On Thursday, January 11, 2018, fourteen members of the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and staff gathered at the Cashiers Glenville Recreation Center to discuss organizational and community priorities for the upcoming year.
High on the Chamber's agenda this year will be workforce development, pedestrian mobility and safety, broadband connectivity and economic development. The group committed to continue efforts to "move the needle" on the challenging and complex issue of workforce development, addressing year-round and temporary employee housing, recruitment, training and retention. If is already working with regional experts to identify short- and long- term solutions to the growing problem of affordable and available housing not only for seasonal labor but also for younger, permanent help who would like to relocate to the area with their families. The Chamber also hosts CashiersAreaJobs.com, an online jobs board, organized the first Plateau job fair last year and will explore hospitality-related training partnerships.
Pedestrian mobility and safety will remain a focus for improved village core walkability. This includes construction of traditional sidewalks and expanding the Village Ramble permeable surface pathways system. The group is planning a public awareness campaign to promote safety along the roadways in and around Cashiers more dense commercial district and corridor to Ingles Shopping Center. While state law requires vehicles to stop and yield the right of way at crosswalks, casual observations would suggest frequent violations and traveling at speeds exceeding posted limits represent a significant safety threat to pedestrians.
The Chamber will continue to work with both government agencies and private providers on commercial, residential and public broadband access across the Plateau and assist with community redevelopment in Glenville and Lake Toxaway.
The Chamber frequently works with the Cashiers Planning Council and is supporting the County's Small Area Plan to identify economic and community development issues through an inclusive, disciplined approach guided by an expert consultant.
In an unincorporated area with no municipal government and with more than 400 business, non-profit and associate members, the organization plays a critical role economic and community development. It actively represents Cashiers Area's interests before county, state and federal officials to ensure tax revenue and other reinvestment supports measured growth. It also serves as a contracted agency to the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority to operate the southern Visitor Center and promote effective tourism management.
Among its notable contributions which elsewhere would be government responsibilities are funding and construction of Cashiers and Glenville destination signs and funding, construction and management of the community banner display at the Crossroads. It publishes 50,000 plus copies of the Cashiers Area Visitor Guide & Membership Directory and the Cashiers Area Shopping & Dining Guide and pedestrian map in addition to maintaining a digital presence with a comprehensive website and online community calendar via Cashiers411.com.
Current Board Members include:
President: Debby Hattler, Hattler Properties
President Elect: Mary Lanning, Hampton Inn & Suites
Treasurer: Glenn Ubertino, Zoller Hardware
Secretary: Stephanie Edwards
Past President: Malice Grant, Sounds Essential
Justin Allman, FireMoss Pottery
Tony Austin, Lake Toxaway Company
Chris Conner, Cullasaja Club
Ken Fernandez, Old Cashiers Realty
Ben Harris, Harris Custom Builders
Sarah Jennings, Lonesome Valley
Kathy Korb, Laurelwood Inn
Brandy Letson, Cashiers Valley Pharmacy
Will Madden, Entegra Bank
Sonia Russell, Chile Loco
Ken Taft, Landmark Realty Group