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Two chamber officers moved up

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By Dave Bell

Members of the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce heard about changes in two officer positions and were informed about the planned installation of a new LED message board at the organization’s office on North Fifth Street at last Wednesday’s monthly meeting.

The officer changes occurred because of the departure of secretary Trent West. Former treasurer John Ashdown will move up into the secretary position, and board member Todd Stapleton will serve as the new treasurer.
Executive Director Shannon Craycroft said that the chamber’s new membership structure has apparently confused some members, as several haven’t renewed this year. She said that 86 members have renewed, but 44 previous members are still outstanding. She encouraged those who have not renewed to call the office if they have questions about how the new structure works.
She also noted that she has been revamping the chamber’s website, and that the redesigned site will be rolled out soon.
Funds have been received to finance both of the $500 scholarships that the chamber awards each spring, she said. Applications are being accepted (one from graduating high school students and one from non-traditional students), and the scholarships will be awarded this spring.
Ashdown said that the organization’s new LED message board had arrived, and was to be installed last Friday. The 4-foot-by-12-foot board will replace the previous board, which used incandescent light bulbs. It will be used to advertise events coming up in the community.
President Greg Starnes invited members to share their ideas to improve the chamber and increase the benefits to the members.
“We want to continue to improve the chamber, and we need your ideas,” he said.
June Mahon gave the monthly visitors report for the Tourist Information Center. During March, she said, the center had 88 visitors, representing seven states and Canada.
The program for the meeting was Jodi Schoen, a worksite wellness contractor for the South-Central Illinois Health Coalition. She explained a new wellness program is available to businesses, called “We Choose Health.”
“Most businesses are trying to do something to help their employees become healthier,” Schoen said.
“It isn’t a luxury anymore; these types of programs can have a big impact on businesses.”
She said that businesses, by focusing on programs to improve their employees’ health, can enhance productivity, reduce absenteeism and improve morale.
“I’m available to come to your workplace to talk about improving the health of your employees,” she said. “We want to lower your healthcare costs.”
The program is funded by a three-year grant from the Center for Disease Control and the Illinois Department of Public Health. There is no cost to participating businesses.
The group will sponsor a Worksite Wellness Forum on June 18 at the Rolland Lewis Community Building in Mt. Vernon from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. It is called “The Transforming Climate of Worksite Wellness.”
The symposium includes several speakers on wellness, a panel discussion of success stories and a luncheon.
Interested businesses should contact Schoen at jodischoen@yahoo.com, or by calling 217-710-1165.
“Worksite wellness is a win-win situation for employers, employees and communities,” Schoen said. “These types of programs can have a big impact on businesses.”