Chamber looking ahead to ‘hi-speed’ Salem Print

The Washington County Chamber of Commerce held their monthly meeting on April 26, 2012 at the Awareness Building in Salem. Board President Hank Jacoby opened by reminding chamber members that Friday Night on the Square is coming up very quickly on May 18 and reminded everyone that vendor space for the event was filling up quickly.
“This is a unique situation,” he said, “because more people have signed up earlier this year than ever.” He went on to explain that usually they receive most of their applications for vendor space during the final two weeks leading up to the event, so seeing the majority of spots go so early was quite a pleasant surprise.
Jacoby announced that the 2012 “Light up the Courthouse” campaign has officially begun encouraged all members of the board and the public to chime in with their ideas and input on what this year’s Christmas lights display should incorporate.
He also announced that the Chamber of Commerce was working together with the Old Settlers Day committee to put on this year’s celebration, a partnership Jacoby says is here to stay, at least for a while. “Over the next five years we’re going to return Old Settlers Day to its former glory,” he stated.
Anita Bush, marketing director, made mention that they had reached 240 members in the past month, a milestone and personal best for the Chamber of Commerce. Jacoby said that he was unable to complete the treasurer’s report in time for the meeting, but he would send it out to all members as soon as it was finished. The Chamber has been without an official Treasurer since Jane Wells stepped down from the position in March.
April’s meeting was hosted by phone and internet provider Frontier Communications and the company had a handful of representatives present. Craig Galloway, general manager of Frontier’s branch in Seymour, gave a brief presentation to those in attendance. Though Frontier Communications has territories across the country, Galloway wanted to make sure that Washington County residents were aware of how important rural communities and smaller towns are to their line of work.
“Salem, Indiana is a big town to Frontier,” he said to the crowd. Galloway explained that their company has been very focused on southern Indiana, with a presence in areas around Seymour, Terra Heute and now Washington County. He said Frontier recently stationed two licensed technicians in Salem and the company has their eyes on pushing the current DSL boundaries into more of the rural neighborhoods that lie just outside city limits. “This is a great team,” Galloway said of their staff in Salem and Seymour. “These guys are pros – they know what they’re doing.”
When asked how long it would take for Frontier to begin offering hi-speed internet to residents in the farther edges of Washington County, Galloway’s replied they would as quickly as a phone company that is essentially still getting their foot in the door is able to. “We’re going to get there...we just can’t get there fast enough.”
However, he did point out that Frontier already offers DSL capabilities to residents 2 miles further out than Verizon has. “For a rural phone company, that’s a big deal.” Jacoby expressed interest in talking with Frontier’s CEO, Maggie Wilderotter, about the possibility of sticking down more corporate roots in Washington County. “Maybe a call center,” he suggested.
Back on a local level, several chamber members announced events that were happening in Salem during the month of May. The Depot will have a groundbreaking celebration for their Expansion project on May 18, followed by the grand opening of the Lake Salina Trail on May 19.
Youth First announced they’re beginning to look for students who wish to take part in their Keep Encouraging Youth to Succeed (also known as K.E.Y.S.) program, three days of leadership and business training aimed at high school students in the area. S.O.A.R.! representatives reminded the chamber that their “Put Your Nose in a Book” program where they read to 1st graders will take place at all three elementary schools during May. They invited anyone interested in reading to the kids to participate.
The Washington County Chamber of Commerce holds their monthly meeting on the fourth Thursday of every month. If you would like to RSVP for May’s meeting, call 812-883-4303 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .