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Lebanon Wilson Chamber of Commerce Blog

The first City Chat hosted by Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce

The first City Chat hosted by Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce

The first City Chat was hosted by the Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce on June 3.

City Chat was created to give citizens of Lebanon the opportunity to speak with, ask questions to, and hear plans from City Mayor Craighead and other city dignitaries. Each City Chat will be held on the first Wednesday of each month at 8:30 am.

Joining the mayor at this month’s City Chat was City Director of Economic Development Helene Cash, along with Mike Justice and William Glover representing the city Emergency Services. Great questions were asked, great answers were given and valuable information was shared about our city. 

The next City Chat will be held on July 8, 2015 at 8:30am at the Chamber office.

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Tennessee Orthopedics Therapy Services hosted a Ribbon Cutting & Grand Opening Ceremony

Tennessee Orthopedics Therapy Services hosted a Ribbon Cutting & Grand Opening Ceremony

Pictured above: Dr. Roy Terry, Tennessee Orthopedics Therapists and supporters, Chamber President Melanie Minter, Chamber Chairman of the Board John Bradshaw, City Mayor Phillip Craighead, State Representative Mark Pody, and Chamber Ambassadors.

On Friday, May 29, 2015, Tennessee Orthopedics Therapy Services hosted a Ribbon Cutting & Grand Opening Ceremony that was conducted by the Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce.

Tennessee Orthopedic Services specializes in post-injury or post-accident recovery and they are a great addition to the community of Lebanon, as they aim to “provide the highest and most professional level of care and patients services available.”

If you are in need of physical therapy or simply want to know more about Tennessee Orthopedics, please feel free to give them a call at (615)466-5200, or visit them at their new location, 1029 West Main Street, Suite K, Lebanon, TN!

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Santa Domingo baseball team of the Dominican Republic Comes To Lebanon

Santa Domingo baseball team of the Dominican Republic Comes To Lebanon

Pictured above with the Dominican students and coaches are the American students that hosted them, Chamber President Melanie Minter, and Sports Council members, Ginny Patterson, Jeff Gannon, and David McKinney. McKinney and Gannon were most responsible for putting this weekend together!

During the weekend of May 28-May 31, Lebanon Youth Baseball and the Wilson County Sports Council, a division of the Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce, welcomed several student-athletes from The Dominican Republic.

The Santa Domingo baseball team of the Dominican Republic spent 3 days in the U.S. that were life-changing for them, as well as the families that hosted them. The Chamber’s Sports Council hosted the students, offering them a chance to engage in competition against the American youth of Wilson County, but also offering the chance to engage in a weekend full of cultural exchange outside of baseball. They participated in activities like swimming, going to the zoo, attending a Nashville Sounds game, and actually living with American families! What a well-spent weekend!

The Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce would like to thank each family that hosted a Dominican child and anyone else that played a role in this experience being offered.

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Taters of Lebanon Ribbon Cutting & Grand Opening

Taters of Lebanon Ribbon Cutting & Grand Opening

Pictured above: Tater's owners, John and Amy Wagner, Chamber President/CEO, Melanie Minter, and Chamber Chairman of the Board, John Bradshaw!

Taters of Lebanon has one of the most unique and crave-satisfying menus of all restaurants. Their Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening Ceremony was held on May 21, 2015. Owners John and Amy Wagner are excited about their business and the positive response from the community!

For more information on how you can get your uniquely topped "Tater," call (615)784-4178 or visit them at 311 W Main St. Lebanon, TN!

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Locks and Lashes Business After Hours & Open House

Locks and Lashes Business After Hours & Open House

Pictured above (left to right): Chamber Office Coordinator, Tonya Jones, Chamber Vice-President, Andrea Wilke, Chamber President, Melanie Minter, Chamber Chairman of the Board, John Bradshaw, Locks & Lashes Owner/Master Barber, Haley Herbert, and Locks & Lashes Salon Manager/Cosmetologist, Jessica Dodds!

