Chamber Wins State Award


The Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce won Arizona's Excellence in Rural Development Award this year for its annual Business Showcase event.

The chamber competed for the honor against a number of Arizona cities and towns, including Mesa, Prescott, Kingman, Globe and Lake Havasu.

Arizona Governor Jane Hull presented the award to Judy Miller, chairperson of the chamber's Business Showcase Committee during the Governor's Rural Development Conference in Pinetop.

Miller, coordinator for the Eastern Arizona College Small Business Development Center, has headed the committee since the Business Showcase began in 1993.

"It's been a wonderful committee to work with," she said. "Some of the people have been on it since it first began and it's very exciting to get this state recognition."

The showcase is a cooperative venture between the chamber and the business community, said Tom Kaleta, chief executive officer of the chamber.

"The award is the result of a cooperative venture between local businesses," he said. "It's a diverse cross-section of the showcase committee and the chamber.

"It's a real important thing that so many people worked together to improve the quality of life in this community."

The seventh annual Business Showcase was held in April in a 16,000-square-foot tent at the Wal-Mart parking lot. Seventy-six booths were set up inside the tent and several booths were stationed outside. The show was designed to provide businesses with a festive and relaxed atmosphere in which to showcase their products and services.

"We all appreciate receiving this award for the very first time and are dedicated to continue to seek the same standard of excellence in every Business Showcase we produce for our members," Kaleta said.

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