Chamber of Commerce completes renovations to office

Published 9:15 pm Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Business leaders and public officials got their chance to get a closer look at the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce’s renovated offices during a Wednesday open house.

“The board of directors of the chamber decided it was time to renovate the offices to better represent what Vicksburg is and what our strategic plan calls us to do, and the direction we’re going,” chamber executive director Pablo Diaz said of the estimated $30,000 project.

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“We’ve got new floors and we’ve got new walls and the common area has been renovated and the conference room, and we’ve changed all the lighting and built a new office,” he said.

The common room also has new furniture, Diaz said, adding the chamber offices will receive new furniture in 2019.

The response from the public, he said, has been good.

“We’ve received a lot of ‘wows’ and a lot of ‘holy cows,’ especially from people who were not aware we were renovating and come into the office for business. They have been pleasantly surprised,” he said.

“I think it’s marvelous,” said Margaret Gilmer, chairman of the Warren County Port Authority. “It’s beautiful, it’s well thought out. It really gives out the impression that we’re a progressive economic development team. We’ve had great comments from businesses that have come here. It gives us a new beginning.”

Shelia McKinnis of Entergy said one of the first things that impressed her was the common area.

“It looks more open,” she said. “It looks inviting.”

The renovations are not the only changes for the chamber and The Partnership, the county’s economic development arm.

Diaz said work is underway for a new logo and website for The Partnership and other economic development agencies in the county to reflect the change.

“It’s going to be a unifying website; it’s going to be The Partnership’s website, but all of the information and services that each of the (other) websites currently have for their constituents will be there and expanded to provide better service,” he said.

“It’s a mega website, and if you are a chamber member and you get on it, you’ll know exactly where to go to whatever information you’re looking for. It’s an absolutely a new image for economic development driven by The Partnership. Everything is being revamped.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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