Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

November 17, 2012

Chamber looks at what’s next

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — A group of volunteers are now taking a long look at what’s next for the future of Pauls Valley’s chamber of commerce.

Some very tough financial times for the local chamber now has its leadership looking at things needed to keep the community oriented organization strong.

That means some adjustments and changes are likely on the way as chamber board members will in the coming weeks and months be looking at a possible restructuring of the organization.

In fact, chamber President Della Wilson told the board this week they need to look at figuring out maybe a new direction or role for the local chamber.

“We need to figure out what’s our purpose, get refocused and realign our priorities,” Wilson said during the meeting.

“We have to realign ourselves financially,” she said. “The chamber’s financial status is not as strong as its been in the past. In fact, it’s very weak. It needs to be rebuilt, and that’s what we’re doing.

“We’re at a very vulnerable point right now.”

No specifics have been released on the chamber’s financial situation, but Wilson continued to stress some type of changes are needed.

“It’s not that our committees or our people are weak; they’re strong,” she said. “It’s our finances that are weak.

“Sometimes what makes you weak can make you stronger. By finding our weak spots we can make them strong or eliminate them altogether.”

For now it’s also uncertain the exact things needed to get the chamber’s finances back on track.

“The plan is not completely known yet. With the talent in this room we will figure it out. We will get stronger,” Wilson said.

Part of the restructuring has already started as some of the chamber’s tourism or economic development related work is being transferred to the city of Pauls Valley, such as the planning for next month’s Parade of Lights holiday event in the downtown.

“We can’t continue to support what we can’t afford,” Wilson said. “We’ve got to make ourselves as lean as we possibly can.

“It’s not that we’re going to drop these things in their lap,” she said referring to the city and its tourism director Erin Creach.

“I will assist with the transfer of these things and make it as seamless as possible.”