazing person.”

“She has done so much, from the Riley Park to the concert series to the festivals,” Wright said. “I’ve only known her for a few months, I can see she has such a light when she talks about all the possible things that could happen in Woodstock.”

Contact staff writer Henry Culvyhouse at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or hculvyhouse@nvdaily.com