Ashley Alford
Ashley Ryan Alford

Ashley Alford
Chamber offering new services for commercial, professional growth

May 26, 2015

A multitude of new initiatives and activities mark work by Putnam's Chamber of Commerce to promote business and professional growth in the area.

A new Putnam "portal" made its debut today on the internet, and the face lift to the site offers convenient quick access to government services and information for the Chamber's growing business community.

At least part of the new look at the Chamber must be credited to Ashley Alford, the organization's Vice President of Programs & Events who was honored in February with the Generation Putnam Young Leader Award.

Alford is current co-chair of the Generation West Virginia Board of Directors.

"The Putnam Chamber now shoots a video for members selected as Business of the Month," Alford told Putnam Rotarians at their noon luncheon meeting. "It's a free promotional opportunity," she said. "You may use it any way you want."

Rotarian Cyndee Adkins, a graphic & media designer in Hurricane, is the Business of the Month for June for the Chamber's video spotlight.

A calendar for community events is now on the Chamber web site. "It's available to anyone who needs to promote local activities," Alford said. Anyone who needs help with the calendar may get assistance from Shane Bartolomeo on the Chamber staff.

The Community Resource Guide published annually by the Chamber will appear at mid-year in future editions. Data for the book is collected all the time, but most agencies and services are up-to-date with information at the end of the fiscal year in the summers.

New Chamber programs include the "Brown Bag Lunch" set for the Third Friday of every month at Strayer University's Teays Valley campus. "It's from noon to one," Alford said. "It's a free event, open to everyone. Bring your lunch."

Topics for the monthly seminar include employee benefits, workplace wellness, and tips for better productivity. Changes in credit cards will be in place by October, and the Brown Bag series will deal with the transitions.

The next business street fair -- formerly A Taste of Putnam, and now Putnam Review -- is set for Main Street in Hurricane for Sunday afternoon, August 30th, beginning at 1:00 pm.. "It's another opportunity to set up shop and showcase your business," said Alford.

The Chamber is hosting the Putnam Chapter of NOW, the National Organization for Women, at its offices on the Third Thursday of each month at 8:00 am. The group sponsors clothing drives, blood drives, and clinics for health. An all-day session is in planning stages for stress management and relief.

Among other events on the Chamber calendar is the opening of a Panera restaurant in Liberty Square next month.

"It will be the only Panera franchise in the state with drive-thru service," said Alford.

Other events on the Chamber calendar include

"But the calendar is available for all community groups to post their activities," Alford said. "New events are added every day. Check it often."

And, by the way, for Putnam Rotarians working at a distance, or who are unable to get to the weekly luncheon meetings, Alford suggests participation in the Mountain State Rotary E-Club. She, along with others in the Putnam club, is active in the internet group on-line.

More Putnam Rotary News? Click HERE.