The "icing on the cake" was when the Winchester-Clark County Chamber of Commerce board of directors entrusted upon me the position of president of this chamber. I really do love chamber work and the many facets it encompasses.
In a very short while, I have witnessed and observed many attributes in Clark County. So many times, we do not "stop and smell the roses," but they're there! We sometimes take what we have for granted, and maybe come too relaxed to make a difference or even notice.
From the outside looking in, I have noticed a passion and love in this community that exemplify the beauty and richness of people working and collaborating to make this the best place in Kentucky.
Downtown Winchester exudes beauty and vibrant activity. Winchester First works diligently of bringing the community downtown for business success through its new business openings, events, and open dialogue. Our county and city governments work hand in hand in providing support and cooperation in beautification, development, communications and business recruitment, while collaborating with the many entities in our area.
Our Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the Winchester-Clark County Tourism Commission and Winchester-Clark County Industrial Development Authority, provides a one-stop customer-friendly environment for our community, region, and visitors.
We are the only county in Kentucky with a downtown cell phone tour — what an accomplishment! Kudos to Nancy Turner, director of the Tourism Commission, for creating this first-in-the-state attraction.
New retail and infrastructure developments are the result of vision, communication and collaboration with the Industrial Authority, city and county agencies, Chamber of Commerce, local and state elected officials and regional community leaders.
The Planning Commission is implementing processes with specific, attainable and measurable goals in a realistic timeline.
Through the efforts and support of Partners in Education and other work force/education initiatives, higher education opportunities are being sought with our Bluegrass Community and Technical College.
Clark County's local law enforcement agencies have made great strides in reducing crime by producing an aggressive action plan to improve relationships with the community through their outreach efforts.
If you haven't read the 2009 Clark County Community Action Plan or taken part in creating this plan for your community, I encourage you to call Mayor Ed Burtner, Judge-Executive Henry Branham or me and get involved. This plan is to serve as a "living" plan for short- and long-term improvement in our community. This is truly a "grassroots" effort to: 1. create a community partnership, 2. establish and support common goals, 3. prioritize and focus our effort for steady measurable progress, 4. create open communication and accountability.
By writing this column, I hope the message it carries with it will encourage and invite you to stop and "smell the roses," be thankful for the many blessings this community has to offer and help us create the environment that you so desire and expect.
Karen Haley is the president of the Winchester-Clark County Chamber of Commerce. Contact her at email@example.com.