Let’s Talk Business: July 9, 2021

We’ve reached the halfway mark of 2021, a year with many question marks and many changes. Among those changes, you’ll find a few new faces at the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Emporia offices. Please welcome our new Visit Emporia Director LeLan Dains, Membership Director Amy Little, Office Manager Ashley Foraker, and Public Relations Coordinator Marcia Lawrence.

These new additions, along with Chamber President/CEO Jeanine McKenna, Ignite Emporia Director Rob Gilligan, and Visit Emporia Public Relations Director Kelly Mayer, comprise a team that works diligently at serving Chamber members and the greater Emporia community. They all have a strong passion and desire to serve, as well as being invested in our community and its businesses.

As we emerge from the pandemic and begin establishing a new normal, we must be open to new people, new points of view, and new ways of conducting business. It is the mission of the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce to be proactive in creating an environment for business and community success. That includes celebrating every small new step.

Speaking of baby steps: it’s been a rough road getting here, but we’ve finally set the date for the 124th Emporia Area Chamber Annual Meeting. The luncheon will be held on Wednesday, August 25, at Webb Hall in the Emporia State University Memorial Union. More details will be forthcoming for “Nacho Average Annual Meeting”. Please RSVP via email (alittle@emporiakschamber.org) or phone (620-342-1600) or stop by the Trusler Business Center at 719 Commercial St. to let us know if you’d like to attend.

One of the big roadblocks to recovery for local businesses (and businesses everywhere) is the shortage of qualified employees. In another one of those small new steps, we create daily social media posts that list Chamber members who are currently hiring. If you’re a Chamber member and would like to be added to this ever-growing list, please contact us.

Did you know the Chamber’s ValuNet FIBER Smart Room and Conference Room are available for you to use? Before the pandemic, the two rooms were used over 560 times in 2019! We’re glad to see usage ramp up again. Bookings include orientations, corporate meetings, staff retreats, event media room, and a convenient offsite business meeting location. The Smart Room can hold up to 24 people, and the adjacent conference room can comfortably accommodate 12. Both are equipped with large whiteboards, ELMO projectors, and a gig of fiber. Contact Office Manager Ashley Foraker to learn more about renting the ValuNet FIBER Smart Room and Conference Room.

Upcoming Chamber events include:

  • July 13, 10:30 a.m. – Ribbon Cutting at Hoyt’s Truck Center, 802 Graphic Arts Rd.
  • July 14, 10:30 a.m. – Ribbon Cutting at Air Methods, Newman Regional Health helipad (southeast parking lot), 1201 W. 12th
  • July 15, 1:00 p.m. – SBA Webinar “Getting Back on Track”, Trusler Business Center, 719 Commercial, ValuNet FIBER Smart Room.

See the Chamber event calendar at www.emporiakschamber.org/events for more, and for a list of community events, check the Visit Emporia calendar at www.visitemporia.com/events.

It’s a great day in Emporia!



“Let’s Talk Business” is a weekly column of the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Emporia. The mission of the Chamber is to be proactive in creating an environment for business and community success, guided by the vision that positive attitudes promote positive actions. Contact us at 620-342-1600 or chamber@emporiakschamber.org and visit our website at www.emporiakschamber.org.