Wasden talks with Lions, says Chamber growing

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 6, 2007

With more than a dozen new members, Greenville's fledgling Chamber of Commerce director believes her tenure at the organization has taken off with flying colors.

Francine Wasden shared highlights of her first few weeks at the helm of the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce (GACOC) with members of the Greenville Lions on Monday.

&#8220We have 13 new members and I am really proud of that. I believe we are headed in the right direction,” Wasden said.

The Monroeville native said she and husband Ray, who works for Camellia Communications, are &#8220so glad to be here in Greenville.”

&#8220We've been here slightly over a year. I've enjoyed my job over these last few weeks so much it just hasn't even felt like work yet,” Wasden told her listeners.

The new GACOC director said she had been visiting many businesses and encouraged all present to become a member &#8220whether your business is large or small.”

&#8220We also have several individuals who have joined and individual memberships are certainly always welcome.”

Wasden said she hopes to carry on the proud tradition of the Chamber, which was founded over 60 years ago on October 27, 1941.

&#8220Just a few of those who helped start the organization were J.P. Beeland, R.M. Watts, A.T. Watson, and H.E. Cheatham. There's lots of history here, a lot to be proud of, and I know those names are familiar and special to many of you,” Wasden said.

She reminded those present the organization does more than promote local businesses.

&#8220We also help newcomers to the area. We give out many, many maps and packets of information and answer a lot of questions about this city.”

Wasden said the Chamber also wants to work more closely with Greenville

Main Street and area realtors in promoting the city and assisting prospective companies, businesses and residents.

&#8220We've also just had an interesting experience selecting our Chamber Pages and Camellia Girls. We would love to see these young people become a greater part of the community, beyond simply serving as our hosts and hostesses,” Wasden said.

The director said the group of 10th through 12th graders would be attending a tourism conference in the Capitol City in July where they will be promoting the Camellia


&#8220We also would like to see our civic club leaders get together on a regular basis and share their upcoming plans,” Wasden said.

With several upcoming events on the books for the GACOC, including an &#8220After Hours” at Cambrian Ridge on June 14 and &#8220Celebrate America!” on June 30 at Tiger Stadium, &#8220we have many opportunities to promote and build up our community and organization,” Wasden said.