Greater Georgetown Chamber of Commerce has high expectations

Those in the audience get a look at the Greater Georgetown Chamber of Commerce leadership and board of directors for 2020. Sussex County Councilman John Rieley administered the oath at the Jan. 15 installation luncheon. From left: Kevin Thompson (Executive Director, Georgetown Chamber); Sarah Gilmour (Pathways to Success); Mary Susan Jones (Microtel); Mary Ann Leager (M&T Bank); Cathie Aschiero (Fulton Bank); Chris Goldsmith (Quality Staffing Services); John Rieley (Sussex County Council); Linda Price (Delaware Aviation Museum Foundation); Eric Montgomery (The Computer Guy); Nicole Wright (Go-Glass); Dr. Darren Blackston (Delaware State University); David Zeigler (SERVPRO of Sussex County) and Sunny Gyani (Georgetown Airbnb). (Submitted photo)

GEORGETOWN – Dynamic, diverse and exciting.

That was the overriding theme at the Greater Georgetown Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 board installation held Jan. 15 at the CHEER Community Center.

With membership hovering around 300, the Georgetown Chamber aims to continue successes realized in 2019 and explore and entertain new options with a new president – longtime chamber member Linda Price – and new blood within the board of directors.

“I just want to say how excited I am,” said Ms. Price. “I have been part of the chamber for quite some time now. I am very excited about our board. We have a great dynamic board. They are very interactive; just full of ideas, and I think that they are going to work really well for all of our members, all of you. So, I am excited about the prospects of 2020.”

“We’re going to continue with our programs that we found success with in 2019,” said Kevin Thompson. Greater Georgetown Chamber executive director. “We’re going to try some new stuff, whether it’s a program, or something that we can value to the chamber members and the board members as well.”

Ms. Price, a longtime chamber member and chairwoman of the chamber’s marquee festival event, Wings & Wheels, retired from Fulton Bank. She then assumed the community outreach role with the Delaware Aviation Museum Foundation in Georgetown.

As president, she succeeds Anthony DelFranco, who recently last year from his marketing director position with CHEER.

“Anthony did lay a lot of groundwork for us, and I think this year we are just going to expand on that,” Ms. Price said. “I am really looking forward to serving this year.”

“We really had a great year. We did lot things, accomplished a lot of things,” said Mr. DelFranco. “It was really important to me to have the support of all those board members that we had, and I think this upcoming board is going to be just awesome. As a matter of fact, Linda, Kevin and I, we took time to interview each one of the potential members, and I came away super impressed.”

Mr. Thompson made note of the board’s new blood.

“This is a new board for 2020, it’s probably 90 percent new. We only have three returning members from the board for 2020. That’s not a bad thing. It’s a great thing. We’re going to look at it in a very positive way,” he said. “There is a lot of new faces, a lot of excitement, a lot of motivation to really make some significant changes in Georgetown and within the chamber.”

Besides Wings and Wheels, an early October weekend staple that attracts thousands of spectators to the Delaware Coastal Airport, the Georgetown Chamber plans to continue its Easter Egg Hunt. It will again be held at Mulligan’s Pointe, which is also slated to host one of the chamber’s Battle of the Bartenders.

Returning after successful debuts in 2019 are the chamber’s chicken barbecue event and golf tournament.

“There will be others, to be announced,” Mr. Thompson said.

The oath at the board installation was delivered by 5th District Sussex County Councilman John Rieley, a past president of the Georgetown chamber.

“It’s a little like homecoming. I did serve a couple terms as president. It’s good to see a lot of familiar faces, people that have served a long time,” said Mr. Rieley. “And you know what is even better than that? There is a lot of new faces … because that points to the health and vibrancy of the chamber. It bodes well for the future. Georgetown is on the move. You’ve got a great mayor. You’ve got a lot of committed people.”

“Even though you are not in my district you’re in my heart,” Mr. Rieley said, “because I feel connected to Georgetown probably more than any other town than Millsboro in Sussex County.”

In addition, the chamber holds monthly mixers, hosted by chamber members. It also holds periodic economic development events, the first of which will be held Feb. 5 at First State Community Action Agency featuring Kevin Gilmore of Sussex County Habitat for Humanity as guest speaker.

Ms. Price emphasized the key to success includes communication. “The only way that we are going to succeed is if you talk to all of us. Tell us what your needs are, what you are feeling.”

Mr. Thompson said Ms. Price is eager to assume the president’s reins. “We’re very excited about that. She has been a fixture in the chamber for years, and she wanted to kind of step into the president’s role this year.”