A great time was spent at Locks and Lashes Barber and Studio of Mt. Juliet on May 21, 2015! Locks & Lashes held a Business After Hours and Open House in conjunction with The Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce. The event was a great opportunity for them to show off all of the great assets that their business has to offer. Their services include hair stylings, waxings, make-up, personal care lessons, and several others things that are considered spa, beauty, or personal care services.

Call (615)754-LASH to set up your appointment with Locks and Lashes today!

 

 

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The “Go Johnny Go 5k 10k Run/Walk and Kids Color Run”

The “Go Johnny Go 5k 10k Run/Walk and Kids Color Run”

The “Go Johnny Go 5k 10k Run/Walk and Kids Color Run”, sponsored by The Wilson County Sports Council, was held on Saturday, May 16, 2015 at Sports Village, 1735 West Main Street, Lebanon Tennessee. The course was certified for both runners and walkers, and there were many attendees for the run/walk and all kids loved the color fun run! All proceeds went to the Johnny Keel Wellness Foundation to fund upcoming fitness stations at the Don Fox Community Park!

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Sports Council Athletic Luncheon

Sports Council Athletic Luncheon

The Wilson County Sports Council, a division of the Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce, hosted an annual luncheon to recognize a male and female student-athlete from each of the Wilson County high schools. Students were nominated by their coaches for their outstanding academic and athletic qualities. Jeff Bennett, former MLB player and owner of the Jeff Bennett Baseball Academy, was the guest speaker during the luncheon. 

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Fiddler’s Grove Historic Village hosted a Ribbon Cutting/ Grand Opening Ceremony

Fiddler’s Grove Historic Village hosted a Ribbon Cutting/ Grand Opening Ceremony

Fiddler’s Grove Historic Village hosted a Ribbon Cutting/ Grand Opening Ceremony on May 8, 2015! Fiddler’s Grove, which is located on the grounds of the James E. Ward Agricultural Center, takes pride in “preserving the history of Wilson County, Tennessee, by preserving buildings, artifacts, and oral and written histories.

The Village engages the public through preservation, interpretation, exhibitions, education, publications, and hand on experiences to increase a better understanding of the history of Wilson County, and its way of life.”

For more information on Fiddler’s Grove and what they do, please feel free to contact them at (615)443-2626 or visit their website at http://www.fiddlersgrove.org.

Pictured above with Fiddler’s Grove volunteers and Gwen Scott are Chamber President Melanie Minter, Mayor Phillip Craighead, Chamber Chairman of the Board John Bradshaw, and other chamber members and supporters.

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The TN Scholars Ceremony was held on May 7th at Cumberland University

The TN Scholars Ceremony was held on May 7th at Cumberland University

The TN Scholars Ceremony was held on May 7th at Cumberland University. Tennessee Scholars, which was started in 2005, is a joint effort by the Chamber of Commerce and the business community of Wilson County, aimed to encourage Wilson County students to take more rigorous courses of study during their years in school.

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Membership Renewal Recognition at O'Charley's

Membership Renewal Recognition at O'Charley's

The Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce hosted their first ever Membership Renewal Recognition on April 30. The time was spent with food, laughter, conversation, door prize drawings, and Chamber staff & Board members showing appreciation to renewing members in attendance.

Door prize winners, Ben Williams of Witt Signs, Jack Cato, a lifetime member, and Shannon Guy of Goodwill Career Solutions are pictured below.

The Chamber would also like to express gratitude to O'Charley's, which is located at 902 Murfreesboro Rd, Lebanon, TN, for providing an awesome event venue! The next Member Renewal Recognition will be held in June and we hope to see everyone there!

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Lebanon High School Skills USA

Lebanon High School Skills USA

The Chamber Education Division presented LHS SkillsUSA students with devil horn headbands to wear during their conference introductions. This year, LHS will take more than 30 students to the State Leadership and Skills Conference in Chattanooga where students compete in their skilled areas to earn scholarships, prizes and most of all, the experience to be successful.

