Sublette Chamber annual banquet
The Chamber banquet was catered by Sue Eversull.
Secretary of State Max Maxfield special guest speaker
by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!
November 21, 2009
Wyoming Secretary of State Max Maxfield was the special guest speaker at the Sublette County Chamber of Commerce annual banquet held at the Sublette County Library in Pinedale on Friday night, November 20. The event included prime rib dinner, appetizers and dessert catered by Sue Eversull. The Corral Bar provided liquid refreshments.
There was a silent auction with items donated by local Chamber members. All proceeds go to benefit the Sublette County Chamber of Commerce and their events for 2010.
Approximately 100 people attended the banquet, paying $30 a ticket.
Chamber Executive Director Terrie Swift spoke first and thanked all the members for supporting the Sublette County Chamber of Commerce. "None of this would be possible without memberships," she told the audience. She said the Chamber is the strongest it has ever been and has over 40 new members this year. She gave special thanks to EnCana Oil and Gas and Ultra Petroleum natural gas companies for their large financial support over the years for the Chamber.
Board President Forest Wakefield spoke next and commended Executive Director Terrie Swift and Membership/Event Coordinator Rachel Grimes for their hard work for the Chamber over the past year. He said the Chamber has beat the state average for bringing in new and returning members.
Wakefield outlined the Chamber’s accomplishments over the past year.
- The Chamber has supported the creation of the first county-wide economic development association. That group has hired an Executive Director and will be operational by the end of the year.
- The Chamber researched being able to offer an insurance plan for businesses and now has received matching funding to get it started. That insurance plan option will be available by the first of the year.
- The Chamber has supported the creation of a new Tourism Alliance which is working with the Pinedale lodging and tourism industry to promote tourism as a replacement due to the defeat of the lodging tax.
- The Chamber wants to start an annual leadership Sublette County program.
Chamber members voted from four hopefuls to fill two open slots on the Chamber Board of Directors. Running were Michele Costello (Wind River Pizza and Pasta, Clean Wash Laundromat - Pinedale), Brian Gray – WLC Engineeering- Pinedale,) Marilyn Eiden Erickson (Recreation Director - Town of Big Piney), and Alecia Sheevel (Wells Fargo Bank – Pinedale). Members elected Gray and Sheevel into the openings.
In his presentation, Max Maxfield told the audience, "It is an honor to serve as your Secretary of State." He was elected in 2006 and has had a 23-year career working in the private sector, for non-profits and in public office service.
"Many times one of the cornerstones for making good things happen in the future is a strong Chamber of Commerce leading the way," Maxfield said. "Change is going to happen. It will either happen through us or to us."
As part of his talk, Maxfield lobbied for bringing back the lodging tax. "You guys are going to put together a kick-butt program to bring back the lodging tax," he said. At that point a handful of people in the room applauded the idea enthusiastically while the rest in the room remained glaringly silent, signaling there is still apparently a strong sentiment of disapproval and opposition within the business community on that topic. "When this lodging tax passes, the management is going to be transparent," he said. "I am a firm believer in that tax. It’s free money." Maxfield joked about a standing ovation of three and quickly moved on to another topic.
He said the future will require alliances and long-range planning, looking ahead three to five years for the community. "How do we make it vibrant with the skills and talents we already have in this community?" He said the State is putting $.40 of every dollar into the mineral trust fund and they know the importance of a "rainy day" account.
He closed saying, "I hope both in the community and the state, we stay aggressive and positive."
For more information contact:
Sublette County Chamber of Commerce
19 E Pine Street
PO Box 176
Pinedale, WY 82941
Toll Free: 888-285-7282
Monday through Friday: 8AM to 5PM
Closed all major holidays.