Chamber looks forward during annual banquet

By Karl Terry, PNT Managing Editor

Col. Timothy Leahy, the man leading Cannon Air Force Base’s new Special Operations mission, gave the keynote address at the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet Thursday, while chamber officials unveiled a new mission of their own.

Incoming Chamber president Antonio Sanchez unveiled a new mission statement for the chamber, which he said was outlined at a board retreat earlier in the year.

The new mission statement reads: “To build a community and pride in Roosevelt County by serving as an information resource and by coordinating community-enriched events and activities that contribute to the prosperity of the area.”

“We truly feel this is our niche and purpose,” Sanchez said. “We really feel as if we’ve hit the nail on the head with this statement. It truly describes what we’re trying to do here.”

Outgoing board president Jeremy Sturm talked about the goals the chamber achieved during the year, which he described as starting with great transition. That transition included separating the positions of executive director of the chamber from the lead position with the Roosevelt County Economic Development Corporation.

“I had a goal to have Sharon King named as executive director and we accomplished that in February,” said Sturm. “I just can’t put into words how much Sharon does for us.”

He said another milestone was the hiring of Greg Fisher as economic development director for the RCEDC in November.

Leahy told the crowd he had no hesitancy in accepting the opportunity to speak to the Chamber.

“The reason I was so quick to accept the invitation is because since I’ve been at Cannon, I’ve not been told by anyone from the community that I needed to do something for them,” Leahy said. “I am continually asked what can we do for you.”

Leahy said he appreciated that spirit of people being willing to help out his command and he wanted to become a part of that service.
He pointed out the importance of the history being shaped by Chamber members in the community.

Sturm and board member Chris Wood presented the Workhorse of the Year Award to Cindy Harth on behalf of her and her late husband Chester Harth, who died last year. The couple volunteered for numerous chamber projects over the years and always played a big role at the annual New Mexico Ag Expo, said Sturm.

Harley and Faye Borden Awards, for businesses that made significant improvements in the appearance of their business, went to Curves, Kiva Realty, Roberts TV and Appliance, Aucutt’s Paint, Chaparral Heating and Air Conditioning, Portales Home Medical and Times Remembered.