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July 31, 2014

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Originally published: 2014-04-17 08:48:06
Last modified: 2014-04-17 08:48:51

Chamber plannning ahead

By the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce

Under the leadership of chamber president, Cathy Robbins, the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce board of directors recently began a strategic planning process.

After the board retreat trip in November, the board determined that the chamber needed to intensify its focus and map out a long-term strategy for the next five to seven years.

The board engaged Dana Clark, professor of marketing in ASU’s Walker College of Business, and his esteemed colleague, Rich Pouder, professor of management, to lead them through the process. It is expected that this process will take several half-day sessions.
Clark comes with a specialty in hospitality management and Pouder is a strategic planner.

Together, they will utilize graduate students this summer to develop the plan.

“We are all very excited to have the opportunity to utilize the assets the university offers us for this very important initiative” said Charles Hardin, executive director of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce.

Clark led the board in discussions on Wednesday, April 2, at Chetola’s Evergreen Room.

The chamber invited the Blowing Rock Town Manager Scott Fogleman and Tracy Brown, executive director of the Blowing Rock Tourism Development Authority, to join the group in this session. Both the town and the TDA are considered valuable strategic partners.

After a brief board meeting, Robbins engaged the board to immerse completely in the process of strategic thinking. With everyone divided up into teams focusing on economic, social, political, legal and technological influences, the current business environment was assessed.

Each team presented its findings to the group.

The groups then tackled the operating environment focusing on the customer (member), competition, workforce and international possibilities.

Great synergy was present as these topics were discussed.

In preparation for the next session, the board was given some homework. Each participant was asked to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the Blowing Rock Chamber. Given the current mission and the environmental analysis, participants are to determine the opportunities and threats for the organization.

“The second session will be a time of ‘roll up your sleeves’ and through a facilitated SWOT analysis, we hope to determine four long-term goals,” said Hardin.
“The chamber’s current mission will be reviewed, as well as the creation of values and vision statement. Ultimately, we should end the process with a plan that will carry us to the end of this decade,” he said.

The current mission of the Blowing Rock Chamber is to promote, protect and improve business through the cultural, social and economic development, growth and sustainability of Blowing Rock, while preserving the charm and character of the village.

For additional information, contact Hardin.

New members

The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce has a number of new members for 2014. Here’s some information:

Arrive At (Todd Mortensen)
870 West King St., Boone
(828) 737-1428
Arrive At creates and executes effective and measurable multichannel digital marketing strategies for small businesses. Our systems are designed to help you find new customers, increase sales, and create customer loyalty. Just having a website is no longer enough.

Blowing Rock
Refuge Church
(Rhonda Gailes)
Morris Street, Blowing Rock  (828) 773-6750
At Blowing Rock Refuge Church, you are encouraged to “be church” rather than “do church.” Members and guests find Refuge to be a caring, non-denominational place in which to find rest for today and hope for tomorrow.  All are welcome.

Brittany Edsall Fine Art LLC (Brittany Edsall)
1098-4 Main St., Blowing Rock  (828) 406-4128
Brittany Edsall Fine Art LLC is the studio and gallery of professional artist Brittany Edsall. It is located in the heart of downtown Blowing Rock in the Martin House at 1098-4 Main St.

Chair and Equipment Rentals (Mark Miller)
1530 N. Wesleyan Blvd.,
Rocky Mount
(800) 422-8368
Now serving the High Country area with unique tenting and rental concepts for your next corporate or special event.

Heartland Payment Systems (Melissa Tausche)
1741 Sunset Drive, Blowing Rock
(828) 414-1741
Heartland brings secure credit and card processing, payroll, loyalty, mobile and e-commerce solutions and related business services to businesses, educational facilities and municipalities. Discover how fair and transparent pricing and our advocacy on behalf of customers can impact your business.

Papa Joe’s Italian-American Restaurant with Indulge Bakery (Joe Papa)
8062 Valley Blvd., Blowing Rock
(828) 295-3239
Serving the Blowing Rock area with authentic Italian dishes and pizzas for more than 31 years. Papa Joe’s and Indulge Bakery have now merged to offer specialty cakes, desserts and catering services. Open daily and now for weekend brunch. All ABC permits.

Piedmont Federal Savings Bank (Susan Norris)
1399 Blowing Rock Road, Boone
(828) 264-5244
For more than 100 years, Piedmont Federal’s goal has been a simple one: to help people become homeowners and save for life’s needs. Our overall focus is on sound financial solutions and personalized customer service. Piedmont Federal: straightforward, commonsense banking.

Quail Hollow in Blowing Rock (Frankie Petrie)
448 Laurel Park Road,
Blowing Rock
(828) 372-7008
Why not invest in the very best home sites for those you really love: Give daily, joy of infinity views across mountaintops, sunsets over Grandfather, walks to the village, clouds ebbing and flowing to your doorstep.

ReDeux Boutique
(Elena Romagni)
215 Boone Heights Drive,
300, Boone
(828) 355-9944
ReDeux Boutique is an upscale consignment shop. We specialize in women’s clothing, accessories, furniture and home goods. ReDeux Boutique is, “Where resale goes upscale.”

Stick Boy Kitchen (Lisa Pearce)
211 Boone Heights Drive, Boone (828) 265-4141
Open Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Made from scratch bagels and breakfast bagel sandwiches. Quiche and granola options. Homemade soups and fresh salads. Hot and cold sandwiches for lunch. Coffee, espresso and real fruit smoothies. We look forward to seeing you.

Todd Bush Photography
(Todd Bush)
2989-C Tynecastle Hwy.,
Banner Elk
(828) 898-8088
Since 1990, Todd Bush has been photographing scenes, businesses, homes and lifestyles of the Blue Ridge based from his High Country commercial photography studio/gallery. His images have appeared worldwide. Call Todd for scenic or advertising photography.

Ugga Mugga Bakery (Beth Zagst)
Blowing Rock
Couture desserts, wedding cakes, birthday cakes, cupcakes, wine and beer pairings, catered dessert events, and anything sweet.Ugga Mugga Bakery brings fresh and modern tastes and design to Blowing Rock and the High Country. Go to for more yummy details.

For more information and stories, see The Blowing Rocket.

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