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John Anderson revives struggling Clements-Lockeford Chamber of Commerce

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Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 5:56 am, Thu Apr 26, 2012.

Like cats, the Clements-Lockeford Chamber of Commerce seems to have nine lives. The business organization was rescued from the dead in 2006 when Timothy Fowler became its president and Cynthia Haynes its chief executive officer.

More than five years later, Fowler told the chamber membership he had too many irons in the fire to continue as president. Last year, Fowler said it looked like the chamber would fold unless someone stepped forward and assume the presidency. At the time, no one was interested.

But in January, Lockeford resident John Anderson offered to take Fowler's place.

"I said, 'I'm really busy, but I'll step up,'" said Anderson, senior vice president for real estate and business development for Diede Construction. "It would be sad to close the chamber."

Not only is the Clements-Lockeford Chamber back on its feet, Anderson said, but it has an enthusiastic board of directors to operate the small chamber.

"I'm the one guy on the board — the rest are women," he said.

As chamber president, Anderson has several goals to make it a stronger organization. Among them:

  • A big country-western concert and winetasting event tentatively scheduled for October at the Clements Stampede grounds on Highway 12 opposite Clements Road.
  • Conduct events jointly with community organizations like the Clements-Lockeford Lions Club.
  • Establishment of an expanded business "enterprise zone" for both communities, where people establishing businesses within its boundaries can achieve some tax credit incentives.

To prepare for the country-western and winetasting concert, Anderson would like to work with the Clements Buckaroos rodeo organization to improve the grounds, primarily on the hillside on the south side of the arena.

Currently, the hillside, where spectators have a good view when attending rodeos, becomes a source of weeds once the rainy season stops. Anderson said he'd like to find a tractor company to either donate or lease inexpensively a riding tractor and to add seed and a sprinkler system to keep the hillside lush and green. In exchange, the tractor company would get some free publicity at events there.

"It's completely underutilized," Anderson said. "It would be a great venue for concerts and other events."

Ray Engel, who sits on the Clements Buckaroos board, said he would welcome the chamber's help. The Buckaroos are struggling just to pay bills. Their annual Clements Stampede rodeo hasn't been held in four or five years, Engel said. Now the only events the organization sponsors are two junior rodeos. One will be held May 12 and 13. There is no admission charge.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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