News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 8, 2013

KEN BRENGLE: Chamber celebrates at 100th Annual Meeting, looks to what’s next

Ken Brengle
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — What a great event! I hope all of you who attended the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce’s 100th Annual Meeting felt that way when you left. As I like to say, 755 of our closest friends got together for a very special evening. Bill Rancic, an American entrepreneur, delivered an insightful and dynamic keynote address.

Congratulations to our award winners: Vision — A Level Above was presented to Art Spaces & Arts Illiana for raising the arts to such high levels in our area; Business — A Level Above went to Thompson Thrift for their excellence in development in Terre Haute; the ATHENA Award went to Sara Arnett, dean of Academic Affairs, Harrison College; and the Young Leader of the Year Award went to Eleanor “Ellie” Caldwell, CPA, Sackrider & Company.

A big thank you to our awards sponsors: ATHENA Leadership Award — Fuson Automotive and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College; Young Leader of the Year Award — The Tribune-Star Publishing Company and Ivy Tech Community College-Wabash Valley with scholarship support from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College; Vision — A Level Above was sponsored by Indiana State University, and the Business — A Level Above was “powered” by Vectren Energy.

The thing with chamber work, even after you get done with such a big and dynamic meeting like the 100th Annual Meeting, you have to ask — “what’s next?” The answer — on Friday, a 7:30 a.m. breakfast at the Ohio Building with Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz as the guest speaker. This will be our first Education Breakfast, and the cost is $25 for members, $35 for non-members and $150 for a table of six.

The Terre Haute Chamber’s annual DC Fly-In will be Sept. 17-19. Our Terre Haute delegation will be meeting with Indiana’s Congressional Delegation on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday the delegation will then be part of the Indiana State Chamber’s Fly-In. We will be highlighting a number of important issues facing Terre Haute with the Congressional Delegation; these include the Rural Health Innovation Collaborative, the Terre Haute International Airport/Unmanned Aerial Systems, transportation infrastructure improvements for Terre Haute/Vigo County, energy policies and workforce development issues.

Our annual planning conference for the Terre Haute Chamber will be Oct. 18. Last year more than 60 members spent the day helping the Chamber develop its values and strategic initiatives. This year we hope to review those seven strategic initiatives and provide more concrete objectives, tactics and timelines for 2014. We hope to see even more members be involved this year. Be looking for more information in the near future.

Planning is now under way to schedule a “Hero’s Luncheon” during October. In November we are planning a breakfast to recognize our member nonprofits. December will bring us our annual Schmooza Palooza Business After Hours. Please stay tuned for more information in the coming months.

Always feel free to go to to learn more about the Chamber’s activities.

If you would like more information concerning our activities please feel free to contact me at the Chamber at (812) 232-2391 or email us at