It’s the James Brown of Wayne County.



The Wayne County Chamber of Commerce just might be the hardest working organization around.



As it enters the 2011-2012 year following its annual meeting last week, the Chamber can feel good about its accomplishments as its members do everything possible to represent and promote Wayne County in the best light possible.


It’s the James Brown of Wayne County.

The Wayne County Chamber of Commerce just might be the hardest working organization around.

As it enters the 2011-2012 year following its annual meeting last week, the Chamber can feel good about its accomplishments as its members do everything possible to represent and promote Wayne County in the best light possible.

“We’re the voice of Wayne County businesses,” First Vice President Todd Stephens said in addressing his colleagues at the Settlers Inn in Hawley during the chamber’s annual meeting last week. “We’ve weathered our share of tough economic times. We want to emerge stronger and more successful and enjoy life in our beautiful Wayne County.”

The Chamber has moved mountains in the past year to get Wayne County securely placed on the map.

It launched a Facebook page to promote the organization and its members, launched a sponsored link of an online marketing campaign spanning a 400-mile radius, saw its Visitors Center welcome 12,500 people, hosted 581 meetings from 76 groups who used the chamber’s community and board rooms and helped promote the Stourbridge Line Rail Excursions, which saw passenger counts increase by 12 percent.

The chamber also attended 17 ribbon cuttings, a sure sign that businesses are bouncing back from a bad economy.

Besides that, the chamber participated in its fair share of membership mixers, educational offerings, parades and other events.

And the chamber helped launch another Leadership Wayne group, which gathers business people from throughout the county to educate them on Wayne County and some of the agencies and services it offers.

The chamber’s leadership is comprised of President Laurie Beahan of Bethany Village, First Vice President Stephens, 2nd Vice President Dan Card of Waste Management, Secretary Kuni Holbert of United Country Holbert Realty, Treasurer Helen Piorkowski of Honesdale National Bank and Immediate Past President Lew Critelli, the CEO of the Wayne Bank.

It’s staff, though, is the driving force.

Without the work of Executive Director Donna LaBar and Executive Assistant Paula Fritz, Membership Director Brandie Weist, Bookkeeper Susan Edsall and Train Manager Annetta DeYoung, this organization might not be the little engine that could.

And with a 19-person powerhouse of a Board of Directors, the future looks bright for the chamber this year and beyond.