Farmville Chamber announces new leadership

Published 7:42 am Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Farmville Chamber of Commerce has announced changes to its executive team. Chris Brochon will serve as Chamber Board of Directors chair along with Ilsa Loeser, vice chair, and Cam Patterson, secretary. Brochon follows Brad Watson as the board chair.

“My No. 1 goal when I became chair two years ago was to make the Chamber a relevant and important part of the community,” Watson commented at a recent Chamber lunch. “Something must be working. The Chamber has added 74 new members in the past two years, held two New Year’s Eve Eve and Chamber Awards celebrations, initiated the Holiday House Tour and held its first Leadership Farmville Youth Summit.”

Watson noted that the Chamber continues to follow a mission statement created 70 years ago: Since 1948, the Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce has strived to improve the lives of those living and doing business in our community. Alongside our members, we provide educational initiatives, promote tourism, serve as advocates for local businesses, and seek opportunities to aid a diverse and growing population.

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One recent Chamber effort to better serve a growing community is the practice of making a donation to a nonprofit member each time a Chamber fundraiser is held.

“At this year’s Chamber golf tournament we raised $18,000,” Watson said. “A portion of that money was given to FACES shortly after its facility was flooded — a time when money was really needed.”

Other recipients of Chamber donations over the past two years were Habitat for Humanity and the Heart of Virginia Free Clinic. Chamber Executive Director Joy Stump commented on Watson’s contributions to the Chamber.

“I am filled with gratitude for the past two years that I’ve worked with Brad Watson as board chair,” Stump said. “Brad helped me with staffing and made our team stronger than ever. He brought excitement and credibility to the Chamber and was a wonderful support to me. The Chamber has moved forward in an extremely positive way under his leadership.”

Stump is enthusiastic about the future of Farmville’s Chamber. “We are extremely fortunate to have Chris Brochon taking the helm,” she said. “He has a vision for the Chamber and commitment to our community that will carry on our momentum. Chris has exciting new ideas, and with his direction, we will only grow stronger.”

“I am excited to work with such a great group of people and continue the progress for area businesses that Brad’s leadership put into place,” Brochon said. “Our area has many public service groups that do wonderful things; the hub that brings all these groups together is the Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber includes members of Rotary, Jaycees, Downtown Partnership and others. This interaction between what all the individual groups are doing allows for the sharing of information and a crossover of helping-hands from one group to another that can only make things better.”