Cassville Chamber launches new event

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce leaders announced this week that the organization is launching a new quarterly event aimed at showcasing local business and industry.

The first-ever "The Chamber: Today and Beyond" luncheon will be held at the Barry Electric headquarters on Business 37 in Cassville on Thursday, Nov. 16 at noon. Aunt Kathy's Cookies and More will cater the event at a cost of $7 per person.

The chamber will host luncheons every three months at a different chamber-member business or industry. The purpose of each luncheon will be to showcase a local business or industry for its contribution to the economic prosperity of the Cassville community.

Local businesses also have the option of hosting a luncheon off-site at an area restaurant or conference room. The second quarterly luncheon will be held at Roaring River State Park in March.

The chamber's board of directors has been researching the idea of a business quarterly luncheon for the past several months. A recently conducted chamber survey revealed that members had a strong interest in attending such an event, and a committee was formed to make the concept a reality.

Board members who serve on the quarterly luncheon committee are Stan Kelley, Susie Jacobs and David Waugh.

"This is a great way for the chamber to promote local businesses and industries," said Jacobs. "Based on the survey results, we expect these luncheons to be well attended. We appreciate Barry Electric and their willingness to step up and host our first luncheon."

According to Kelley, the chamber will make all arrangements for the luncheon itself, thus making it easier for the host business.

"Basically, the business or industry will be responsible only for providing a program of some type," said Kelley. "This could involve an overview of the business and could include a short tour if applicable. We want to make this as easy as possible for the sponsoring business or industry."

During the Nov. 16 luncheon, Barry Electric will present a program on the cooperative's cutting edge fiber optic system.

"We are very excited about hosting the first Chamber: Today and Beyond luncheon and look forward to presenting informa-tion about our fiber optic network as well as changes that are taking place in the distribution of electricity presently and what we can look forward to in the next few years," said Bill Shiveley, Barry Electric manager and chief executive office.

Barry Electric Cooperative is a non-profit electric system, owned by the customer/members who use the services it provides. Barry Electric was organized in 1946. The goal was to bring electric service to rural areas in Barry County.

The stated mission of Barry Electric is "to serve the energy needs of its members at the lowest cost consistent with sound business policies - and to identify and provide other services to improve economic opportunity and quality of life."

Barry Electric serves approximately 9,800 customer-members and maintains 1,016 miles of lines. Currently, the cooperative employs 29 individuals.

Barry Electric is currently operating under a four-year, $7,452,900 work plan that includes the years 2006 through 2009. Projects in the work plan will:
• Add approximately 140 new underground services and 840 new overhead services; • Allow construction of 42 miles of new line;

• Convert approximately 6.5 miles of single phase line to three-phase line; and

• Replace 1,200 poles, plus other miscellaneous projects. With completion of these projects in 2009, the system capacity should be adequate to serve a design load of 51,100 kW or about 7.2 percent above 2006's actual load of 47,679 kW, Shiveley said.

Space is limited for the upcoming luncheon, so chamber members are encouraged to reserve their spot now by calling the chamber office at 847-2814.

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