Chamber merger ahead of schedule

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Membership dues structure unveiled

By Marty Finley

Officials with the Heartland Chambers Alliance say the consolidation of the four local chambers of commerce into one Hardin County Chamber of Commerce may be closer to reality than expected.
John Wright, a member of the Heartland Chambers Alliance communications team, this week said organizers have “put the pedal down” and believe work will finish before March as originally proposed.
This week, the alliance released a projected membership dues structure for the new chamber, though the change will not be mandated until January 2012, Wright said. Chamber members received a letter with the new pay structure and are encouraged to start paying under new guidelines, though Wright said members can continue to pay dues under the previous structures created by the four separate chambers.
Either way, he said, the unified chamber needs 2011 membership dues to meet budget expectations and function properly as it makes the transition.
Under the new dues structure, a senior age 62 or older will pay annual membership dues of $75 while individual dues are set at $100.
Membership dues for businesses would range from $250 to $950 based on the number of workers the business employs. A $500 due also has been set for educational and military organizations.
The new structure also includes a chairman’s circle level membership for $10,000 and a trustee level membership at $5,000. Details for these membership levels and the benefits offered have not been released.
Wright also is encouraging chamber members to apply for membership on one of the numerous councils created that will represent everything from agriculture and health to tourism and small business.
“That’s how people can get involved and get their money’s worth,” Wright said.
Because the four chambers and their memberships voted in favor of the merger, committees have been created to steer the success of chamber unification, including a finance committee that is drafting a budget and bylaws and an executive search committee that is launching a statewide search for an executive director.
Kendra Stewart, a member of the executive search committee, said the search still is in its infancy, but the committee is working on the “framework” of its search criteria to flesh out what it is looking for in a director.
During the search, Rik Hawkins, president and CEO of the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Chamber of Commerce, has been named interim director and Donna Broadway of Vine Grove and Roszelle Moore of West Point will continue to oversee events in their cities. In Radcliff, the board of directors is stepping up their roles since Jo Emary has stepped down as executive director.
Wright, meanwhile, said the bylaw revision will be fairly simple because the chamber will pattern its bylaws from one of the existing chambers’ bylaws, tweaking them as needed.
A transition committee also has been put in place to anchor the various arms of consolidation.
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762

Membership Dues for Hardin County Chamber of Commerce

Senior 62+                                                             $ 75

Individual                                                              $100

0-5 employees                                                       $250

6-10 employees                                                     $330

11-20 employees                                                   $360

21-30 employees                                                   $380

31-40 employees                                                   $410

41-50 employees                                                   $450

51-75 employees                                                   $550

76-125 employees                                                 $725

126-200 employees                                               $850

200 + employees                                                   $950 plus $1 per employee

Educational and military organizations                  $500

Trustee level membership                                     $5,000

Chairman’s circle                                                   $10,000