Chamber Notes

By Daniel Kushmer

Dear members and friends of the Ruskin Chamber of Commerce: thank you for two years of a great experience. As executive director of the chamber I am so proud of the accomplishments in our community and am extremely excited about the future of Ruskin.

Founded in 1928 by a dedicated group of business leaders the chamber has experienced many changes. However, the one thing that has remained a constant is the tireless dedication of our volunteers. These volunteers have given countless hours of time and resources to the chamber. Due to limited space, I can not thank them all, it would take up all of the space in this fine newspaper. I would like to take a few moments to thank a few folks that have been instrumental in my success.

 I would like to thank Charles Darcy and James Adcock for having enough faith in me to offer the job to me. Anne Madden for her leadership during the early days with the chamber. Miranda Kelly Avecillas for doing a spectacular job as chairman of the Seafood & Arts Festival and now the chamberís president. And, all of the following board members for a job well done. Mary Ann Wilhelm, Kathleen Hudson, Sandy Council, Jan Falcione, Judy Garrett, Jim Johnson, Robin Knowles, Mike Peterson, Lori Rowell, Larry Gray, Kay Sanella, Miguel Fuentes and Patti Coleman. And to all of the volunteers that have made my job easier, I thank you.

 The hardest part of my job over the last two-years has been to write this edition of Chamber Notes. I am blessed to have gotten to know the individuals mentioned above and to be reacquainted with old friends in our community.

 I am resigning my position as executive director of the Ruskin Chamber of Commerce effective Oct. 3, 2003 to seek a different challenge. I believe I am leaving the chamber in capable hands and the executive committee will search diligently to fill the position with the right person.

 During my tenure the chamber has accomplished many new and challenging goals. From improved communication with the members to an improved stature among our elected officials. The Ruskin Community Development Foundation has also played a key role in my life and many new projects are being realized through a dedication second-to-none. From U.S. 41 Beautification to Marsh Creek Restoration and the oversight of Camp Bayou RCDF is always looking for ways to improve the quality of life in Ruskin. Under the direction of Wade Clark and the rest of the board including, Sandy Council, Frances Hereford, Miguel Fuentes, Vicki Elsberry, Mariella Smith, Charlie Riddle, and Dennis Martin this foundation is the essence of community volunteerism.

 I know that I have left out many names but as I said earlier, the paper is not big enough to list them all. Please, just know that I appreciate all of the support that has been given to me over the last two-years and I will never forget any of you I have come to know during this period of my life. Finally, I would like to thank the Observer News. I have lived in many different communities with a weekly newspaper and I can tell you the Observer News is the finest. I appreciate Brenda Knowles and the rest of the staff for allowing me the space to talk to you from time to time, keep up the good work.

 To all of the residents of Ruskin, farewell, thank you and God Bless. I would like to leave you with one of my favorite verses from the Bible, Psalms 118:1 Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His mercy endures forever.


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