Centre for Commerce to hold annual meeting

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

Excitement seems to be high for the annual meeting of the Selma and Dallas County Centre for Commerce.

Tickets have sold out for the event, which will be held Thursday at the St. James Hotel.

Email newsletter signup

Guest speaker will be Karen Kimbrel, recognized as the co-founder of “Swamp Gravy”- the “Official Folk Life Play of Georgia,” now in its 15th season.

Wayne Vardaman, president of the Centre, said tickets selling out to the reception and dinner is a first for the event. More than 200 tickets were available, and while efforts are continually made to accommodate everyone who wants to come, more tickets were sold this year than ever before, Vardaman said.

The event will begin with a “fellowship hour” sponsored by the Economic Development Authority at 6 p.m. in the newly renovated hotel. Dinner will be served, followed by guest speaker Kimbrel.

She has a background in folklore and folk art, and has worked with Selma’s ArtsRevive recently. She will speak on the correlation of arts and economic development.

“Swamp Gravy” is a continuous body of work that includes several plays, including this year’s “Swamp Gravy: Reunion.”

Vardaman said the idea behind Swamp Gravy is to “take whatever you have and make something out of it.”

“It ought to be a great event,” Vardaman said.

Jim Hodo, chairman of the Centre for Commerce in 2006, said the format of the meeting will be slightly different, and meeting at the St. James Hotel is new. Former meetings were held at the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center. Hodo said he is excited about Kimbrel as the guest speaker.

Fundraising will not be discussed, since funds are raised through the Economic Development Authority and the Chamber of Commerce separately, Hodo said.

“It’s pretty much a recap of what happened in the past year, and it’s a way to say thank you to all the people who are involved with the Centre for Commerce and bring them up-to-date with what’s going on,” Hodo said.