Swanton Area Chamber of Commerce Holds Annual Meeting, Birchwood Meadow Event Center Gives Presentation

The Annual Meeting/Luncheon of the Swanton Area Chamber of Commerce (SACC) was held this Wednesday in the banquet hall of the Swanton Sports Center where members gathered to hear highlights of the past fiscal year and look at what is ahead for the SACC and the business community of Swanton. 

President and Executive Director Neil Toeppe opened the meeting by introducing the SACC Board of Directors.  They are Julia Benfield (Board Chairperson) from Benfield Wines, Joyce Berry (Board Vice-Chairperson) from You-nique Bou-tique, Bill Bohney (Director) from Farmers and Merchants State Bank, Fran Nichols (Director) from Anne Grady Services, Seth Thomas (Director) from Thomas Construction and Remodeling, Rick Lederman (Director) from Soaring Software Solutions, Shelly Keifer (Director) from First Federal of Delta, DaNetra Smith (Director) from Level Fitness and Bill O’Connell (Director) from Swanton Sports Center.

Mr. Toeppe then addressed Strategic Highlights first.  “This past year was an opportunity for the Board to reassess our ability to provide better membership access to our programs,” he stated.  “To that end we are in the process of upgrading our website and our Customer Relationship Management program.  It will provide the ability of our members to sign up for and pay for events and dues on-ling.  You will also be able to offer business special sales through our website software.  You will be able to update your business information directly on-line.”

In the Financial Highlights, Mr. Toeppe said that the SACC has approximately 100 members and membership dues have not increased in the past 11 years, thanks, in large part to the revenue-generating events put on by the SACC such as the Annual Fine Art Exhibit, Golf Outing and advertisement sales from their annual calendar and biennial Swanton Community Directory.  He explained that they will lose some members every year because a business may close or relocate but they will also gain members each year because of the strength of their member Benefit Programs.

Looking ahead, Mr. Toeppe said, “the 2022-2023 fiscal year will be a year of change in how we communicate and provide services to our members.  We hope that you will take advantage of our member programs and the new and improved website.”

Following Mr. Toeppe’s remarks, a presentation was given by Dave and Pam Mills, the owners of the soon-to-be constructed Birchwood Meadow, a Premier Wedding and Event Barn Venue which will be located on a 27-acre site within the Turtle Creek Business District on Airport Highway in Swanton.  Mr. and Mrs. Mills explained that their new and unique venue will accommodate up to 300 people and is currently booking events for 2023.  They believe the expected influx of people will provide a major boost to other local businesses and the Swanton economy. An Open House is planned for some time next February.

Pictured:  Pam and Dave Mills with a photo of what the main hall in Birchwood Meadow may look like.

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