Let’s Clear The Air Once And For All!
I was visiting with a local business owner this past week as part of the post Blue Bell/Bluegrass Classic Car Show and Festival work that had to be done. She related a conversation she had had with another business owner who had inquired as to who had produced the festival. When she told him Promote Llano his reply was, “Oh the people who don’t like the Chamber.”
To set the record straight, I organized Promote Llano because of a conversation I had with Mike Virdell when he was running for Mayor. Mike made me aware of so many people in Llano who felt disenfranchised and “left out” who were talented and wanted to make a positive contribution to their community.
At the initial organizational meeting of Promote Llano I made it a point to tell all present that if I heard of anyone denigrating or speaking ill of the Chamber of Commerce I would not be tolerant of such action. Alas, there does seem to be one or two members who are no longer active with Promote Llano who are vocalizing the opposite of which Promote Llano, and I, stand for and wish to accomplish.
The truth is, I personally have the greatest respect for Chamber President David Griffith and David and I have worked together in the past and shall do so in the future. We both share the desire to do what is best for our community period.
The Llano Chamber of Commerce and Promote Llano worked together seamlessly to produce the “Taste of Llano” held the Friday night before the festival and I think everyone who attended would agree it was a wonderful event. Llano Chamber personnel and Promote Llano personnel worked side by side serving locals and out-of-towners alike and we all had a good time I have also been told of the nay-sayers in town who are trying to paint the festival as less than successful. They’ve been there every time anyone has tried to do something positive. They are also the same ones who wouldn’t walk across a room to get you a glass of water if your hair was on fire. Just smile and nod your head when you run into them.
Something everyone should know. When Promote Llano produces an event over 85% of the money raised and spent stays in Llano. We even pay the bands in cash so they will leave it here.
Finally, the officers and members of Promote Llano do not do what they do for slaps on the back or “atta-boys”. We do it because we love our community and want to make a difference. Yes, a lot of us are newcomers but we love Llano and we want to show our dedication to our community.
No we weren’t born here or graduated from here but neither did we leave here to pursue careers and then return with the feeling that we were entitled to be the big men or big women on campus.
On a personal note, many of you try to bait me about the Chamber of Commerce.
It was my honor to serve as Executive Director from July of 2006 till January of 2010 and during that time I could always put my head on my pillow knowing I did everything in my power to do what I thought was best for the community I love.
But I only continued the building of those who had come before me such as Mary Rhoades, Cheryl Quallenberg, and most of all Elisa Dalyrmple who spent countless hours building the momentum. I consider the Chamber of Commerce a vital part of this community and it deserves everyone’s support and respect. Make no mistake; it has mine.
The Blue Bell/Bluegrass Classic Car Show and Festival was a huge success and not because of Promote Llano or me. It was a success because business owners and business leaders came together to make it so. It’s the Billy Ratliffs, Horace and Myrtle Oestreichs, Stan and Karalina Venables, The Tribbles of T Paint and Body, Les Inman of Inman’s Station, and new businesses such as O’Reilly Auto Parts and Arnold Oil (A-Line Auto Parts), it’s the Main Street Program
and the crew at City Hall, and the Mike and Louise Hazels. It was Llano coming together for a common purpose and not for an “atta-boy” but rather for the overall good of Llano and Llano businesses and look what we did. Congrats everyone!