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“Building Business Together” is the motto for the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, and the group has been doing just that for nearly 80 years.
The chamber is an active force in our community today, with more than 140 business members and a number of local events hosted and supported by the organization each year, including Race Fest, golf scramble, awards and recognition banquet, and regional business expo.
This monthly article will give you firsthand knowledge about the chamber and the excellent benefits of being a member.
However, before we look ahead to the future, it is important to recall the rich history of the chamber and learn from those who came before us.
First known as the Carrollton Chamber of Commerce, the organization began in the late 1930s to promote commerce and business in the town.
In 1950, the group reorganized and extended its reach out into the county to become the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce. Howard Rich of Howard B. Rich Inc. (ladder manufacturer) was president, while Carrollton’s Mayor J. M. Lee was vice president and B. L. Banks (haberdashery owner) was treasurer. The board of directors consisted of G. G. Wood (chairman), Roger Baker, Paul Dunn, J. V. Driskell, Perry Dean and R. L. Booth.
After reorganization, the first membership meeting was held on May 29, 1950. Membership dues were $25 per business at the time. There was overwhelming support from the enthusiastic merchants of the county, with more than $500 collected in new memberships at that first meeting.
Members at the meeting included Howard B. Rich, Paul Dunn, B. L. Banks, Fred May, Jr., Harlan Heilman, Charles S. Pearce, James V. Driskell, Robert Booth, G. G. Wood, William Marrs, Grover Young, Roger Baker, Goebel Bell, Al Sawyer, Price Capito, Fred B. Oney, John E. Glauber, G. C. Grobmyer, Fred Miller, Leon Packman, Josiah Duvall, Charles Goodrich, Perry Dean and Jack Perry.
According to a News-Democrat article dated June 1, 1950, discussions for activities of the Chamber “dealt with Carrollton’s natural advantages from a location standpoint and the need for an active group such as the Chamber of Commerce to exploit these advantages.”
Today, the chamber strives to continue building our great community. For more information about the chamber, benefits to members, and how your business can become a member, visit the chamber of commerce office located at 511 Highland Avenue, Carrollton, (502) 732-7034 or website, www.carrollcountyky.com/coc.
In next month’s article, you will have the opportunity to meet the current chamber board of directors. Throughout the year, we will spotlight businesses and their reasons for being a member, as well as provide information about upcoming Chamber events.
In closing, what does it mean to be a member of the Chamber of Commerce? During reorganization in 1950, Howard Bowles, the acting Executive Secretary of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce at the time, stated it well:
“This should be a merchants’ organization … and the secret to success may be found in the cooperation displayed among the members. They should all work for the good of the city and not for personal gain. A working Chamber is an asset to any town and is invaluable to the merchants.”
Christin Herbst is a member of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce.