1303 S Hwy 32, El Dorado Springs, Missouri     417-876-4154

The Land that I LOVE!

Tough to be Honored with 2017 Professional Torch Award

June 29, 2017

Chamber President, Toshua McCormick congratulates Executive Director Jackson Tough on receiving the Jim Anderson Torch Award. McCormick nominated Tough for the award. Jackson will be honored this month at the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives conference in Nashville, TN.
Chamber President, Toshua McCormick congratulates Executive Director Jackson Tough on receiving the Jim Anderson Torch Award. McCormick nominated Tough for the award. Jackson will be honored this month at the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives conference in Nashville, TN.

El Dorado Springs Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jackson Tough is to be honored as the 2017 Jim Anderson Professional Torch Award & Scholarship recipient by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE).

The Missouri and Illinois Chamber Executives award is based on leadership and mentor contributions, professional development goals and service to the industry, the chamber and the region. As part of the award Tough will receive a scholarship and be honored at the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives annual July conference in Nashville, TN. The award committee is composed of Kansas City, Springfield and St. Louis chambers of commerce, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, Illinois State Chamber of Commerce and the national Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

Chamber President Toshua McCormick espoused why she believes Tough received the Professional Torch Award, “Jackson truly knows business to business dynamics and has an intimate understanding of our community’s unique challenges and opportunities. When Jackson joined the El Dorado Springs Chamber at the end of 2010 the organization maintained approximately 80 members. The chamber of commerce has seen a 56% increase since his arrival. The average monthly luncheon attendance of 20 participants has tripled to average 60 attendees because Jackson engages membership and has advanced our chamber dramatically.”

In March Missouri legislators wanted to gain perspective on the status of rural economic development, better understand the functions of our rural chambers and the vital impact they have on their economies and communities. They asked Jackson to represent our chambers of commerce to the Rural Economic Development Caucus in Jefferson City. Jackson spoke on advancing our chambers as economic development drivers, rural broadband initiatives, more funding for Small Business and Technology Developmental Centers and more. Jackson keeps a vigilant eye on local, state and national matters that might influence local business and our members.

McCormick continued, “Jackson’s commitment has brought new life to our chamber and our community. He’s implemented and improved many community events, projects and programs.

Jackson has been the catalyst or played a large role in many projects including two sidewalk enhancements, historic downtown neon sign renovation, economic development director initiative, holiday lighting refurbishment, coordinated clean-up campaigns, designed new community guides, produced a promotional video for our community and more.

Last year the El Dorado Springs Chamber of Commerce was honored as the Small Market ‘Missouri Chamber of Commerce of the Year’ by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce. This tribute is in large part because of Jackson’s tenacity, leadership and vision for our chamber.

His commitment also extends beyond the chamber of commerce. Jackson is an exceptional single father to two teenage daughters. He consistently illustrates commitment to his family, faith and of course our community.”

Tough said of the award “This is truly an honor. Like the Missouri Chamber of the Year award, it is a reflection of our membership coming together for business and community betterment. I greatly appreciate our chamber President Toshua McCormick’s support and efforts to nominate me for the Professional Torch Award. I also appreciate the chamber board members who took time to write letters of recommendation. I certainly couldn’t do it on my own. It’s humbling to see our work acknowledged. I never doubt that a group of thoughtful and committed citizens can affect positive change in our community, the area and our state; indeed we can.”

THE 2017 PICNIC IS OVER!

Thank you to all who helped make it a success!

We can't wait for next year! See you then!

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El Dorado Springs Chamber Director Addresses Legislators

Last Monday afternoon El Dorado Springs Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jackson Tough visited Jefferson City to address the Missouri Legislative Rural Economic Development Caucus.

State Representative Warren Love who invited Tough said “our legislators wanted to gain perspective on the status of rural economic development, better understand the functions of our rural chambers of commerce and the vital impact they have on their economy and community, plus hear about achievements that earned El Dorado Springs the Missouri Small Market Chamber of Commerce of the Year.” Approximately 15-20 legislators from around the state were in attendance as well as Cedar County Economic Developer Marge Vance.

JT Podium Rural ECTough spoke on several topics including the function of rural chambers, which as he said, are essential to the economic growth of their respective communities. “Our chambers connect
business principals through introductions, they facilitate projects, maintain data on their individual areas, keep a pulse on local, regional and national economic climates and stay abreast
of pending projects and legislation (a public policy advocate). Our chambers also identify their respective community’s specific assets and opportunities, they’re instrumental in attracting
business and industry to their area, they help create job opportunities, seek improvement of community facilities and infrastructure and serve as a partner to every community business.”

“And of course rural chambers are an economic development driver in our communities. Economic Development is as diverse as the communities in our state. From locating and
retention of businesses, manufacturing, tourism, small business and entrepreneurial development, retiree recruitment, agribusiness and more. They’re all forms of economic development.”

The discussion then turned to some issues that Tough and Cedar County Economic Developer Marge Vance brought to the group. Tough told the group “There are several issues that we see affecting Missouri’s rural economic development today. Rural Broadband is one of the largest needs in Missouri. Faster and reliable internet is imperative for our existing businesses, schools, healthcare, prospective economic development and the quality of rural life in Missouri. There’s also a need to fund Small Business and Technology Developmental Centers for better access to vocational and technical schools, improving workforce development and resources for potential rural entrepreneurs. Missouri Works Tax incentives offer limited value to small rural businesses.  Current Missouri Works may be a greater benefit to larger corporations but not so much for our smaller rural operations. Those are just a couple of areas for improvement.

Tough also mentioned the Missouri Chamber of Commerce project, “Missouri 2030, An Agenda to Lead” which is a plan to insure the state is able to compete in a global market, including our rural areas. Tough said “Missouri will be in a better position in the global economy because of the work we are doing today.”

JT caucusMore than 3,000 counties make up the United States.  Today, census data shows that more than half of the population is clustered inside just 146 counties. This trend also holds true in Missouri, a state where more than 70 percent of the population lives in urban areas that encompass less than 3 percent of our state’s land.

As we work to improve rural Missouri, we must understand one hard truth: There are likely no policies we can enact in our state that can reverse urbanization, which is ultimately a global trend.  A better goal is to help prosperity grow in ways that are independent from population growth.

To do this, the Missouri Chamber and our local chambers are committed to ensuring that our state’s rural communities aren’t left out of economic solutions like those to improve transportation infrastructure. That they share in the benefits of advancing technology and internet connectivity.  That capital funding is available to help get rural startups off the ground. That advancements in how we educate our workforce are relevant and applicable in rural classrooms. That efforts to attract economic expansion include a strong focus on rural jobs.

There’s another important aspect to bringing prosperity to rural Missouri. And that involves recognizing and empowering private-sector businesses and entrepreneurs who know how to thrive in a rural Missouri economy.

Tough said of the day at the capitol, “It was an honor to address the Rural Economic Development Caucus. I hope we were able to shed some light on the role of rural chambers of commerce and spotlight the state of economic development in our rural Missouri communities.”

2016 MISSOURI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF THE YEAR

WE WON! THE EL DORADO SPRINGS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IS THE 2016 MISSOURI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF THE YEAR!!!
Each year we are asked to complete an activity questionnaire by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The survey includes questions regarding our projects, programs, initiatives and engagement. This information was used to identify the state’s top chambers of commerce.

Some of the projects, programs we were graded on: Clean-Up El Do, Christmas Lighting Ceremony, Christmas Parade, Community Guides, Visitor Guides, Social Media: “Be in the Know About El Do Mo!”, Online Member Directory, Crafts & Home-Based Biz Christmas Expo, Small Business Saturday, National Day of Prayer (with Ministerial Assoc), City-Wide Garage Sale, Annual Awards Gala, New Member Ribbon Cuttings, Grand Openings, etc., Monthly Networking Luncheons, Highway 54 “Sidewalk to the Future”, El Dorado Springs “Historic Downtown” Sign, Economic Development Director Initiative, New Resident Welcome Packs, Bulldog Seasonal Sports Calendars, Improvement of Community, Source for Visitor and Public Information, Youth Scholarship Fund, Referring Members Prospective Customers, Provide Member Network Opportunities, and much more!

sidewalk-photoThe “Sidewalk to the Future” Phase II Pledge Drive was Successful!

The El Dorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and our community has successfully acquired the needed pledges to secure the grant for the “Sidewalk to the Future” Phase Two. The project has a central focus on children’s safety, but it will benefit the community in many ways.

UPDATE:  El Dorado Springs has received notification that it indeed has been awarded grant funds from the Transportation Alternatives Program that is funded through the Missouri Department of Transportation.  The City of El Dorado Springs was awarded $351,889 in grant funds for the Phase II sidewalk project.    The total cost of the project is $439,862 with the city providing 10 percent match, and the Chamber of Commerce raising the other 10 percent with donations and fundraising efforts from the community.  There were almost 100 grant applications submitted this round.

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