Messenger photo by Dianne Garrett
Longtime Whitehall resident Linda Luft Jones accepted the position of executive director of the Whitehall Area Chamber of Commerce Oct. 1
The Whitehall Area Chamber of Commerce has a fresh face who hopes to bring a fresh attitude to the organization.
Longtime resident Linda Luft Jones took the reins as executive director Oct. 1, and has hit the ground in a gallop.
She is no stranger to the needs of the chamber or the community. Jones spent over six years as the city’s resource coordinator, working for two mayors. During that time, she represented the city at the chamber.
The past three and a half years, she has served on the board, the last two as treasurer.
She is trying to get out to visit with all 100-plus members, asking for their input.
"I hand-delivered about a dozen October newsletters so I could introduce myself, and ask what they need and expect from their chamber," Jones said. "I want to open the line of communication so we can be the most effective chamber possible."
She plans to continue the visits, because she said that she truly wants to know what members think is right or wrong in the city.
"I can then build on that information, because I want everyone back on the same page and working together. I want both the business community and residents to benefit from a solid, working chamber, and hope to increase our membership," Jones said.
The chamber web site, www.whitehallchamber.org, has been updated. A new benefit has been added for paid membership. Company logos and a brief about the member business will no longer be an extra charge. She also wants to start featuring area business members quarterly with a little history and what sort of services they provide.
"Several members are located outside the city, and we would love to have more participation locally, as well as from Berwick and Eastmoor. We are the Whitehall Area Chamber of Commerce," noted Jones. "We do not limit membership only to Whitehall businesses."
The new director is excited about the Nov. 14 meeting, at Golden Corral, 4750 E. Main Street, between 8 and 9 a.m.
Dr. Thomas Lisk, who has been a motivational speaker since 1977, and founder and president of the Professional Speakers Bureau International, will address the chamber.
Lisk has earned numerous awards for his entertaining, humorous and motivational speeches. For more information, call the Chamber office at 237-7792. Cost is $10 for members and $15 for non-members.
Orders are now being accepted for Honey Baked Hams for Thanksgiving. The deadline for orders is Nov. 14, and they will be delivered Nov. 20 to the office. They can be picked up after 1 p.m. or arrangements can be made to have them delivered.
Jones added, "Order them from us, and you don’t have to stand in line to pick one up at the store."
A December meeting is being planned, but in the very early stages, so there is no date yet. The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is looking at their group rating program. They want to reduce the percentages, and that could affect small businesses in a major way, according to Jones. She is hoping to have a representative to address business concerns.