From being part of rebuilding a Chamber on its deathbed to presiding over the election of a new invigorated board and membership, Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce President Richmond Blake has maintained a calm and steady presence. This was Blake’s final board meeting, since he decided not to run for re-election.

In the past few years, he and former President Mimi Lamp were instrumental in expanding the Chamber from 37 to 120 business members. Although membership has fallen somewhat in the last year, the incoming board that will take its seats in July will face fewer challenges than did Blake and Lamp.

Their most impressive accomplishment was in restoring a sense of fairness and cordiality to the conduct of meetings and creating a welcoming atmosphere that helped to bring in new members.

Director Lanny Hardy thanked Blake for his service, on behalf of the Chamber board and membership.

Chamber Secretary David Jerome noted the pressing need for a second vice president to take over the job of rebuilding Chamber members, statistics of which he said had been inflated by membership trades.

Director Lanny Hardy responded that once a new board is seated and officers elected next month, that need would be filled.

At the June 18 general meeting, the Chamber acceded to Marge Muir and Karen Doshier’s request to take full responsibility for managing the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

“This returns the management of the event to the organization that had long run it,” said Muir, who, with Doshier, presented the Chamber an
organizational template, broken out into committees and duties to assist the Chamber in managing the long popular event.