The Tawas Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is excited to announce changes that will strengthen their ability to continue providing quality service and support to their members and the community.
The Chamber has purchased the former Chemical Bank building on Newman Street and plans to be in its new home by the end of the year. “The ability to finally own our own building after years of renting is a testament to the strength of our community and support of our member organizations,” said current Chamber President, Keith Frank. He continued, “This move greatly increases our office space, which means we’ll be able to provide more services and value, whether it’s the ability to host meetings and training at our office or simply be better situated to provide referrals to our members from the increased visitors we expect at this location.”
The change has been a long time coming. “We have researched new office options for years; while the building on US-23 is a beautiful location, the limited office and parking space has been an ongoing challenge,” said current Managing Director Janel Walmsley. The Chamber has received generous support in order to make this change a reality. “So many people have stepped up to help us make this dream a reality: Chemical Bank, the City of East Tawas through their Urban Development Action Grant program, local non-profits, area businesses, and the City of Tawas City have all supported the Chamber to accomplish this endeavor,” added Walmsley.
“We really want to thank the City of Tawas City for being such incredible landlords for so many years. As the Tawas Area Chamber, we want to be very clear that our commitment to all of our members won’t waver, no matter where our office is located,” said Frank. The Chamber has members from both cities, as well as AuGres, Standish, Hale, Whittemore, Oscoda, Alpena, and the tri-cities.
Renovations on the new building started a couple of weeks ago and will be completed in time for Perchville, which is the first weekend in February. The Chamber will be closed for the week between Christmas and New Year’s to make the move and get settled in its new home. The office will reopen for business on January 2.
In another exciting opportunity, the Chamber board is pleased to welcome a new Managing Director, Penny Payea. “Penny has been a resident of the Tawas area for about five years; her management background and involvement in every aspect of non-profit organizations and volunteer coordination will provide great value to the Chamber for years to come,” said Chamber Vice President, Annge Horning. “We also want to recognize Dovetail Solutions for their nearly five years of leadership of the Chamber; the community has certainly benefitted from their commitment,” Horning added.
“We’re pleased to be handing the Chamber management responsibilities off to Penny – members will find her to be positive and enthusiastic to serve the community. Both Janel and I are so grateful for the relationships we were able to build over the last few years and we look forward to continuing to support the Chamber’s endeavors and our community however we can,” commented current Managing Director, Shelley Buresh.
Photo caption: Front row, left to right: Chamber office manager Chris Aller, new managing director Penny Payea, Directors Jill VanDriessche, Keith Frank, Annge Horning, Marty Rogers. Back row, left to right: Jeremy Broughton, Ryan Ladley, Jay Jacobs, Mark Timreck, Jeff Hutchison. Not pictured: Directors Lisa Bolen, Jon Look, Lisa Ernst.