Good afternoon everyone,
Welcome to our first meeting event of 2019.
Thank you all for being here!

Mayor Holland and Village Board members, it's good to see you today and as always our Chamber appreciates your continued support.

I would like to acknowledge and thank our Executive Director, Marianne Melcher and our wonderful office staff that represents us so well every business day.
I hope you had a Successful and prosperous Holiday Season.
If you were Rich Rappold on New Year's Day – It was a special day! Because Rich could celebrate the end of 2018, and his year as our 2018 Chamber President and reflect on a job well done!
As President, much of your time is invested in this organization and trying to keep it all going. Rich, I and our Chamber want to thank you and all of 2018 board members who served and put fourth their best effort on behalf our membership, volunteers, and community.
We thank you for your service, leadership and effort. Please accept this small token of our appreciation.

Thank you again to Rich and our 2018 Board.

Well its 2019!
And it is again, an honor and a pleasure for me to serve as the 2019 President of the Frankfort Chamber of Commerce. I am looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and meeting lots of new members in the coming months. 
Over the past couple of weeks I have had the opportunity to meet with almost all of the Board and they too, are looking forward to 2019.

Over the past years the Chamber has done a great job of growing the membership and continuing the successful programs that have worked well and have continued to be strong.
As in any business, as markets and customer needs and preferences change, business must adapt and be open to new ideas and change to stay viable for the future.
One of the goals for 2019 is to revisit what the needs of our Chamber membership are , how we as an organization can meet those needs and challenges and what we will need to do over the next couple of years to give our membership value to help grow business in the Frankfort/Lincoln-way area.
In 2019, I would like to see us achieve greater participation at some of our networking events.
We have known for a long time that when we unite and connect, business grows and we as business professionals grow as well!
With well over 600+ members and over 400 representing Frankfort, we have a lot to share but it can't happen unless we connect.

Each Labor Day, our biggest event, The Frankfort Fall Festival transforms the historic district into an award winning festival of arts and crafts, entertainment and enjoyment for young and old. This would not be possible without the dedicated Volunteers, the Support of our Mayor and Village Board and our Police a Fire Depts. Our 2019 Festival will be co-chaired and in the very capable hands of Julie Cantrell and John Clavio. Thank you to both of you for rising to the Challenge and to all of your volunteers that have repeatedly given up their Labor day for the benefit of not only the Fest, but all who benefit from their efforts. We look forward to working with everyone in 2019.

When the nominating committee asked if I would be willing to serve as President I was honored, apprehensive and not sure if I could make a difference. Then I was truly humbled by the some of the members and friends of the Chamber that took time to phone me in November and strongly encourage me to serve as the 2019 President. And as a result here I am. As I said earlier, times change, what worked in the past may not work today. When I had the honor of serving as President in 1992 and again in 2010, things were different and it's now 2019. But there are a few things that have not changed, my passion for the Chamber, Frankfort and Business. I assure you that I will give this my best shot. However, I am one and we are many. So please get involved.

Which is why I am excited about the outstanding business professionals that make up our 2019 Board of Directors. I am confident they will provide leadership to move us forward in 2019.

While the board has a responsibility to provide its leadership for the benefit of all, we must never lose sight of the fact that the Chamber is about you, our membership, our volunteers, our business community and our Frankfort Community.

So in 2019 I look forward to meeting you, being there to hear your idea, or concern but most important hear about what makes you passionate about your business, the Chamber, our Frankfort Community. In 2019 my challenge for you is - lets invest in our Chamber Membership and attend an event, Volunteer and grow our business in 2019. And most importantly, Lets have some fun doing it. I'll look forward to working with you throughout this year! Make it a Great 2019!

Thank you.

Now it is a pleasure to welcome Mayor Jim Holland to present an update on what is happening and what's new on the horizon in Frankfort for 2019.