ELK GARDEN - The first of the Transitioning Mineral County Chamber of Commerce district meetings took place in Elk Garden Sunday evening, Jan. 21, at the town hall.

For the News Tribune
ELK GARDEN - The first of the Transitioning Mineral County Chamber of Commerce district meetings took place in Elk Garden Sunday evening, Jan. 21, at the town hall.
Mayor Marian Droppleman called together local businesses and the town council to receive a welcome to participate in the new transitioning period of the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce / Convention and Visitors’ Bureau by interim president John Lecky.
County Commission president Jerry Whisner was also present to endorse the county-wide initiative of the chamber, indicating “this can do much to bring our county together.”
Lecky likened the current process to a winning football game strategy. First the Chamber will “go wide” into all parts of the county, seeking teamwork with all players in the county economy, welcoming all new ideas in the meetings.
The process will then “go long,” as in long-term strategy, to offer programming for the economic wellbeing of kids, cultivating younger board membership, and building long-term organizational sustainability.
This review and update process will “go deep” to examine the appropriate purpose of a chamber and CVB in Mineral County, looking especially at its capacity to bring diverse county residents together around the common center of love of country, county, faith, and family.
As in football, players “go for the goals;” Lecky said persons in this new chamber process must decide what goals are timely, realistic, attainable, measurable, and have a clear and certain positive impact in people’s lives.
And as all players “go for the win” in the game, in this case the win for the community team means overcoming dark elements that draw down the well-being of the community, such as drug dependence, joblessness, poverty, illness, and depression.
Lecky circulated a list of West Virginia strengths of the community, with the charge to “play to our strengths, serving together on a field where the plays are illumined by our common commitment to the Light.”
Group discussion centered around Elk Garden interests in inclusion in Mineral County affairs, with residents expressing dissatisfaction with feeling of being left out of numerous county-wide considerations.
Geographic location, diverse circumstances, old and inaccurate perceptions, the lack of interaction and knowledge about Elk Garden were discussed with action items to address these matters to be rolled out at the next opportunity to meet together on Feb. 2, from 4-6 p.m. at the monthly Friday fire hall dinner.
More things for kids to do, more intra-county connectivity, a greater focus on grant-writing, more media-based awareness of business and community assets were among the follow-up items to be addressed.
One immediate outcome of the meeting will be adopted by the chamber as suggested by Mayor Droppleman: the creation and distribution of Chamber County District Information Whitepapers that give one page significant information about each of the seven districts of the Chamber: Elk Garden and The Highlands Communities; Piedmont; The Ridgeley, Carpendale, Wiley Ford area; Fort Ashby, Short Gap, and Frankfort District; Burlington, Knobley, Antioch; New Creek, South Keyser; and Downtown Keyser.
Businesses represented Sunday along with council persons included Mountain Top Sports; Storm Mountain Training; The Garage on Route 50; J & H Towing; Wise Guys Stone; Green Mountain Stone, and The Blackrock Resort.
The recent Mineral County Day in Charleston was highlighted with high praise for its progress this year, with 76 people from the county participating.
Newspapers showcasing the Charleston activities were distributed. The chamber decision to transition this program from a fall-January focus to a year-long program was noted along with gratitude for the faithful service of executive director Anne Palmer’s 18-year long Mineral County Day leadership.
Anne continues to advise the committee for its 2019 plans and aid the chamber in office transition in her new half-time role since completing Mineral County Day, while she prepares to move to her old Kentucky home.
More details can be found on the Elk Garden meeting by emailing Mayor Droppleman at mardrop49@yahoo.com or by calling John Lecky on 304-790-0947.