By Brenda L. Holmes
Members of the Plainfield Chamber of Commerce came together this week to celebrate the organization's accomplishments.
Executive Director Brad DuBois welcomed members and their guests to the event at the Duke Energy Event Center in Metropolis. He offered a "state of the chamber" letter to members and gave an overview of how the organization is growing.
"Last year at this time we had 329 members," he said. "Today, we have 360 members. So we are moving forward and that comes from everyone working."
During the year, the chamber lost 41 members and gained 72 new members, so there was a net gain of 31.
"We believe that retention and attraction are keys to keeping the membership strong, and we are currently exploring ways to improve these numbers."
Chamber member Larry Paynter, owner/operator of the Coachman Restaurant, was given the Members Service Award by the chamber for his help in securing six new members.
"I can't say enough about Larry's contributions to the chamber," DuBois said. "He does an extraordinary job."
In 2012, the chamber started a small group called Excel. The idea came from a CEO roundtable sponsored by the Hendricks County Economic Development Partnership.
"This group is for Stage 1 companies," DuBois said. "They meet the first Wednesday of each month. The group is designed to help those business owners who often can't see the problems because they are too close."
The chamber has also recently developed a closer partnership with the Ambassadors from Plainfield High School. The group of students served as greeters at the dinner.
"They also helped us out during our golf event," DuBois said. "They do an extraordinary job. We want to better engage our youth so after they go to college they'll return to Plainfield to live, work, and play."
Social media is also playing a bigger role in communications for the chamber. The staff now has a Facebook page as well as several Twitter followers.
U.S. Congressman Mike Pence served as speaker for the annual dinner meeting. Pence asked the chamber members for their support in the upcoming election.
"Hoosiers are special," he said. "(Hoosiers) are the best people on Earth. Indiana can be the best place in America to build a business and go to school."
The Plainfield Chamber of Commerce is at 210 W. Main St., Plainfield, next to the Plainfield Municipal Building. Membership meetings are at 7:30 a.m. on the third Thursday of each month at the Plainfield Recreation and Aquatic Center.
For more information, call 839-3800 or visit the website at www.plainfield-in.com.