Chamber honors Mecks and Music at annual dinner
West Virginia State Chamber of Commerce president Steven Roberts addressed the record crowd at the Pocahontas County Chamber of Commerce annual dinner meeting on Thursday night.
"The purpose of the Chamber of Commerce is to build businesses and create jobs so people can enjoy a good standard of living," Roberts said.
Although the annual dinner meeting is a social affair, there is business to be tended to there, as well.
Local COC president Bill Jordan welcomed the members, and presented the slate of board nominees.
Chamber members elected new members to the board, and they were: Robert Elwood, Michael Holstine, Gail Hyer, Sherry Radcliff, David Cain and Barbara Lay.
These members will work for the benefit of all businesses in the COC as they join current board members Andrew Dean, Dr. Arthur Kreft, Paula Garretson, Reta Griffith, Marvina Irvine and Bill Jordan.
The highlight of the annual meeting is the presentation of the Community Involvement and Individual Involvement awards.
Just two sentences into the presentation by Brooke Riffe, Miss Roadkill 2011, left no doubt as to who would receive the Community Award.
"Tonight the Pocahontas County Community Involvement Award is presented to a business whose philosophy is to find a niche, treat others with respect, kindness and make sure God is at the front of all the projects," the recommendation stated..ﾠ "Growth for them has come with hard work and serving others the way they want to be treated."
The recommendation for Jacob and Malinda Meck, of Green Bank, along with their employees, was so powerful that it will serve this community well to be privy to its entirety. So it is presented here.
"They believe in the betterment of the community and their fellow human beings. You will see the staff at the shop toiling late hours to accomplish goals and dreams not only for themselves but for God, their employees, family and their community
"The owners are compassionate towards their church, family, employees and community. You will find them working before daylight and after dark to bring their plans together. Both of them started as youngsters working in the family business and then as teenagers working for the in-law's businesses until they were married and started their own business.
"Besides work they are actively involved with church and several organizations for the betterment of the community.ﾠﾠ The owners are members of the Boyer Hill Mennonite Church where they are Sunday School teachers, Trustee and Treasurer for the church. One owner is the Secretary of the Durbin Lions Club.ﾠﾠ He also serves in the capacity of First Vice President of the State of West Virginia Home Builders Association, President of the Greater Greenbrier Home Builders and was appointed by Governor Joe Manchin to the WV Contractor Licensing Board in 2008.ﾠ The other owner serves as Treasurer to the Pocahontas County Chamber of Commerce,ﾠ after two terms as its president.
"The employees are all involved in the community, as well.ﾠﾠ The office manager serves as the secretary/treasurer for Pocahontas Woods and treasurer for the two Northern Pocahontas Methodist charges.ﾠﾠ Several employees are active members of the BFD Fire and Rescue, Cass Fire and Rescue and Shaver's Fork Fire and Rescue.ﾠﾠ One employee is an active deacon in his church where he also fills in for the pastor. You will also find him helping his wife with many after-school activities at Pocahontas County High School.ﾠ One employee was coach for the youth ball program at Green Bank Elementary Middle School.ﾠﾠ Besides these involvements you will find all the staff donating time and resources day or night to help a neighbor in need."
The 2012 Pocahontas County Community Involvement Award was presented to Jacob and Malinda Meck, owners of Jacob S Meck Construction, LLC, ﾠAllegheny Disposal, LLC, The Outhouse, LLC and JacMal Properties, LLC, and their staff.
"I wondered why most of my employees were here," said Jacob, as he received the award.
Jacob told the group that sometimes he wonders why they continue to get up every morning and continue to push. And he gave credit for their success to the community and their customers.
"We are directly across from Sheets GMC," Jacob said. "I have gone across the street late at night and said, "Charlie, it's late.ﾠ It's time to go home. But - that's what makes a business successful."
The 2012 Individual Community Involvement Award was presented to 94-year-old RN Mildred Music, of Buckeye.
The preamble to the presentation told of Music's life and work.
"She is the eldest licensed nurse in West Virginia.ﾠ She began her nursing career in 1941 at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital where she still works part-time.ﾠ She is very involved with the hospital auxiliary and is the co-manager of the gift shop at the hospital."
Music is also an active member of the Swago CEOS and the Buckeye Chapel.
"She has devoted her entire life to the service of others."
State president Roberts then took the stage, telling the crowd that his first visit to Pocahontas County was when he was five-years- old. His dad took the family on a camping trip in August, and he remembers that it was cold.
"Public service helped to build our great nation," said Roberts, as he introduced the various public servants present at the dinner.
Adding humor to the evening , Roberts quoted P. J. O'Rourke: "Giving money and power to the government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teen-age boys," he said.
Warning those in attendance that what he was going to say might make them uncomfortable, Roberts proceeded to present less than glowing remarks about the business climate in West Virginia.
Several in attendance were uncomfortable, and disturbed by the laundry list of negative statistics, covering issues from the use of food stamps to failure of the state's education system, and everything in between and on the fringes.
Robertsﾠended his presentation with the challenging words of the hymn chorus of "Dare To Be a Daniel."
"Dare to be a Daniel,?
Dare to stand alone!?
Dare to have a purpose firm!?
Dare to make it known."
If the turnout at this year's chamber dinner is any indication, this county has several owners and CEOs who, knowingly or unknowingly, already conduct their business by those words.
Jaynell Graham may be contacted at email@example.com