Opinion — A look back as we look forward

Published 5:40 pm Friday, March 18, 2022

Greetings to our Buckingham Chamber future and present members and supporters. 

We have kicked off 2022 with a bang. During our March Chamber meeting, we welcomed three new Chamber Directors to our Board of Directors: Justin Midkiff, Amy White and Brenda Jones. All are active in our community and are well respected. We had a large crowd, and Karl Carter, the county administrator, who was our guest speaker, discussed many projects the county has undertaken in the last year.

Looking back, the year 2021 was, overall, more successful than 2020 in that the Chamber was able to serve the needs and interests to promote our businesses and members. And, this was in keeping our annual membership fee at $35.

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We continued to meet in person mostly despite the pandemic, providing speakers and a meal and lots of information sharing. Last year, a lot of scheduling and rescheduling took place in that we moved our Annual Awards Banquet to spring due to COVID-19 restrictions, delayed our Super Bake Sale–which was quite successful, continued to recognize winners of the Community Pride Award and Business of the Month Award, and actually gained new Board Members and General Members, all of whom we are so thankful for.

Also, we worked with the Town of Dillwyn to re-start the Downtown Trick-or-Treating Event, which drew hundreds of ghouls, superheroes and princesses. Our Annual Photo Contest, held in May, was outstanding, netting just shy of 50 photos; the winning photos were displayed at the new county library.

Our Civic Sign project moved forward in a robust way with the great help of the St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary and The Buckingham-Dillwyn Garden Club. Director Ruth Lyle also was instrumental in moving this project along, along with new Vice-President Bro. Max Watner from the Seminary.

We were also able to contribute to Bethlehem Baptist’s “Love Thy Neighbor” organization, the Buckingham County Animal Control, Central Virginia Arts, Buckingham Firefighters Association, Toga Vol. Fire Department, Glenmore Vol. Fire Department and the Piedmont Area Habitat for Humanity.

In 2022, as we begin to see signs of warmer weather, we need our membership and potential members, whether you are a small business, large corporation, or someone who wants to see positive change and business growth in our community to “Spring To Action!” And we need you! The Chamber is only as strong as our membership and those who show up and participate and help. That is how we are able to hold monthly meetings, organize banquets, recruit photos for contests, arrange award recognitions, get out our newsletter, set up tables and chairs, and all the other aspects of meeting our goal of supporting our community and helping businesses — both large and small — thrive.

Anyone can join the Chamber, and, again, it’s only $35 per year — quite the bargain for all of the above reasons. To rejoin, join, or for more information, call the Chamber hotline at (434) 983-2372, visit, www.buckinghamchamberofcommerce.com, email us at info@buckinghamchamberofcommerce.com, or reach out to us on Facebook.

So, here’s to hopefully one of the best years our Chamber has even seen!

Thomas Jordan Miles III is President of the Buckingham Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors. His email address is thomas.Jordan.miles@gmail.com.