The second annual joint Marion-Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce banquet is Monday, Jan. 28, in the Marion Community Center Ballroom.
Cynthia Fleming, president of Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce, said she thinks it’s vital for small counties and communities to work together for the benefit of both.
“I believe working together on the annual meeting allows us to bring in quality speakers and gives us the opportunity to get to know our neighbors to the east better,” she said.
“It is also nice for the silent auction bringing in items from businesses in both communities.”
This year’s speaker, Don Macke, is director of Strategic Engagement and the Center’s project director for HomeTown Competitiveness, in partnership between Nebraska Community Foundation, the RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship and the Heartland Center for Leadership Development.
Clint Seibel, Hillsboro Chamber board member, said the relationship with Macke came through his involvement with Kansas Entrepreneurial Communities Initiative in which Hillsboro is a participant.
Macke, in a recent presentation, stressed the importance for residents in rural areas to become involved in community activities. He warned that many people wait too long to become involved.
In his joint Chamber message, Macke will talk about how critical it is to keep the high quality of life that will attract young people back to rural areas.
“Keeping the local school, grocery store, health clinic and other necessary community assets are critical,” he said, “because bringing them back once they have closed their doors is much more difficult.”
Macke said the current recession has offered opportunities for entrepreneurship for those who have lost their jobs.
“They might never have had the courage to go into business for themselves if they had continued to be comfortably employed,” he said.
Chamber board members from Marion and Hillsboro will contact businesses in the near future regarding this year’s banquet.
With comments favorable from Hillsboro and Marion at last year’s first joint meeting, organizers are hoping attendance will be even better this year.
Fleming said: “People said it was a very good meeting and they liked the idea of working together.
“Marion Chamber members supported the annual meeting last year by coming to Hillsboro, and I anticipate Hillsboro members will support it this year by traveling to Marion.”
For more information, e-mail Margo Yates, Marion Chamber of Commerce at: firstname.lastname@example.org or Pam Riesen, Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce, 620-947-3506 or e-mail: email@example.com.