Chamber looks to refocus

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The election of Hayden Chamber of Commerce officers is on hold until a committee can formulate goals for the troubled organization.

"Our efforts to clarify and define the responsibilities of a more typical Chamber of Commerce is a radical change to our town, with a lot at stake," former Chamber president Lana McFadden said. "We, as a board, took that risk -- to form a more business-serving Chamber."

Hayden Town Manager Russ Martin met with McFadden, Vicki Morgan and Pamm McFadden on Friday to discuss the future of the Chamber. They discussed forming a steering committee that would focus on rallying support and ideas from Chamber members.

"Hopefully we can get some businesses more interested," Martin said.

Martin said the steering committee likely will spend the next few months coming up with ideas for how to restructure the Chamber.

Chamber officials told the Town Board on March 9 that they needed time to restructure the organization. They also asked that events typically organized by the Chamber be handed off to other committees and organizations.

"With event planning being a major part of the board's energy, time and dollars, and with limited resources, there was no energy or time left in the day to work on getting the Chamber into its new and more universally known role of actually serving its members," Chamber steering committee member Pamm McFadden said.

Martin offered to help the group find volunteers for accounting and administrative duties.

"As self-employed people, it is difficult for the three of us to take time from our families and paying clients to do this amount of volunteer work," said Morgan, who said she was thankful for Martin's assistance. "The Chamber responsibilities are nearly a full-time job and should be shared with other members."

Lana McFadden said the Chamber needs to refocus.

"We have grown beyond pre-existing boundaries and need to focus on delivering our town's best qualities to the outside communities in a tangible manner." Lana McFadden said. "A formal packet displaying information from all facets of the community is what the Chamber needs to invest in."

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