Chamber Education Chair Scott Jasper and President & CEO Melanie Minter are pictured with LHS Instructor Jeremy Lakeman and SkillsUSA team members.

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Optometric Physicians Ribbon Cutting

Optometric Physicians Ribbon Cutting

Optometric Physicians of Middle Tennessee was host to a ribbon cutting ceremony conducted by the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the opening of their fourth Middle Tennessee location.​

​The optometrists, Dr. Richard D. Durocher, Dr. Derek S. Peveler and Dr. Gretchen L. Blemker are pleased to offer exceptional eye care to Lebanon and surrounding communities. The newly remodeled office and optical boutique is conveniently located off the public square at 229 W. Gay Street in Lebanon.

Pictured with the optometrists are Mayor Craighead and Chamber Board of Directors and Members.

​For more information on services offers or appointments, call 615-444-2359​ .​

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Wilke Promoted to Chamber Vice President of Operations

Wilke Promoted to Chamber Vice President of Operations

The Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and President Melanie Minter has promoted Andrea Wilke to Vice President of Operations. Wilke has served the past twelve years as the Office Manager in the Lebanon Chamber.

"I am excited about this promotion and look forward to the future and new visions for the Chamber with our new President & CEO Melanie Minter, Office Coordinator Tonya Jones, the board and the members of the Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce," Wilke stated.

Wilke is a graduate of Tennessee Chamber of Commerce Executive Institute and Leadership Wilson. Currently serves on the Wilson County Fair Board and Habitat of Wilson County Advisory Board.

Wilke is married to Perry Wilke, has two children and two grandchildren. She and her family are members of Berea Church of Christ and reside in Lebanon.

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Chamber board announces new President

Chamber board announces new President

The Board of Directors of the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce has named Melanie Minter as President and CEO of the local chamber organization.

Minter, a Lebanon native, will take the helm effective Wednesday, January 28.

Minter has been very active in the Lebanon Chamber and most recently served as Vice-Chair of the Membership Committee.

“I am excited about this challenge and look forward to working with my board, office staff and some 920 members of the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce,” Minter stated early Tuesday morning soon after the chamber board approval.

John Bradshaw, current Chairman of the Board, called a special meeting of the board Tuesday morning to approve the recommendation for the hire from the search committee.

John B. Bryan, immediate past-chairman of the board headed up the search team.

“We began this process during the first quarter of 2014 and conducted a broad search for this position. We narrowed the 30 plus field of applicants down to five in mid-December and interviewed the finalist last Saturday. Melanie will do a great job and will hit the ground running by month end,” Bryan explained.

Bradshaw went on to say the committee was proud to hire someone local who possessed a heart for the chamber and its membership.  “We had applicants from as far as California to southern Florida. Our local applicants had more to offer and each had a unique interest in the job. Melanie possessed the characteristics we were looking for and had great knowledge of the inter-workings of the chamber. She will do a great job and I look forward to working with her this year and years to come,” he said.

Minter currently serves as Commercial and Fleet Sales Manager at Wilson County Motors, a position she has enjoyed for the past several years. “I appreciate the opportunity the Bone family gave me at Wilson County Motors.  They join me in my excitement as I take on this new role in my community. I am proud to go to work for the Chamber and carry on where Sue (Vanatta) has left off,” she added.

Minter replaces Vanatta after a 23 year career heading up the chamber.  Vanatta retired at year end and is enjoying an extended vacation in Florida with friends.

Minter will be formally introduced at the annual Chamber membership banquet on Thursday, February 5, at the Capital Theater in Lebanon.

Minter has vast retail management experience receiving numerous accolades for her achievements during her tenure in that field. She graduated Cum Laude from Castle Heights Military Academy in 1986 and received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She is the daughter of Linda and the late J.C.  McDearman of Lebanon.  She and her two daughters are members of the College Hills Church of Christ and they reside in Lebanon. 

