Click here for our Weekly Newsletter 06302014
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The Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce held a Ribbon Cutting/New Member Welcome on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, for Grayco Welding & Fabrication. Grayco Welding & Fabrication is located at 3199 Howard Bush Drive, in Neosho. The owners are Tim & Rebecca Gray and Dustin Gray. They offer portable welding and repair services and specialize in aluminum and stainless steel shop fabrication. The business hours are Monday through Saturday 7am to 5pm. For more information call 417-850-6643 or website www.graycowelding.com.Chamber Members in attendance: Keisa Williams-Attorney, Rob Higginbotham-First Community Bank, Kevin Hatfield-Edward Jones, Alan Cook, Newton County Commission, Tim & Rebecca Gray-Grayco Welding & Fabrication, Val Castleberry, Bobby Gregg-Uncle Bob’s, -Neosho-Newton County Library, Tim Booyer-Booyer Welding, Robert Hargrave-ING Financial Partners, Lauri Lyerla-NACC.
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By Dave Horvath, Neosho Daily News
May 17. 2014 7:59PM
Lyerla to lead chamber
Strike the interim from her title.
Lauri Lyerla, who began duties as the interim executive director of the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce April 1, succeeding former chamber director Shana Griffin who resigned effective March 31, was tabbed by the board of directors Thursday to be the new leader of the association of Neosho area businesses, industries, agencies and organizations.
Eric Norris, chamber president, said the board of directors conducted a nationwide search for Griffin’s successor.
“We put it out on chamber websites. We had people apply from Texas and all around Missouri,” he said.
Of 10 applicants, Norris said the field was narrowed down to four candidates who were interviewed.
“Of those four,” he said, “we did have some that had chamber experience that were fairly local. But in the end, the knowledge that Lauri had gained in the two months of being our interim, and the progress that she had made, and she already comes with a love and passion for Neosho. She just stood out head and shoulders above the competition.”
Norris said the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce is headed in the right direction.
“And she is the one to take us there,” he said. “We have no doubt about that. She’s going to do great things for us.”
The chamber board of directors voted unanimously to accept the search committee recommendation to hire Lyerla for the executive director position.
“For a lifetime Lauri has volunteered and dedicated her time to help make Neosho great, now she has the opportunity and the platform to apply her passion and love for Neosho to chamber membership and activities,” Norris said in a prepared statement. “We know without a doubt that she is the best choice and we know that she is going to take our chamber to great heights.”
Lyerla said she is excited to have the opportunity.
“I love Neosho. I’ve grown up here and worked here my whole life. Our kids go to school here,” Lyerla said. “I‘ve always known the importance of the chamber in the community. We’ve always been a member and tried to be active in it. I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with businesses and organizations to try to make Neosho a better place to live, work and play.”
Lyerla said she was just looking at the interim role as just that when she took on the position two months ago.
“I was not in the market for a full-time job, but after the first week or so I knew that this was something that I could be passionate about and enjoy doing, so it was apparent to me quickly that I was interested in doing it full-time.”
Lyerla said now is a good time to look at what the chamber is doing that people like, and what can be done to make membership in the chamber better, “to be more effective in the work that we do, and offer our members more benefits.” She said there is an opportunity to do some new events and to jazz up current events.
“I thrive in an environment where I have a purpose and passion,” Lyerla said in a prepared statement. “I feel like this position and my skill-set are a perfect match and the opportunity for this position has come at the perfect time in my life. I am excited about what we can do for Neosho that will have a long lasting, positive effect for generations to come.”
Lyerla graduated from Neosho High School and earned her bachelor of science degree in management and marketing from Missouri Southern State University. She was the general manager and marketing director her family’s furniture and appliance store, Mills Park Centre, for 20 years until it closed in March 2013. Lauri and her husband Brad own Lyerla Sheet Metal Heating and Air Conditioning, LLC, and have two children, Kennedy, 17, and Cade 14.
Letter from President Eric Norris
Exciting Times Ahead!!!!!!!
The first half of 2014 has been one of many changes for the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce. With change comes excitement for our future!!
This year began with the financial and personnel separation of the Chamber from that of the Neosho Area Business and Industry Foundation. This separation was for organizational purposes. The Chamber and NABIFI enjoy a great working relationship and continue to support each other’s ventures. The Chamber has also partnered with the City of Neosho to further promote Neosho through activities that bring visitors to our town. The Chamber values all of our partnerships and is eager to work with any organization that shares the same common goals of furthering and promoting Neosho!
As many of you have already heard on Thursday, May 15th the Board of Directors unanimously voted to hire Lauri Lyerla as the new Executive Director of the Chamber. I speak on behalf of the entire Board when I express how excited we are to have Lauri take command of Chamber operations. Lauri has filled in as Interim Director since Shana Griffin’s resignation at the end of March. As Interim Director, Lauri worked hard to improve the chamber activities and communications and even went so far as to attend a chamber of commerce convention to expand her knowledge. Lauri takes the helm with one focus, and that is to improve this chamber and add value to our members. Chamber “business as usual” no longer exists. Lauri has a plan, a plan that will take a year or two to reach full implementation, but a plan that is going to bring excitement and an added value to each and every member.
Members will begin to see positive changes in our Chamber soon. Plans are to unveil a new user friendly, chamber website that will add many features that our membership can use to add value to their business. The Chamber Board moved Thursday to begin a new billing program that will allow for members to make monthly membership payments, either automatically or manually through a web based program. The Chamber Membership Taskforce is looking for ways to structure membership dues in order to build in more value for our members. Every program and activity that the Chamber controls will be examined and evaluated to discover needs for expansion or improvement. Each member will soon receive a survey asking for their input on areas where the Chamber could improve. I ask that each of you take the time to complete the survey honestly, as we truly want your feedback in order to provide you with the value that you expect.
The Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce has new life and new energy. I urge the entire membership to join us in our excitement as Lauri works to take us to new heights. If you have lost contact with the Chamber over the years, or felt like you and your business did not receive value from the Chamber, I urge you to contact Lauri and visit with her about what her plan is and what we can add to our plan to better serve you.
I would like to thank the Executive Board for the numerous meetings and extra time that this year has already demanded, and also to the Board for committing their time and willingness to think outside of the norm to make this Chamber better. These truly are exciting times for our Chamber and I am excited to see where we can go from here, I hope you can join us!
Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce
A Special Thanks to Steve Kenny and his staff at Red Carpet Real Estate for hosting another successful Business After Hours. Oriental House provided a yummy selection of food!