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Celebrating Success: The Clemson Area Chamber of Commerce 2024 Annual Meeting and Awards

The Clemson Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed distinguished guests, members, sponsors, and board members to the long-awaited 2024 Annual Meeting and Awards last week. This event marked the Chamber's first annual meeting since 2019, marking a significant milestone for the local business community. The gathering served as a testament to the strength, collaboration, and resiliency of the Chamber and its members.

During the event, the Chamber expressed sincere appreciation to its sponsors and partners whose unwavering support played a pivotal role in making the event a success. With Founders Federal Credit Union as the title sponsor and AnMed and BNI as table sponsors, the Chamber acknowledged the invaluable contributions of these institutions to the success of the event. It was a moment to acknowledge the support that helped elevate the Chamber and the local business community.

The Annual Meeting was hosted at the Historic Hampton House 1908 in Pickens, SC in their beautiful 200 person event space behind the house with catering provided by Chef Bek’s Catering. 

The Vision for the Future: A Strong and United Chamber

Following the expressions of gratitude and engaging keynote speech by radio broadcaster Mickey Plyler, the Chamber President Bryan Lee cast the vision for the Chamber and shared the program of work aimed at achieving the organization's mission. Despite facing significant challenges in previous years, the Chamber has embarked on a journey to rebuild itself into a formidable asset for the Clemson area. The vision was clear: to become the strategic forecaster in the area, with the members, stakeholders, board, and staff regarded as the greatest assets.

The Comprehensive Program of Work

The program of work for the Chamber was designed to focus on five pivotal areas, each crucial to achieving the organization's mission.

1. Promote

The Chamber is dedicated to promoting businesses in the Clemson area through various channels, including a new blog, new enhanced member directory listings, free radio ads for members, ribbon-cuttings, open houses, events, social media, and newsletters. These initiatives aim to ensure that Chamber members and businesses receive the visibility and recognition they deserve.

2. Connect

Understanding the significance of connection, the Chamber is committed not only to fostering connections within the business community but also with the wider community. The upcoming events, including The Taste of Pendleton, the State of Central, and the first State of Six Mile, are aimed at providing opportunities for businesses to network and establish meaningful relationships.

3. Empower

Education and advocacy are considered crucial for the success of businesses and members. Events such as Business After Hours and Women In Business, along with the upcoming restarts of Eggs & Opportunities and Clemson Young Professionals, are intended to equip members with the knowledge and insights necessary for flourishing in their industries. Additionally, the Public Policy committee has been active in identifying challenges and policies affecting the Clemson area while advocating for members' interests in local and state politics.

4. Serve

The Chamber not only serves its members but also provides them with opportunities to serve in the local community and charity organizations. With contributions such as the successful silent auction for Sleep In Heavenly Peace and the Bed Build event, the Chamber is actively involving its members in impactful community initiatives.

5. Celebrate

The Chamber finds it important to acknowledge and honor growth and achievement in the community, businesses, and among its members. The recent Women's Luncheon and the State of Clemson were platforms to celebrate outstanding leadership and community impact, recognizing individuals who have dedicated themselves to making the Clemson Area a wonderful place to live, work, and play.

The Awards Ceremony

The Annual Meeting and Awards presented an opportunity to celebrate the remarkable achievements and impact of businesses, individuals, and organizations within the Clemson Area. The Chamber took pride in honoring and acknowledging the following noteworthy recipients:

2024 New Business of the Year - Barrier Island Engineering

Barrier Island Engineering was recognized for their environmentally conscious civil engineering design and consulting solutions, along with their significant involvement in the community, chamber events, and collaboration with Clemson students.

2024 Non-Profit of the Year - Sleep In Heavenly Peace

This award celebrated the incredible work of Sleep In Heavenly Peace, an organization dedicated to providing beds for children in need within the community, addressing the crucial need for proper physical, emotional, and mental support.

2024 Young Professional of the Year - Bailey Dull

Bailey Dull was acknowledged for her tireless contributions to the local community and chamber events, exemplifying dedicated service and involvement in planning events for Women in Business and Clemson Young Professionals.

2024 Good Government Award - Amber Barnes

The Chamber recognized Amber Barnes, who devoted 24 years of her career to serving the community through her role at the Town of Pendleton, displaying exceptional dedication to the town's development and fostering collaboration and innovation.

2024 Business of the Year - Red White & Brew

The award celebrated Jenni and Jarred Brink of Red, White & Brew for their dedication to serving the community through the establishment of a local coffee shop and their commitment to honoring American heroes.

2024 Founders Federal Credit Union Citizenship Award - Eva Welborn

Eva Welborn was honored for her active involvement in the community, including volunteering, mentoring, and her commendable academic achievements at Clemson University. Her commitment to community service and leadership exemplifies the spirit of the Founders Federal Credit Union Citizenship Award.

Through the Annual Meeting and Awards, the Chamber celebrated the remarkable achievements, contributions, and impact of its members and the local community. The event served as a testament to the resilience, collaboration, and vision that define the Clemson Area Chamber of Commerce in its pursuit to create an even brighter future for the Clemson area.


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