Driscoll installed as chamber president

By The Aberdeen Times staff

The Aberdeen Times of Aberdeen, Idaho

New Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce President Dirk Driscoll was installed at the chamber installation banquet Monday, Jan. 25. His vice president is Brett Crowthers. Secretary is Vicki Gamble and treasurer is Cheryl Sorensen.

A letter from Sarah Yancey, 2010 Junior Miss, was read and she thanked the chamber for the opportunity to be Junior Miss. She thanked them for the program and said that being in the program was fun and planning for this year has also been fun. She was unable to attend the banquet because of a rescheduled girls' basketball game.

Outgoing president Curtis Waltman thanked last years board of directors. He said being president means serving the community of Aberdeen and he loves doing that. The service includes Aberdeen Daze, the Easter Egg Hunt and the parades. He thanked Larry Barrett for his work on the Easter Egg Hunt and Ardis Parsons for her work with the parades. He commended the people who support the chamber in their efforts.

Maurine Driscoll and The Villager was awarded the Business of the Year Award. The Villager had been in service for 37 years and many said they were sad to see it close. Waltman thanked Maurine Driscoll and everything she has done for the community. Smart Pankratz of the Great Rift Business Development Organization (GRBDO) presented her with an envelope containing coupons and certificates from local businesses as a thank you for her contributions to the community.

Dirk Driscoll presented Curtis Waltman with a plaque for his service. He has been president of the chamber of commerce for a total of five years. Driscoll thanked Sorensen and Gamble for staying on as the treasurer and secretary.

"Change is constant, improvement is optional," he said.

Kristen Jensen, executive director of GRBDO, said the group attending the banquet looked seasoned and experienced and knew how to build a successful business so she decided to present a film clip on a man that needed others around him so he could be successful. This man was blind and climbed Mt. Everest. She told everyone "By picking a good team you assure success."

Stephen Weeg, director of Health West, said he has spent his life helping others and Ardis Parsons embodies the spirit of Health West. Health West started in 1976 in a trailer. It is a community owned clinic and not for profit. It consist of a 15 person board. When choosing the board, they choose people who use the clinics.

Health West serves over 8,000 people a year. Sixty-five percent are white and 35 percent are Hispanic. Most of them have no insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. Last year Aberdeen had about 5,500 visits. Health West plans on being in Aberdeen for another 35 plus years.

About five years ago, Weeg came to Health West. Two years ago they did some strategic planning. The board said Aberdeen needed a new building. It was too small for the number of visits it has. They decided they need to be ready when things could happen. "We don't always know when they will happen, we just need to be ready" he said.

Aberdeen is currently building a new clinic. It will have a specialist area, a play room, and bigger examination rooms. It is also designed so it is expandable in the future. Wings can be added onto the north side of the building. The building cost is $600,000. They received close to $500,000 in stimulus money, have raised $35,000, but need to raise about $115,000 more.

"All of us pulling together make a big difference," he said.

He thanked the community for their sense of generosity and how the communities rally around things that are needed.

Health care reform, he said, has been highly politicized.

"In this country we have some of the best health care ever but we need to do better. No individual should be without health care," he added.

He thanked everyone for their support.

Copyright 2010 The Aberdeen Times, Aberdeen, Idaho. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Read Full Article at Aberdeen Times&pid=235&catid=2&catname=Regional Government