Orleans Chamber of Commerce elects officers

ORLEANS – The Orleans Chamber of Commerce conducted its annual meeting Thursday morning at the Orleans Town Hall Community Room. 

Following the meeting and seating of the Board of Directors, the group then convened for their reorganization and election of officers for 2022. 

Results were as follows:

Executive Committee

Board of Directors

  • Neil Blanton, Board Chair – Busick Insurance
  • Thomas Lamb – Vice-Chair – Mid-Southern Savings
  • Secretary – Vicki Gross – Orleans Progress Examiner
  • Treasurer – Wendy Sprigler – Sprigler Farm
  • Randy Clark – Town of Orleans
  • Jim Ellis – Orleans Community Schools
  • Greta Lewellyn -Freestyle Salon & Boutique
  • Angie Clark – Hoosier Hills Credit Union
  • Michele Hardman – United Way of South Central Indiana
  • Curtis Ralston – Jasper Group

Robert F. Henderson was rehired and contracted to serve as the group’s Executive Director in the coming year.

The Board noted that two director seats are vacant due to the resignations of Marcy Bennett, OC REMC, and Abi Tackett of a Bark Above.  Replacements for the two seats will be approached and hopefully seated at the next regular board meeting in March.

Appreciation was expressed to the outgoing Board Chairman Randy Clark for his leadership and service to the Chamber for the past several years. 

Chamber membership renewal information has been mailed out to all present Business Members.  Anyone not receiving renewal information or is interested in joining the local Chamber should contact the Chamber Office 812-865-9930 or visit  www.historicorleans.com.

The Chamber is actively looking for business owners interested in hosting Business After Hours in the coming months.  If interested or for more program details contact Executive Director Robert Henderson.

Henderson reported that plans were moving ahead and being firmed up for the upcoming Dogwood Festival.  COVID forced the Chamber to cancel the festival in both 2020 and 2021.   The 52nd Annual Dogwood Festival is set for April 23-30.  This year’s general theme is celebrating all things Orleans and Hometown Spirit. 

Henderson also shared that the popular Orleans Cruise Blues & BBQ Car Show will return downtown on Saturday, April 16th as a Pre-Dogwood event.   A Memorial Day weekend Car Show is also planned for May 28th.  In addition, the American Legion Summer Homecoming Carnival is expected to return in July.  

The day-long multi- musical event, Beanstock is set for July 16th in Congress Square.

Clark reported on the Chamber’s involvement with the Recast Leaders program which meets monthly and includes representatives from a number of area communities to discuss and explore ways to encourage the growth of small businesses within their individual business districts and downtown areas.  Henderson and Orange County Economic Development Partnership (OCEDP)  Director Kristal Painter has also participated in the 12-month awareness and educational program.

Greta Lewellyn touched briefly on the newly formed Orleans Business Association looking at doing a promotional event in early summer involving some of the local specialty shops and eateries.  Lewellyn said that some business owners have hosted open house events over the recent Valentine’s Day holiday.