The occasion was the organization's annual banquet held at Old Beau Golf and Country Club at Roaring Gap.
Outgoing chairman, Robin Turner noted successes of the annual wine and pumpkin festivals and hosting of CycleNC, an event that brought thousands of bicyclists to Elkin for a day. "I am so proud of what our members, staff and Board of Directors have accomplished during the past year," Turner said.
Two signature events of the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce are the Wine Festival and the Pumpkin Festival. "Both enjoyed a very successful year in 2007. According to the Economic Impact Data Report complied by the North Carolina State University Recreation Resources Services, The Wine Festival had a total economic impact of more than $641,000 on our area."
Chamber officials see that amount growing for 2008 thanks to a recent tourism marketing grant from the N.C. Department of Commerce. "The monies will be used to purchase commercials for the Wine Festival on the Weather Channel in the Raleigh Durham Market," she said.
The 11th annual Pumpkin Festival was also deemed a success by the festival vendors and the downtown merchants, she said. "Many noted that the Saturday of the Pumpkin Festival was one of their best sales days ever. We even have bragging rights from the Great Pumpkin Weigh-off.
A new project for the Chamber in 2007 was hosting the first leg of the Cycle NC "Mountains to the Seas" Bike Ride. "Many of our members opened their businesses on Sunday and other extended their hours to accommodate our visitors. The Elkin Municipal Park was a perfect site for their camp, and I publicly want to thank the Elkin commissioners for allowing the Chamber and Cycle North Carolina to use the park.
Other accomplishments include the 20th anniversary celebration that was held in the spring, a newly designed, user-friendly website, a Meet the Candidates Forum for Elkin Town Commissioners and the "Go Get-em" Membership committee garnered 32 new members for the chamber in 2007.
"Just this year we have created a tourism-oriented website for the area, the first official Yadkin Valley Tourism Guide and have established a toll-free number, 877-SAVOR YV. We are also working with the Jonesville Tourism Authority as they prepare to open the new welcome center right off exit 82 in the spring.
The new chairman of the chamber board, Mike Hester, the distribution center manager for West Point Home talked about the future.
"We already have several news programs, services and events in place for 2008, and I predict there will be even more on the horizon. One new project I am particularly proud of is the new Membership Directory and Buyers Guide. Chamber staff members Laurette Leagon and Misty Matthews literally spent months working on the editorial content, photos and member listings.
A new event for this year is coming up Saturday. It's the first ever Yadkin Valley Winter Wine Shop. A dozen Yadkin Valley Wineries and Vineyards will participate as well as local crafters from the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild, the Candle Corp., Yadkin Valley General Store and others.
Hester asked the chamber members to stop by the Winter Wine Shop at the Holiday Inn Express in Jonesville between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. for some holiday shopping and support our chamber members.
Awards were also presented. It's now time for our Awards presentation. Our first award is the Education Excellence Award and it will be presented by Chamber Board member Dennis Lowe, the Director of the Surry Community College Small Business Center and Occupational Programs.