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Hats off to a Great Year

This year has flown by. Most years do as we get older. This year seems to have gone quicker than most with so many Chamber events on the calendar.

We set the bar high for 2014, and I am proud to say we have reached that bar and exceeded expectations in many ways.

I am proud of our committee chairs and the accomplishments they have achieved during 2014. Kudos to Jud Nave, Phil Carter, Melanie Minter, Scott Jasper, Debbie Stewart and Paul Jewell for helping make 2014 another great year for the Chamber.

Economic Development was led by Jud Nave. Jud and his committee had great monthly meetings and pulled off the Industry Appreciation Day as we recognized Nashville Display. This committee has very active members with 25 or more showing up each month. Great leadership from Jud and interesting and informative programs have made for a great 2014 for Economic Development.

Phil Carter has led our Government Relations committee. What a busy group! With the big election year Phil and his committee put on several political forums that grew in number with each event.  My hat goes off to Phil and his committee as they have set the bar high for 2015.

Membership was led by Melanie Minter. Melanie is no stranger to Lebanon as she was born and raised here and is working at the local Chevrolet/GMC dealership. Her insight into local businesses along with her charisma and charm has made for a great 2014. We have retained almost 93% of our membership and have added another 85 new members as we close the year with 910 chamber members on the roster. That number is a little shy of my goal of 1,000 members by year end 2014, but if you don’t set your goals high, what will you have at the end of the day? (This blog was written with two more weeks to go in 2014, so we may end the year even better that reported!)

Scott Jasper and the Education Committee put on another successful Taste of Wilson County and raised over $17,000 to fund teacher grants, scholarships, and other education efforts in the county. Last year we moved the “Taste” to the public square and this year, because of the construction going on downtown, had to move it again to the East Main leg of the square. Two words come to mind: HUGE SUCCESS! We didn’t know what to expect from the new venue, but merchants and patrons had nothing but positive comments about having the event down East Main. We may have found a new permanent home for the Taste of Wilson County.

Debbie Stewart and her committee pulled off a successful “Jammin’ with the General” series as well as one of the best Christmas parades in recent history. Her team is serious about their events and it shows in their dedication and work ethic. Thanks again to Debbie and her team on the Community Tourism Committee.

Last but certainly not least is the Sports Council. Paul Jewell picked up a fumble and took over the committee a few months into 2014. He not only recovered the fumble, but he scored a touchdown with several great events including the annual Cary Harbrecht Memorial Golf Tournament and the Sports Council’s partnership with Cumberland University hosting the Mid-South Conference College Basketball Tournament at the university. Paul and his committee are very active and contribute thousands of dollars to the community through their events.

My Board members have all pitched in through their participation in Board meetings, Business After Hours, ribbon cuttings and open houses. They all have participated in many Chamber-sponsored events throughout the 2014 year, and I deeply appreciate their willingness to serve their Chamber.

Our most challenging event this year is the search effort for a new President to lead our Chamber in 2015 and years to come. There is no way we will replace our own Sue Vanatta. She has truly brought our Chamber from out-door plumbing to in-door facilities in her 23 years of service. We know she has set the bar high for her successor, and the challenge to find someone with the unique qualities for this position has been a daunting task. We hope to have someone in place by mid-to-late January, and we look forward to working with this person in the coming months.

Hats off as well to our office staff! Andrea Wilke, Tonya Jones and Anna Syler have been the backbone of every event. Their willingness to go the extra mile has made this year pretty special. With Sue’s leadership, office staff work ethic and the hundreds of volunteers across Lebanon and Wilson County, it is safe to say Lebanon and Wilson County is truly the “place to be” in Tennessee.

If you are interested in finding out more about our Chamber, please contact the office by calling 615-444-5503.

