Chamber’s wins discussed at annual meeting

Published 8:32 pm Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Organization welcomed 112 new members in past year
By Angela Cutrer

The Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting May 17 discussed the many events that occurred during the last year. The meeting was held at the Inn at Ole Miss.

The chamber’s wrap-up lunch included reviewing the past year’s accomplishments. The chamber’s executive committee was acknowledged, including Chair Lolita Gregory with the University of Mississippi, Chairman-Elect Jason Plunk with Bullseye 95.5, vice chairman Tony Deal with Deal’s Auto Repair, incoming vice chair Sharon Grace with Grace Realty, treasurer Joel Reeves with MR Construction, past chairman Quinton Brewer with Paragon Bank and the chamber’s senior vice president Pam Swain.

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Brad Mayo with Beech Tree Wealth Management is the chairman of the Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation.

Swain gave a year-end report of many of the chamber activities. She reported that the nonprofit has had more than 3,000 events in the past year; the estimated impact in total attendees numbered close to 20,000; there were 32 ribbon cuttings; the total number of social media followers – 19,138 – is a 15
percent increase this last year; and the chamber had 10 after-hours events, 10 of which gave more than 1,000 people a chance to network and meet new people each month.

The chamber also hosted a weekly radio show and the EDF sponsored a weekly economic hour on the radio. The 2nd Annual Shop Oxford Holiday Open House kicked off the holiday season before Black Friday, with 33 participating retailers; 275 shopping bags and 120 T-shirts given away.

The chamber welcomed 112 new members in the last year, bringing new-member revenue to close to $50,000; there were 610 renewals, bringing the group up to 715 total members; 5 percent of the chamber members have been members since 1989; and Lafayette had 25 in class participating in nine sessions, with more than 50 speakers and 30 locations. New sponsors included GreenPro and Oxford Septic.

Junior Leadership 2023 graduated 29 from OHS Regents and Lafayette, and new sponsor Roberts Wilson joined up. The 26th Annual Double Decker Spring Run was record breaking with 1,762 runners from 26 states across the county and more than 100 volunteers coming together to make it all happen.

The Eggs and Issues events had more than 100 attendees and the Christmas Cocktail Party was the largest to date. The chamber created a new calendar of chamber and EDF events for subscription, transitioned to a new membership database, hosted 18 Young Professional Community Networking events, led four nonprofit donation drives, hosted an inaugural First Responder Appreciation Night and partnered with the Oxford Eagle for 2nd Annual Top 20 Under 40 Celebration.

The chamber and the Economic Development Foundation are nonprofits, with budgets made up solely on membership dues, registration fees for programs and events and sponsorships.