On Dec. 12 the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce held its annual board of directors’ election, and the vote proved to be an uncontested affair.
“It was unanimous during the vote at the luncheon to accept the new board members of 2007,” Laurie Kokenes, executive director of the chamber, said.
Elections are held every year on the second Tuesday of December for the board members whose three-year terms have expired. General members are given a printed slate of officers and a voice vote is taken. Board officers also change, though they are not voted for. Each officer moves one position higher every year. Thus, when the president’s year-long term is complete, the vice president transitions to the president’s position, and so on.
The chamber’s president for 2007 is a familiar face not only on Madison Street, but also within the board itself. Mark Hosty, manager of Healey’s and Cocina Lobos, has been a Madison Street merchant and Chamber of Commerce board member since 1995.
“I like that the chamber fosters positive opportunities,” Hosty said. “The chamber and Madison Street’s vibrancy is so important for Forest Park. Our committee is a place to come together, a great place to exchange ideas.”
Hosty is also running for re-election to the municipal village council.
The new board, however, is not only composed of veteran Madison Street tenants. Some new faces have been joined the board, and those additions have ostensibly helped invigorate the board.
“We’re thrilled to have new business involved,” Kokenes said. “We’re excited to have that energy, and we’re getting so much more done with the new creative energy. It’s brought us up to another level.”
One of those new additions is Liz Axtell, from American Family Insurance.
“I’m still new,” Axtell, a former Bolingbrook chamber member, said. “But, the board is fantastic. There are a lot of good things coming together, and the chamber is just a great way to help improve the community. We’ll use the February meeting to discuss which initiatives we’ll take for 2007.”
The February meeting is an extended board meeting during which the board determines its goals for the year. While the planning meeting isn’t for another couple of months, Hosty has a general issue he’d like to see continued.
“One of the goals of the new board is to keep the community interaction going; to keep the people in the community involved,” Hosty said.