Geneva chamber president excited about future

Published: Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013 2:00 a.m. CDT

GENEVA – The Geneva Chamber of Commerce had a great year, president Jean Gaines said this week in her annual state of the chamber report during an annual awards dinner this week.

Gaines reported on a series of successes, such as the Thursday night classic car show in July and August, held at the old courthouse parking lot, and a record number of ribbon cuttings, as well as great attendance at the Women in Business meetings.

“I’m also not going to mention the 500 volunteers who gave us the gift of time to run our events,” Gaines said. “Or the 100,000 tourism brochures that went out the door. I’m not even going to brag about the four festivals, which were outstanding this year. Two of them were named among the 100 Best Festivals in country. That would be Swedish Days and Festival of the Vine.”

Gaines said she was not so much reporting on the success of the past year as she was looking ahead for the chamber, including the new location for the Geneva Visitors Center, which will be celebrated Tuesday. The opening at 10 S. Third St. will include an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. and a ribbon cutting.

“We want to move forward. We don’t want to talk about the review; we want to talk about the preview of the things coming your way,” Gaines said. “The exciting thing coming next week is the Geneva Visitors Center. It looks a little grim right now in the picture, but on the 19th, it’s going to be alive with furniture and lighting and signage and amenities for the visitor.”

“I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you how important the visitor’s dollar is,” Gaines added. “That dollar accounts for 70 percent of our sales.”

The visitors center will have a conference room dedicated to Jamie Daniel. Now retired, Daniel started Micella Real Estate.

“This is in recognition for her contributions to the chamber and to the community,” Gaines said. “It will have a wide-screen TV, with all the wireless components and wall-mounted projector. ... I’m really excited we’ll be able to have a place to have our board meetings and invite the community at different times.”

The chamber also has gone “mobile,” for Fox Valley Values, allowing people to register a text at 223344 and get offers and coupons sent to mobile devices every other week. 

On Feb. 1, the chamber will introduce a new website, she said.

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Jan Schlictmann at a Geneva law firm.

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