By ELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times
Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rozelle Webb talks about some past Chamber projects and gives a preview of some upcoming projects throughout the community
Q: Liberal just put another Chamber Bash in the books, how do you feel everything went that evening?
A: We are very pleased with the Bash this year. We had more corporate tables, and the businesses all did an awesome job of decorating them. Everyone seemed to enjoy the evening and had lots of laughs with our entertainer, Don Friesen. Dana Hibbs, our Events Committee chair, and the entire Events Committee did an outstanding job ensuring everything went as planned.
Q: Does that give staff an idea of how the Chamber will be planning for next year’s Bash event?
A: Planning the Bash is a different experience each year as we try to make each year unique by selecting a different theme, entertainer and changing things up. We will begin planning our 2018 Bash in a few weeks, and we’re excited to see what it will bring.
Q: What are some projects the Chamber of Commerce is working on at the moment for the community?
A: Through our Legislative Committee, we have been hosting community meetings with different local entities so our folks can learn more about their challenges, successes and future plans. We have hosted the State of the City Address and two community meetings featuring Southwest Medical Center and Seward County. We have two more community meetings planned, with Seward County Community College March 23, and USD 480 March 30. We invite everyone interested in learning about these groups to come to the Depot at 5:30 p.m. the next two Thursdays this month.
Q: What are some future projects the Chamber will be undertaking that the community should know about?
A: We have many projects coming up. The Chamber will be hosting the Liberal High School Awards banquet April 6, and this is a very exciting evening for our high school seniors as they are awarded thousands of dollars in scholarship by local civic groups and organizations.
The Cinco de Mayo celebration is currently being planned for May 6 and 7. It will include a Cinco de Mayo Queen contest, a parade and a festival at the Activity Center. Everyone is invited to attend the celebration, and money raised during this event goes towards scholarship for our local students.
We will also be having Merrill Eisenhower Atwater, great-grandson of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, speak at the Depot April 13. He is the Aviation Director for KDOT, and will be speaking on aviation and drones. He will also visit his namesake, Eisenhower Middle School, while he is in Liberal.
Q: What are you most excited about regarding these projects?
A: I think the Cinco de Mayo celebration will be very awesome this year because it is a community celebration and brings people together. The parade is always very well attended, and it is fun to meet all the people who come out to enjoy the festivities at the Activity Center.
Q: Why would you say the Chamber of Commerce is so important for the Liberal community?
A: When someone has a question about Liberal or what is happening in Liberal, they call the chamber office. Whether they live in Liberal or in Kansas or somewhere else in the U.S., they know they can find the answer to their questions by calling the chamber. That is why it is so important for everyone to let us know the details of their events so we can relay the information to others. We received phone calls weeks in advance asking about events like the fair, Pancake Day, Bazaar Days, the Christmas parade and many more, and we are happy to pass your information along to those inquiring people.
Our main mission, of course, is to help our local businesses succeed. We plan events that will in some way be a benefit to our businesses. Legislative Coffees, seminars, awards, our web site, our Bash and Duck Festival all help our businesses in some way.
Q: What would you say to encourage community members to become Chamber Ambassadors or get involved with the Chamber in some other way?
A: Joining our Chamber Ambassadors and being active in the chamber is a great way to network and meet other local business people. You can expand your customer base and learn business tips by meeting fellow business owners, managers and employees.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add or anything else you think would be relevant for me to put?
A: I have always said that Liberal has the most friendly people who care about their community. I appreciate all the people who volunteer in so many different ways to help make this a great place to live and do business