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Christmas 1-2-3

It's almost that time of year again! As the weather gets colder, we are gearing up for a holiday season full of fun and festivities! The three Christmas events that the Chamber partners with local organizations to put on, nicknamed Christmas 1-2-3 Lebanon Tennessee, will begin on November 28.

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Scarecrow Stroll Down on the Square

The Chamber of Commerce’s Community Tourism Division invites local businesses, civic groups, and families to get creative and participate in the first annual Scarecrow Stroll. The project aims to decorate the square for fall and draw attention to downtown businesses.  

Participants will create their own unique scarecrows (no store-bought versions allowed) that will be displayed around the square from October 8 to November 1.  Several awards will be given for entries, including a roving trophy for the best business display as well as a fan favorite. Voting for fan favorite will kick-off at Taste of Wilson County on October 9 and will continue through October 20. Those wishing to vote may do so 24/7 via a ballot box located outside the Chamber office.

Applications and a complete set of rules and regulations are available at the Chamber, located at 149 Public Square, or by clicking the following link. Scarecrow-Stroll

For more information, contact Judy Cox at 615-443-3130 or Tammy Bailey at 615-631-7080 or ctsmbailey@gmail.com. The registration fee to participate in the Scarecrow Stroll is $5.

Download your application today, and be sure to come cast your ballots and shop on the square October 9-20!

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90th Anniversary, Membership Connection, and More

We just celebrated our 90th Anniversary on Tuesday night at the Chamber office on the Public Square in downtown Lebanon. Over 150 Chamber members and friends attended the event as we enjoyed food and fellowship for about two hours. We had several former Board Chairs in attendance including Mac McClintock, Chris Crowell, Don Simpson, Mark Lee, Bob McDonald, Ken Caldwell, Rick Smith, John Lancaster, Paul Jewell.

Special thanks to Odell and Linda Bain and Peggy Simpson for their help with organizing the event and to those Chamber members who provided the food, drinks, and desserts: Cheers Wine & Liquors, Crystal Elegance, Jersey Mike’s, Jordan’s Catering, Michael’s Café, O’Charley’s, Publix, Sunset Family Restaurant, and Walker Creek Confections.

At lunchtime on Wednesday, we had a Member Connection meeting for new members. Each Vice-Chair was present to discuss their committee. Melanie Minter, Vice-Chair of the Membership Committee, did a great job putting the luncheon together and making it an enjoyable and informative experience for the new members who attended. If you are interested in joining the Chamber or learning about how to become more involved, call the Chamber office.

Thursday night everyone enjoyed the Business After Hours hosted by HotSpring Portable Spas of Music City. The guys at HotSpring’s always throw a great BAH, and Thursday night was no exception. If you or your business is interested in hosting a future Business After Hours event, contact the Chamber office.

On Wednesday, September 17, our Education Committee will be hosting a “Lunch and Learn” event featuring the new Wilson County Director of Schools Dr. Donna Wright. The lunch meeting begins at 11:30 and will be hosted at the Lebanon Golf & Country Club. Admission is $15 and your must RSVP by Monday, September 15. Contact the Chamber office for more details.

On Wednesday, October 22, our Government Relations & Economic Development Committee will be hosting a “Lunch and Learn” event featuring Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto. The lunch meeting begins at 11:30 and will be hosted at the Lebanon Golf & Country Club. Admission for that event is also $15, and you must RSVP by Friday, October 22. Contact the Chamber office for more details.

Be sure to check out the calendar of events on our Chamber website so you can make plans to attend the next Chamber event! Thanks for making your Chamber one of the largest and best in the state!

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Chamber to Host Series of Candidate Forums

The Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce Government Relations Committee will host a series of forums for 2014 election candidates running for office in Wilson County.

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Chamber Loses Friend In Passing of Dave Keltner

We were saddened by the news of the sudden passing of Dave Keltner.  Dave was President/CEO of Cerqa, a supply chain management, commercial printing, promotional items and media duplication company located in LaVergne.

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