Area Chamber of Commerce supports Missouri Main Street Connection

California Area Chamber of Commerce Board met Thursday, Oct. 11, with President Norris Gerhart calling the meeting to order.

Minutes from the September board meeting were reviewed and approved. The Treasurer's report was presented by Melissa Bonecutter and was approved by all.

A motion was made during old business by Bonecutter that the Chamber make a donation towards the Moniteau County Historical Society's new building. A representative from the Historical Society will be invited to attend the November meeting.  At that time a dollar amount will be decided. Dolores Burger seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

Gerhart made a recommendation the Chamber move forward in the process of placing signs on new Highway 50 right-of-way to welcome travelers to California. Brad Baer volunteered to chair the committee.  Dwight Sanders, Breck Summerford and Todd McCluskey volunteered to serve on this committee.

During new business Burger, chairperson of the Awards Committee, made a motion changes be made to the Business and Citizen of the Year criteria.  She recommended the Chamber Board Executive Secretary be added to the committee as a non-voting member.  She also recommended that the telephone number and e-mail address information be removed from the nominating forms.  Shelly Hampton seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

Past winners of the Business and Citizen of the Year awards will be made available on the Chamber website.  Burger made a motion the Chamber Board approve the Criteria for Selection for a Chamber Volunteer of the Year Award. Todd McCluskey seconded the motion.  After discussion and reading the criteria, the motion was approved.

Vickie Schroeder from California Progress, Inc. presented information regarding the Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC).  MMSC looks at assets and future goals of a community and helps that community polish what we already have.  They form committees to determine what changes need to be made and how to accomplish this.  They help with logistics for funding through government entities, grants, and local funding. Schroeder stressed the importance of the Chamber being involved and requested help with the needed funding to get started.  Bonecutter made a motion the chamber donate $750.  Brad Baer seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

During Committee reports Brad Baer, Chairperson of the Ozark Ham and Turkey Festival, reported the festival was a success.  Several new vendors were present this year and he thanked Hope Hoellering for her efforts in personally contacting these vendors.  The festival committee had a follow-up session on Oct.1 and reviewed what changes/updates could be made for 2013.  Baer reported there is always the need for more volunteers.  The committee determined the need for an Operating Procedures manual and instructed the Chamber Executive Secretary to pull this together.  The Festival committee will begin meeting the first Monday of each month starting in February 2013, at 5:30 p.m., in the Community Room at City Hall.

Chamber Annual Dinner

Doris Hardy will check the California Nutrition Center calendar to see if Saturday, Jan. 26, is available for the Annual Dinner.  Burger requested the help of the Board to call businesses seeking donations for the auction.  Those volunteering to help were: Hampton, Gerhart, Robin Ratcliff, Baer, Melanie McDonald, Bonecutter, Anthony Pope and Becky Lawson.  Bids will be let to Chamber member food providers for the dinner.  Burger also recommended the Chamber honor California volunteer fire fighters at this year's event.

Christmas California Style

The weekend of Nov. 30, Dec.1 and 2, will be Christmas California Style.  Local businesses are encouraged to host open houses and merchant discounts to encourage people to "Shop California."  The Christmas parade will be Saturday, Dec. 1, at 5 p.m.  Lineup starts at 4 p.m. at the swimming pool.  Christmas tree lighting, pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus and treats will be provided.  Location and entertainment will be announced at a later date.

The house decorating contest will be Dec. 13, 14 and 15 to allow residents more time to decorate.  Anyone wishing to be sure their home is judged should contact the Chamber office.

A list of businesses, not currently Chamber members, was distributed for updating.  The 2013 Chamber membership letters will be mailed by Nov.1.  There will be no change in membership dues.

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