Business Leaders Unite: Excelsior Springs Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Partnership Host Network Events

Director Brian Rice announces raffle winners at the Chamber luncheon. Photo by Jason Cole

The business community in Excelsior Springs has never been stronger, with not only the Excelsior Springs Area Chamber of Commerce working on their behalf but the Downtown Excelsior Partnership providing support to the downtown businesses, too. Both offer businesses an opportunity to advertise, sponsor events, and get involved with annual events, fundraisers, meetings, and luncheons. The closer that we get to summer, the more we will see their presence in our community with upcoming events like Waterfest and the annual Wine Festival. This past week both organizations held networking events for their membership.

Thrive Excelsior Director Kim Halfhill gives a presentation to the Chamber during the monthly luncheon. Photo by Jason Cole

Excelsior Springs Chamber Luncheon

The Chamber held its monthly luncheon on Wednesday, April 19th and featured the work of Thrive Excelsior. Thrive Excelsior is a community coalition that seeks to increase the quality of life and life span on residents in Excelsior Springs. Based off the Baldrige-based Communities of Excellence framework, the coalition brings stakeholders together from across the community, including business, tourism, education, healthcare, nonprofits, and government that all have a role to play in fostering a thriving community.

Their efforts are centered around three key areas:

• Economic Vitality: Support economic recovery and stability through re-employment initiatives, workforce development, and initiatives to support local businesses and our schools.

• Health and Wellness: Reduce the chronic disease rate in our community by raising levels of physical activity within the community, increasing access to nutritious food options, and providing increased access to health care.

• Housing: Expand access to affordable housing by developing additional workforce housing in the community and by providing financial education programs for first-time home buyers and residents.

Director of Thrive Excelsior’s Kim Halfhill gave the presentation, sharing the work of the committees. She also described the Citizen’s Leadership Academy that has just been started and is a product of the group. This short series gives citizens an opportunity to learn about the different roles of local government and become aware of the ways that they can get more involved. For more info on Thrive, click here.

Chamber Director Brian Rice recognizes Bill Westerheide’s time as Chamber Board President with a plaque. Photo by S. Jason Cole.

Chamber Director Brian Rice also recognized Bill Westerheide for having served the past year as the Chamber Board President. Newly stepping into the President’s role will be Abigail Douglas from the Mid-Continent Public Library – Excelsior Springs Branch. Having grown up in Excelsior Springs, Abigail is excited to continue giving back to the community.

Sharon Powell greets the crowd at the Downtown Merchant Mingle. Photo by Courtney Cole

DEP’s Downtown Mingle

Lyndsey Baxter, director of the Downtown Excelsior Partnership, hosted a Downtown Mingle at the new event venue, Solana on Broadway, on Wednesday evening. At this event she gave an update on the multitude of committee work that is underway for the organization. Former Mayor Sharon Powell was the first to great the crowd, thanking them for the support they’ve given during her time as mayor.

The public is invited to come to the downtown for a Cinco de Mayo celebration, offering Mexican inspired foods, drinks, items, and games throughout the different eateries, drinkeries, shops, and boutiques! This is the first time for this event but they’re planning on offering street tacos, sangrias, carnitas tostadas, Mexican street corn, aqua fresca, margaritas, piñatas, and more! Visit their event page for more info!

In addition to the new event, Lyndsey also gave an update on the Entertainment District, stating that they’re going to table this issue until a later date. They’re also continuing work on their latest project, Lithia Landing, which seeks to build a deck area in the lot next to Willow Spring Mercantile, to provide a resting and social gathering place for visitors in the downtown. Watch for more info on this project to come in the near future. The organization are seeking donations and placemaking grants to reach their goal. Click here to learn more.

DEP Director Lyndsey Baxter greets the crowd at the Downtown Mingle. Photo by Courtney Cole

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