Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Chamber Head Tells Crowd to Get Involved in Community

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Chamber Head Tells Crowd to Get Involved in Community

Article excerpt

The newly elected president of the Clay County Chamber of Commerce issued a challenge to people interested in making their community a better place to live.

As Van Royal took over the chamber's top position last week at the organization's annual dinner and installation of officers at Riverdance hall, he challenged the crowd of more than 200 to get and stay involved with the community.

"My involvement is a way of saying thank you to this community," said Royal, project director for Magnolia Point Golf and Country Club in Green Cove Springs. "We live in a wonderful community because we have a county full of people, many who are in this room tonight, always trying to make things better."

Former president Bill Courtney, who works for Merrill Lynch, said 1998 was a year of continued growth and development for the chamber. He listed the most notable accomplishments of the 700-member organization as taking leadership roles in several important economic development initiatives, including Brannan Field Corridor, extension of the 1-cent sales surtax and the creation of the Wells Road Task Force that assisted businesses with construction-related issues.

"The well is only so big, but it is amazing how many people rise to the occasion in Clay County," Courtney said. "My sincere thanks to all our dedicated, talented and hardworking directors, volunteers and staff who make the chamber work."

Courtney presented presidential awards to Paul Cummins of Cummins Insurance Services, Jim Pieper of First Coast Continuous Forms and Wendell Davis of Watson Realty for the numerous volunteer hours they gave in organizing chamber events and activities.

"The chamber is the voice for business in Clay County," said Davis, who chairs the organization's government affairs committee. "This is a very professional, unified and service-oriented organization that is available to help businesses when they need it. …

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