KEYSER - The board of the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce has taken steps in the past few weeks which they feel will move the chamber and affiliated visitor's bureau in a brand new direction and help Mineral County as a whole move into a more positive, productive future.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - The board of the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce has taken steps in the past few weeks which they feel will move the chamber and affiliated visitor’s bureau in a brand new direction and help Mineral County as a whole move into a more positive, productive future.
In those weeks, John Lecky of the Blackrock Resort on Green Mountain has assumed the role as interim president of the board, and Anne Palmer, executive director, has announced her intention to resign and return home to Kentucky some time next year following the conclusion of Mineral County Day in January.
Furthermore, Lecky and Palmer told the News Tribune this week that they, and the members of the current board, have agreed upon the following four actions:
1. “First, and above all else, we are stepping up to acknowledge and offer sincerest appreciation for the 22 years of the dedicated service of Anne Palmer to Mineral County through her role as executive director of the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce / Mineral County Convention and Visitors' Bureau. The balance of 2017 through Mineral County Day in Charleston 2018 will be a celebration of her faithful service;
2.  “We are announcing Anne's intention of return to her ‘Old Kentucky Home’ in the coming months (the details of which will be decided by the board president and Anne, and announced by the end of the first quarter of 2018); consequently, it is our intention to learn everything possible from Anne of her experience here prior to her departure, to help make her transition as easy and pleasurable as possible, and to prepare for the operation of the Chamber / CVB without Anne here; and, we are asking Anne to focus her primary attention on creating the best Mineral County Day on record;
3. “We have extended current board membership and executive board leadership by one year, until Dec. 31, 2018, with nominations and elections for 2019 board service and leadership to take place no later than Oct. 31, 2018, and;
4.  “As of Nov. 1, 2017, the board is focusing attention on the future of the organization by commencing a 12-month review and update study of the organization, to be completed by Oct. 31, 2018.”
Lecky explained that the task force which will spearhead that study is to be appointed by him and will consist  of “current executive board members, county leadership, county business leadership representing all major commercial regions of the county, and selected individuals, to conduct a process that is research based, inviting of cross-county community input, forward-thinking, and productive of documentation appropriate to advance the structure, leadership, and operation of the Chamber and CVB going forward into a 2020 plan of action.”
Calling 2018 a “year of transition and reformation for the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors’ Bureau,” Lecky expects that a year from now the study will be completed, and a general outline of the 2020 plan of action for the chamber of CVB will be developed and in place.
The chamber will have a new board made up of at least 12 members and those members will represent a geographic cross section of the county - representing Keyser, Elk Garden, Burlington, Ridgeley, Short Gap, and Fort Ashby - and those members will be in charge of “one essential function of the organization as his or her leadership responsibility.”
The board will also launch a search for a new executive director.
NEXT: How Lecky plans to incorporate West Virginia Wellness into the chamber’s plans.