• Laurel Contributor

An Enriching New Decade

by Mary Jane Mccall

A new slate of officers is preparing to lead the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce into an enriching, challenging new decade.

At its Annual Meeting & Celebration held on November 21, Cashiers Area Chamber members celebrated the installation of new directors.

The Chamber’s Board provides strategic leadership for the organization’s programming, member services and benefits, and community and economic development initiatives. The evening’s program also included Spirit of Our Community Awards, musical entertainment, and hospitality by The Orchard Restaurant & Barn. Signal Ridge Marina, Sotheby’s International Realty Cashiers and Zoller Hardware were featured sponsors of the event.

New and returning board members were nominated in October and received full membership approval in early November. The 2020 director slate was recommended after consideration of candidates’ business industry, location, gender, length of residence, availability, and other civic involvement. The Nominations Committee and current Board of Directors made special efforts to ensure commitment and diversity among the future leadership.

Each nominee generously agreed to serve the organization and Cashiers, Glenville, Lake Toxaway and Sapphire communities as a volunteer in the coming year. In that role, he or she will help set priorities in support of the Chamber’s Core Purpose: To provide extraordinary Leadership in the Cashiers Area as an Advocate for business, Information Source for the community and Conduit for building destination awareness and responsible growth.

Current President Mary Lanning of Hampton Inn & Suites Cashiers-Sapphire Valley, was re-elected to a second term. Glenn Ubertino of Zoller Hardware, will serve as President-Elect; and Ben Harris of Harris Custom Builders as Treasurer. Chamber Executive Director Stephanie Edwards serves as board Secretary. Retiring this year after long-standing service, including as President, is Ken Fernandez of Old Cashiers Realty.

Returning directors are: Justin Allman of FireMoss Pottery; Tony Austin of Lake Toxaway Company; Debby Hattler of Sotheby’s International Realty Cashiers; Sarah Jennings of Lonesome Valley; Kathy Korb of Laurelwood Inn; Brandy Letson of Cashiers Village Pharmacy; Ashton Harris of Country Club of Sapphire Valley; Lec Hobbs of Highland Hiker/Cashiers; Wendy Lupas of Gracewear; and Donnie Shuey of Signal Ridge Marina. Previous president Malice Grant of Sounds Essential serves as a non-voting board member in her role as Chair of the Cashiers Area Legacy Fund.

New members to the Board include Eduardo Cruz of Eduardo’s Painting; Thomas Taulbee of Highlands-Cashiers Board of Realtors and Leadership Cashiers; and Dr. Don Tomas of Southwestern Community College.

“I sincerely appreciate the time and energy our Board contributes to ensure the success of the Chamber and look forward to supporting their efforts in the coming year,” said Edwards. The Board’s annual strategic session will be held in January.

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