Chamber holds installation banquet

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By Jim Clark

The Williston Area Chamber of Commerce installed its officers and directors last Friday in a ceremony held at Williston Crossings RV Resort's new clubhouse.

Justin Head took over as president for Steve McMillen, while Earl Ogle is Vice President, Christie Eveland is treasurer and Jim Smith is secretary.

Other directors are Lloyd Goodnow, Kim McLane, Jackie Price, Cathy Robinson and Jill Tinney.

First up was speaker Kenneth A. Schwiebert, chairman of the Community Redevelopment Agency. He spoke about the projects that the CRA is undertaking, and noted that downtown businesses that were worth $21 million in 2002 are worth $39 million now.

He described how work has been done on architectural guidelines, and how they didn't want Williston to become another "Generica."

McMillen, as outgoing president, gave his year in review, describing the events that the Chamber ran during the past year, noting changes in the Fourth of July festival that made the booths look like "a condensed version of Williston" as local people took part.

Afteward, Judge Joseph Smith stepped up to perform the installation.

"I love Williston, it's my kind of town," he told the crowd. "We need vision, effort and willingness ... that's what the Chamber does."

He also said that there is lots of construction going on in Williston and commented about the RV resort, "I'm bowled over by this facility."

He also referred to the story in last week's Williston Pioneer Sun News about changes coming to downtown.

He used a "construction" theme to install the officers.

Head, the new president, came up with the theme "Participate in '08" for his year at the helm as he urged everyone to take part in the Chamber activities.

Individual honors went to Williston Crossings as the Business of the Year, owners Bill and Denise Martin.

New Business of the Year went to Williston Business Plaza (McMillen's venture), and Jim Smith was Director of the Year.

Plaques were presented to all of the above, and McMillen also received a plaque for his service as president.

The Chamber also honored Executive Director Mary Kline and volunteer Eva Plummer for their work in the office.

The dinner was catered by the Woman's Club, and music was provided by Just The Two Of Us. Guests parked their vehicles off site and were given a trolley ride to the dinner by the resort.