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Chamber gathering exceeds expectations

Participants at the first monthly membership meeting included, from left, Karen Herring, TRMC; Liz McGrath of the Chamber, Josh Behm, guest speaker; Leigh Anne Windham of the Chamber; and Craig Peterson and Ronnie Davenport, both of Haynes Ambulance. (Photo/Stacy Graning)

Wednesday’s inaugural monthly membership meeting did exactly what organizers at the Pike County Chamber of Commerce hoped it would do.

“Members had a chance to come together, hear an excellent presentation, share information about what is going on in their businesses and in our community, and learn about ongoing Chamber projects,” said Leigh Anne Windham, Chamber president.

This informal monthly luncheon format, an extension of the annual membership luncheon, is a new benefit to Chamber members. And with nearly 30 participants at the Courtyard Mariott on Wednesday, Windham said she was pleased with the response.

“It’s fantastic,” she said.

Karen Herring, marketing director for Troy Regional Medical Center, was one of the participants. Herring, who also serves on the Chamber’s Education Committee and is chairman of the Pike County United Way this year, said she particularly enjoyed the opportunity to network with other participants and learn about the ongoing activities shared by members in an informal roundtable discussion after the presentation.

“I enjoyed listening and learning what was going on in the different agencies in Troy and Pike county and appreciate the opportunity the Chamber is giving us to do this,” she said.

Josh Behm, sales director of Employment Screening Sevices, spoke during the luncheon, providing an overview of employee screening options and reasons for employers to screen potential employees.

“If recent incarceration rates remain the same, one in 20 people will be incarcerated in our lifetimes,” he said. “How many people are in this room? Twenty five or so? You can do the math.”

Behm also said that 53 percent of all job applications contain false information.

The Chamber’s next membership luncheon will take place in October.