King: ‘A lot going on at the chamber’

Published 8:25 pm Monday, April 15, 2024

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By Jan McDonald

Special to The Demopolis Times

Monica King didn’t have much time to learn her job as executive director of the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce when she stepped into the post Sept. 5 last year.

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Immediately she had to coordinate all the Christmas on the River activities as well as attract new chamber members and gladly host ribbon cuttings for new members.

Now, three months into 2024, she gave an update on what is going on at the chamber. Speaking to the Demopolis Rotary Club April 3, King gave a quick overview of the new programs being introduced and highlighted ongoing efforts as well.

“There’s a lot going on at the chamber,” she said.

First, King said the chamber now sends out a biweekly newsletter with updates on events. Lately the newsletter has been highlighting the 29 members of the Junior Chamber Ambassadors, high school students who are learning how to give back to the city.

The ambassadors work at different chamber events, King explained, and also pick up trash and act as hosts for chamber member activities. They even plan to pull staples out of the walls at the Demopolis Civic Center.

Coming up Thursday is the 108th chamber banquet, King reminded Rotarians. She said the people and businesses being honored are especially noteworthy.

Since the chamber always needs funding to sponsor events for its members and provide activities for the city, King said she and the chamber board brainstorm with fundraising ideas. Coming up is a Fill the Freezer Raffle, and soon after will be the River City Wing Fling. The Summer Concert Series will feature both local and visiting musicians in the Public Square.

King said the chamber board agreed that a portion of money raised at each event will go toward four or five scholarships each year.

Applications will open in August for the Junior Ambassador and Leadership Marengo 2024-2025 classes.

According to King, the chamber also supports activities sponsored by community and chamber partners. It has announced the return of yard of the month by the Demopolis Beautification Committee, job openings, contests and other events.

Through it all, said King, “I try to give recognition” to any business or individual that helps in any way.

The chamber now has 179 members, she said. In the past year 24 new members have joined, 16 of them since she became director. 

King has taken part in seven ribbon cuttings for new businesses who join the chamber recently.