96th Annual Chamber Meeting Held

96th Annual Chamber Meeting Held

A successful 2016-2017 Chamber year lead by Adrian Morales of Hess Oil was celebrated at a lunch meeting on November 15.  Adrian thanked retiring board members and presented them with framed certificates; Tracy Sterling – Culligan Water and Zac Hoppes of Farmers State Bank.  Retiring board members Janet Lynch of CertainTeed and Dr. Brandon Stupka, Stupka Chiropractic & Wellness Center were not able to attend.

Adrian presented a brief overview of the accomplishments of the 2016-2017 Chamber fiscal year:

  • The McPherson Chamber of Commerce is 368 members strong representing 11,391 employees.
  • Hosted 25 ribbon cutting ceremonies
  • Held 84 committee meetings
  • 51 Chamber Connections were held
  • Held 29 special events totaling a participation of 1,916 attendees
  • 794 ChamberChecks were issued totaling $24,540
  • During the 2016 Christmas promotion (a cooperative promotion with the Main Street organization) 5,640 Candy Cane registrations equaling $50 were entered totaling $282,000 spent in 24 participating stores.
  • 7 manufacturers participated in the 2016 McPherson County Manufacturing Month by opening their doors to over 350 students and the general public.
  • The Chamber’s mobile friendly website has received 18,250 page views, and 152,625 online referrals from the business directory.
  • In late 2016, the Chamber Board approved the participation in a coalition of other Chamber organizations in the South Central Kansas area. The coalition wanted to demonstrate to our legislators that we were united representing 13,000 small and large businesses.

The board’s opinion is that Chamber organizations similar to ours and their members needed an alternative voice to represent local interests and local issues and to advocate for policies which we believe create a strong economy, a qualified and nimble workforce, a sustainable infrastructure and ultimately a quality of life which retains our best and brightest and attracts businesses and talent to Kansas.  The coalition is aware of the difficult choices state government has been faced with in recent years with a challenging economy and dwindling revenues.  They believe it is critical to emphasize how statewide decisions impact efforts to attract and retain jobs in communities across the state. State government is responsible to educate our children; provide certain levels of infrastructure for travel of our citizens as well as the movement of goods and service; and additionally, to care for a percent of our population which do not have the ability to care for themselves. The Chambers represented from the South Central Kansas area see the coalition as an opportunity to work together on common issues.  The goal is to maximize the influence of our region and reinforce the powerful voice of business.  There are no monetary commitments; our Chamber name and logo is listed on the regional agenda which is distributed to legislators.

Adrian then introduced Jason Hoover of Midway Motors as the honoree for the 2017 President’s Award.  Each year the Past Presidents of the Chamber meet to make a selection of an individual that has given unselfishly of their time for the betterment of the business community and has had a long term impact.  Jason is the son of Glenn and Joyce Hoover.  He graduated from McPherson High School in 1993 and attended K-State, graduating in 1997 with a degree in Business Administration/Finance.  Jason married his high school sweetheart Trisha Wedel in 1995.  They have four sons – Casen, Gabe, Aiden, and Blaise.  In 1997 Jason caught the entrepreneur bug by starting “Nuts to You,” then franchised the business into a vending operation.  In 1998 he started Deerfield Homes where they sold manufactured and modular housing units, built housing developments, and operated a concrete construction business.  He closed business in 2005, with the opportunity to join and grow the family business Midway Motors.  Jason joined the Midway Motors team and started growing the business with their first acquisition of Lacy Motors of McPherson in 2006, then Irv Schroeder of Hillsboro in 2008, then Hambelton LaGreca of Hutchinson in 2009, the Buxman Motors of Newton in 2011, and finally Wallace Chevrolet of McPherson in 2015.  While growing the family business, Jason served as Chamber President in 2009-2010, following his father’s footsteps – Glen served as Chamber President in 1995-1996.  They are to be the only father and son that have served as President in the Chamber’s  96 years.  Also serving on the McPherson Opera House Board, YMCA, Kansas Auto Dealers Association, and Midwest Ford Dealers Association.  In addition to the support Jason and Midway Motors has provided the Chamber and the various boards, he has also given his time and resources to the community.  Midway Motors has been a great supporter of the Ford Drive 4 Your School and has raised $105,000 since 2008 with the help of GM and Chevrolet.  The Drive 4 Your School funds are distributed through the McPherson High School Booster Club.

Adrian then officially turned the leadership of the McPherson Chamber of Commerce to Brad Mears of the Kansas Municipal Utilities, 2017-2018 Chamber President.  Brad spoke about the continued success of the McPherson County Entrepreneurship Loan Program and the economic benefits it has brought to the City of McPherson and the county.  In October of this year, McPherson County recognized Manufacturing Month with tours and open houses hosted by CertainTeed, Viega, Central Plastics, and Bradbury.  The month long event brought 301 students and general public through the doors of the industries to showcase how industry/manufacturing is today and to encourage careers in the manufacturing sector.  Brad reported to the membership that the Chamber has been following the Executive Order that President Trump signed on October 12th promoting healthcare choice and competition in the United States.  The Executive Order would allow small “like” businesses to group together to self-insure or purchase large group health insurance.  The McPherson Chamber of Commerce has been researching a Chamber Healthcare Plan for several years.  The Chamber wants to help small businesses overcome the competitive disadvantage and the costly requirements.  Expanding access to Association Health Plans would provide more affordable health insurance options.  A conference call has already taken place with providers.  More details should be available next month regarding the Executive Order.

We would like to introduce the 2017-2018 Chamber Board:
President- Brad Mears, Kansas Municipal Utilities
President Elect – Aaron Mayfield, Edward Jones
Treasurer- Josh Mendard, Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk & Loyd
Past President- Adrian Morales, Hess Oil
Katie Sawyer, Sawyer Land & Cattle
Tom Saffel, Prairie Landworks, Inc.
Chuck Singleton, Central States Marketing & Manufacturing
Janey Anderson, A5 Western
Gordon Mohn, USD #418
Dr. Trent Timson, Community Foot Clinic
Brad Bengtson, Home State Bank
Kelly Pitts, PrairieLand Partners