The St. Francisville Area Chamber of Commerce has changed its name to the West Feliciana Chamber of Commerce to include the parish as a whole, according to Chamber Director Kerry Everitt.
On Jan. 21, Everitt and the Chamber’s board of directors celebrated the new name, a new logo and membership campaign by welcoming members and guests to the annual meeting at The Carriage House in St. Francisville, where four new board members were also elected.
“The year 2015 was a time of rebuilding for the Chamber,” Everitt said. “Our strategic planning process brought many changes, including a new name and a new logo. We think they are important to launch us into 2016 with a clear focus on our mission — to strengthen business vitality in the West Feliciana community.”
Created by graphic designer Anna Macedo, the new Chamber logo was created with several key attributes of both the Chamber and Parish in mind, Everitt said.
The color green in the logo represents prosperity; the oak tree symbolizes stability, growth and balance; the flowing river, acceleration and energy; and the sunburst is for a vibrant community and bright future.
Everitt said a membership campaign looks to increase the Chamber’s membership by welcoming both businesses and residents.
“We hope to see new members join and other businesses return to the Chamber. Last year, we hit 99 members, and our goal is to surpass that number in 2016,” Everitt said.
After middle school student Anne-Claire Alberstadt sang the national anthem, keynote speaker state Rep. Kenny Havard, District 62, a Jackson native and St. Francisville resident, provided a stark assessment of what the Louisiana Legislature and Gov. John Bel Edwards will face in upcoming regular and special sessions.
Havard said the state faces a $750 million revenue shortfall this year and a $1.9 billion deficit for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Only about $2 billion of the state’s roughly $25 billion budget is not dedicated as mandated by the Louisiana Constitution, making it hard for legislators to move money around to fill gaps, he said.
“We have to decide where we can prioritize,” Havard said. “We have to open up and lay everything on the table to see where we can prioritize and do what’s best for Louisiana.”
Following Havard’s talk, four new members were elected to the Chamber Board: Aimee Cook, vice president of credit and internal auditor for the Bank of St. Francisville; Missy Couhig, co-owner and manager of The Conundrum Bookstore; Glinda David, human resources officer at Audubon Market; and Frank Farmer, owner and president of Legacy Chemical Corporation.
In addition, Chamber Board President Richard Kendrick introduced his board appointee, Caitlin Daniel, a real estate agent with Daniel & Daniel Properties.
The newly elected members will join those elected at the 2015 meeting: Howard Arceneaux, freelance journalist; Linda Coats, administrative assistant, Magnolia Full Gospel Baptist Church; Zed Howell, owner-founder, Howell Foundry; Linda Jenkins, owner, Femme Fatale and La Vie boutiques; Stacie Nwabueze, administrator, Nwabueze Clinic; and Jessica Cremer, purchasing manager, Hood Container.
To join the West Feliciana Chamber of Commerce, email firstname.lastname@example.org for a membership packet.
Editor’s Note: This story was changed on Jan. 28 to correct Jessica Cremer name and the name of the company she represented.