Community leaders pack Chamber dinner

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 25, 2008


More than 200 people packed the ballroom and dining room of The St. James Hotel on Thursday for the Annual Meeting of the Selma & Dallas County Centre for Commerce.

The reception and dinner also marked the official opening of the hotel for business.

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The crowd watched Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce Chairman John Crear say goodbye and Jim Truax come in as the new chairman.

Crear noted that he and former chairwoman Kathi Needham had left the organization in better shape. &8216;We got some things done,&8221; he said.

Looking forward, said Truax, the group plans to build on the recruitment successes of the Economic Development Authority with goals and objectives.

Among those objectives are: retail recruitment, sponsor a Selma mayoral candidate debate and identify potential tourist venues.

Along the tourism and cultural lines, the guest speaker for the evening,

Karen Kimbrel, co-founder of &8220;Swamp Gravy,&8221; Georgia&8217;s Folk Life Play, told the crowd that Selma is rich in stories and should capitalize on them to bring visitors into town.

The tales of Colquitt, Ga., now known as &8220;Swamp Gravy&8221; helped unite the southwestern Georgia town and give it new life, she said.