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As the new Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, I wanted to take time to introduce myself to the community. I am thrilled with the opportunity to serve you, our local businesses, and our community.

As a Charleston native, I look forward to making a positive impact on the community I grew up in and love. I hope to bring my past experiences in marketing, events, and communication to the role. I believe that together, we can help our community grow and thrive. Please do not hesitate to stop by the Chamber office or give me a call to introduce yourself. I look forward to meeting and working with you.

In other exciting news, the Chamber is hard at work preparing for the 2019 Annual Dinner Celebration, which will be held on Saturday, January 26th from 5-7:30 p.m. in the Eastern Illinois University Grand Ballroom! There will be music and a cocktail hour, followed by an awards ceremony and buffet dinner.

Created to recognize and honor businesses who have demonstrated the “best practices” of entrepreneurship, professional excellence, and community service, this year’s Small Business of the Year Award will be given to Paap Printing.

This year’s Citizen of the Award will be presented to Roy Lanham, Director and Campus Minister at the Newman Center. Mr. Lanham is involved with many organizations in Charleston, as well, as involved with international outreach through programs like Water for Life in Haiti. The Diplomat of the Year award will also be given.

After the Dinner, we welcome all in attendance to join us at Ike’s for a private after-party from 8-11 p.m. There will be a cash bar, music, dancing, and lots of fun!

Tickets for this annual event are now available on the Chamber website! Sponsorships for the evening are still available as well, and we are still accepting donations of a $15 bottle of red or white wine or liquor for our wine pull. For more information or for questions, please visit www.charlestonchamber.com or call 217-345-7041.

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Jessica Killough is president and CEO for the Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce.

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