Maggie Chamber celebrates 50 years

By Jessi Stone Assistant editor | Aug 16, 2013
Teresa Smith, executive director of the Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce, accepts the Wade Reece Visionary Award.

Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 50th anniversary Tuesday with a dinner and installation ceremony at The Maggie Valley Club.

The theme for the event, “Looking back and Moving Maggie Forward,” started with a look back at the founding members of the Maggie Valley Chamber in 1963. Using historic photos from The Mountaineer archives, the photos highlighted the people who have made up the Maggie Valley Chamber family throughout the past 50 years and into today.

As the Maggie Valley Chamber moves into the future, it will embark on a new journey of “Moving Maggie Forward.” The Chamber revealed its strategies for implementation of the plan and handed out the action plan to all those in attendance.”

Teresa Smith, executive director of the Maggie Valley Chamber stated, “It is up to all of us to erect strong relationships within the business community, to reach out to others for support, to agree to work together for the greater good, and to stay focused on the task at hand.”  The Chamber is dedicated to move forward as they redefine and revitalize Maggie Valley as a better place to live, work, and play.”

The new board members were inducted to serve a three-year term were Joe Moody, president; Tammy Brown, secretary, and Mike Patel. Sonja Michels will serve a one-year term as well as Brad Pendley who will serve out the remainder of the term of James Carver. Carver was presented with a plaque in appreciation for his years of service to the Maggie Valley Chamber Board of Directors.

The Volunteer of the Year award was given to Matthew Carrick. Smith said Carrick, a 16-year-old high school student with special needs, has been a great help to her at the Chamber.

He is the son of Allen Allsbrook, owner of the Hearth and Home Inn.

“(Allen) came to me early summer to see if I knew of anything Matthew could do to volunteer,” Smith said. “With me being an one-man-operation at the Chamber, I said I could use help with sending out our Visitor Guides.”

The Chamber website generates daily “leads” of people asking for more information about Maggie Valley that are shared with the chamber membership. The members can contact the leads directly based on the criteria in the information request and each request is sent a Visitor Guide.

Smith said Matthew comes to the Chamber everyday with labels printed out to place on the guides, puts on the postage and then delivers them to the post office. He also has helped out at the Arts & Crafts Show and the WNC BBQ Festival.

Other awards included Business of the Year: Frankie’s Italian Trattoria; Event of the Year: The Popcorn Sutton Jam; Spirit of Maggie Award: “Miss Maggie” Dottie Rickman and Sabrina Wells and the Wade Reece Visionary Award given to Smith.

The Reece Family started the Wade Reece Visionary Award in 2006 after Wade’s unexpected death.

“Reece was a long time supporter of tourism in Maggie Valley and Haywood County, having served on both the TDA and Maggie Chamber Boards,” Smith said. “Wade was the driving force behind the town purchasing the property to create the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. He had the vision to build a stage on the property to host music events. Donations by the Reece family and the Town built the stage in his memory after his death.”

In conclusion, Smith said, “Over the past 50 years, Maggie Valley has gone through many changes and transitions. Thanks to the many folks who have made up the Chamber Family, the dedicated service of our Boards, and the visionaries of the future, the Maggie Valley Chamber will continue to celebrate year after year, will continue to change and continue to grow and Maggie Valley will continue to grow and prosper.”

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