Richmond Blake and Chamber Director David Jerome unveil the Marshall Hawkins Town Jazz banner at the Chamber’s Installation Dinner on Tuesday, July 24. Photo by Marshall Smith

The Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce announced new officers for fiscal year 2012-13 at its installation dinner last week at the Fern Valley Inn.


The Chamber’s new officers are: President Chris Titus, Idyllwild Vacation Rentals; First Vice President Lanny Hardy, The Creek House; Second Vice President Gary Taylor, Fern Valley Inn; Secretary David Jerome, Idyllbeast Research Center; and Treasurer Mimi Lamp, Art by Mimi (Lamp is traveling and will begin serving in September; until then Titus and Jerome will cover treasurer duties).

Titus emceed the event and Jerome provided guitar stylings for entertainment. Titus announced after dinner that it was her intent, as new president, to “make it [Chamber events and membership] fun and to talk about what’s offered in town. It’s our voice and the community needs to hear it,” she said.

Chamber President Chris Titus (left) asks Steve Moulton to draw the winning raffle ticket at the Chamber installation dinner on July 24. Photo by Marshall Smith

Titus acknowledged the service of outgoing board members Richmond Blake, Nick Todd, Kim Mueller, Don Strunk and Joann Slater. Completing the eight-member board (11 are authorized) are Mike Lackey, Jo’Ann’s Restaurant, Peter Buhl, Funky Bazaar and Bill Gorski, Suburban Propane.


About 25 people attended the well-provisioned dinner, which, at $5 per person, the Chamber justifiably argued was the best bargain in town. The Tuesday, July 24, event was held outdoors on a lawn with festively decorated tables just below the Inn’s sparkling pool. The buffet food service and bar were available poolside.

Idyllwild’s new Mayor Max attended with his human handlers and greeted his constituents with the polished performance of a pro.

A highlight of the dinner was the unveiling of the Marshall Hawkins Town Jazz banner. The Chamber is managing the in-town jazz event that local jazz icon Hawkins created last year to bring Jazz in the Pines patrons to after hours jazz concerts in Idyllwild’s downtown business district. Last year’s event spanned two days and took place at one venue, Jo’An’s Restaurant. This year, Hawkins, with the Chamber’s support, has tentatively slotted four additional venues, with entertainment to take place over three days. The event will be held starting Friday evening, Aug. 24 through Sunday, Aug. 26.

Marshall Hawkins, dinner honoree, speaks about Town Jazz and his years in Idyllwild. Photo by Marshall Smith

Hawkins, introduced as Idyllwild’s jazz man emeritus, joked that he was very much still active and referring to Town Jazz he said, “Not only I, but we, are just getting started.” Hawkins said he was happy to be expanding the Town Jazz event because it benefits Idyllwild’s businesses and provides an alternative jazz experience for locals who may not be able to afford Jazz in the Pines ticket prices. “This is my home,” he said, stating that it has been his home for 36 years.


Titus concluded the evening by conducting a raffle for prizes supplied by local merchants and restaurants.