LIVERMORE FALLS — Donnie Foster is looking forward to expanding the Jay, Livermore, Livermore Falls Chamber of Commerce (JLLF COC) and adding new, chamber-sponsored community events.
“My two goals are building membership by reaching out to businesses that serve our community but aren’t located in the community, and looking for ways for the chamber to give back to its members,” said the new chamber chairperson.
Foster has embarked on a one-year term as chair, having taken over from outgoing chair Christine Fournier at the chamber’s annual meeting in January. He said that an emphasis for him will be revamping the chamber’s website and placing more emphasis on communicating by electronic media.
“It’s something we can do with little to no cost for the benefit of the members,” he said. “My goal is at least once a week to put something on the chamber’s webpage or Facebook page.”
He said that he was working with chamber administrator Regina Cote on the website and Facebook updates.
Foster recalled that he first got involved with the chamber when then-chamber administrator Bonnie Perkins came into 3-2-1 Copies, which Foster was running at the time. She was looking to have items printed for the chamber, and the two conversed about the benefits of chamber membership.
Before long, Foster had not only joined the chamber but was involved with several committees. He says that a sense of community bonds the chamber and its members.
“The Jay-Livermore Falls area, it’s a very tight-knit community with a strong community presence,” he pointed out. “The community members support each other, and we’re trying to build on it to make it stronger.”
There is definitely a need for more businesses and jobs in the community, Foster said.
“The big thing is identifying the needs of the community and looking for a way to fill those needs with new businesses. Small businesses often don’t create a lot of jobs by themselves. There’s a need for identifying some larger companies that could fill a void in the community.” Each month except for July, the JLLF COC holds breakfast meetings, usually at LaFleur’s Restaurant. The chamber sponsors the annual Apple Pumpkin Festival in September, which sees hundreds of people flock to the Livermore Falls Recreation Field for food, games, music, business displays, and more. There is also an annual golf tournament held at Maple Lane in Livermore to benefit the chamber’s scholarship fund for Spruce Mountain High School seniors looking to major in a business-related field in college.
Sometime this spring or summer, said Foster, the chamber will be putting on a 5K road race. Communitythemed dinners and dances may also be among the new events that will be held.
Foster owns NEV Solutions in Livermore, working with business owners to improve their business. He helps businesses improve their customer strategies, with bookkeeping, and with their websites.
Foster lives in Livermore with his husband, Dale Boothby. He mentioned that the two of them are converting to a self-sustaining farm with turkeys, ducks, and geese. They will be bringing in pigs and bees this year, and are hoping to have solar power installed this summer.
For more information on the Jay, Livermore, Livermore Falls Chamber of Commerce, go to www.jaylivermore- lf.org, or visit its Facebook page.