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New faces on Chamber board

Congressman Michael Guest to Host Passport Acceptance Event

The Wesson Chamber of Commerce board has a new team bringing new ideas to the table and looking at tweaks to bring some freshness to ongoing work.  Four new board members come with no prior service, a fifth with just a few weeks service and a sixth with a history long forgotten. 


A Reno, Nevada, transplant, whose family roots are in Wesson, brings a background in economic development that shapes her perspective and vision of Chamber leadership.


 Teri Bath, the new president of the board who resettled in Wesson three years ago with her husband, a real estate developer, says she wants to see the Chamber broaden awareness and exposure of Wesson among state, regional and even national businesses and government officials.


“I want to show them that Wesson is a part of Mississippi -- a diamond in the rough where industry can operate profitably and produce a comfortable living for residents, so they don’t have to drive long distances to work and their kids can find good jobs and not have to leave town when they grow up,” Bath says.

Other new faces joining Bath on the Chamber board are vice president Jerri Lynn Porter, the Wesson Copiah bank branch manager; Pam Stamps, who owns a Brookhaven-based accounting firm; and secretary-treasurer Nekitha Jackson, who is also president of the Wesson Attendance Center Parent-Teacher Organization.  After many years, Tim Sutton, owner of Wesson Ace Hardware, returns to the board, and Kristi Carney comes back after brief service last year.  Marilyn Britt, former Wesson Trustmark Bank branch manager and now working at the public library in her retirement; and Janet Currie, owner-manager of the Another Time. . . .Another Place gift shop, continue long-standing service on the Chamber board.


Before turning their attention to the new, however, the board is currently focused on Wesson’s venerable Founders’ Day celebration that will begin on the evening of May 3 and continue throughout the day on May 4. 


Specifics on the 2024 event aren’t available yet, but Bath says it will build on last year’s program, which featured a 5K Run/Walk, musicians, vendors with an array of arts and crafts, snacks, refreshments and meals; the crowning of a new Queen, a parade and fireworks.  


Likely, walkers and runners will again begin the festivities with 5K event on Highway 51 that follows a route through Wesson and the Co-Lin campus and ends at their starting point on Highway 51.  Last year, more than 60 adults and youth participated and larger numbers are expected this year.


Throughout the day on May 4, soloists and bands now being lined up will take the Spring Street stage with an assortment of gospel, rock and country music, dance and crowd-pleasing performances.  Shoppers will browse vendor booths and bargain for clothing, jewelry, arts and crafts.  An abundance of food, snacks and drinks will be available to satisfy the hunger needs of visitors. 


Beyond Founders’ Day, Bath has a full agenda she wants the Chamber board to consider for the coming year:


  • Reviving an annual community banquet as the venue for the Chamber awards ceremony.


  • Luncheons throughout the year with speakers of interest to business people on such topics labor and tax laws, marketing, artificial intelligence and the nature of the workforce.


  • Special raffles that build traffic at businesses with Chamber prizes for winners of drawings.


  • Pre-election forums with candidates speaking about their positions on issues and available to answer questions.  Last year before the November elections, 30 county candidates met with more 50 persons at the municipal park.


“I also want the Chamber to constantly work at building relationships with the community and forming partnerships with town government, Co-Lin, civic and service organizations towards making Wesson more viable,” says Bath.


“When the town’s business community needs support, we want to be prepared to go to bat for it, working effectively on its behalf.”


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