The Odessa Record -

Chamber of Commerce

Memorial scholarship dropped


December 21, 2017

The December 12 meeting of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce gave its first vote of approval to the 2018 budget for the group, cutting back wherever possible to achieve a positive balance at year’s end. To do so, the Chamber board had opted to eliminate the Tim Suchland Memorial scholarship for $1,000 in addition to cutting back on many other line items. The Miss Odessa scholarships associated with the community float will remain in place. Chamber president Zach Schafer said board members very much hoped that some other civic group or perhaps a group of interested individuals might take on the task of raising money for the memorial scholarship or else establish some sort of endownment to make the scholarship once more viable.

Tim Suchland was a local resident and a 1967 graduate of Odessa High School who contributed much of his time and effort to civic improvements in Odessa. He died in 1995 of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

Laura Estes and Kelly Korpinen reported that managing the use of the commercial kitchen continues to throw them curve balls. Given the funds and work that have gone into the kitchen from the Chamber, there is concern that there is still a lack of oversight and that too many different entities have unfettered access to the space. Estes and Korpinen need to be informed of any and all parties interested in using any part of the kitchen, so that schedule conflicts do not occur. A recent close call involved butchered beef hanging in the cooler (unknown to Chamber) shortly before a group from Wilbur had scheduled a cheesecake making event in the kitchen that would also make use of the cooler. Fortunately, the two events did not overlap, but without knowing who is using the facility, the Chamber members cannot effectively manage the scheduling to best advantage for all.

Estes also reported that the roof leak into the kitchen continues to be a concern and that on rainy days the bucket placed to catch the drips must be emptied at least three times a day. Schafer expressed his desire to make the kitchen more secure and hoped to be able to include steps toward that end in the 2019 budget.

2019 slate of officers

Nominations were opened prior to the election of new officers for 2019. Jena Meise was nominated for secretary and Terrie Schmidt-Crosby agreed to take the open at-large board position. The slate of officers for the next year was approved by a vote of the members present. The other officers agreed to continue in their respective positions: Zach Schafer, president; Norm Ott, vice president; Larissa Zeiler, treasurer; Joy Walter Praetorius, board member and Lindsy Starkel, Biergarten chair.


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