Greetings friends!

“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” — Helen Keller

It’s hard to believe it is already 2014! Many of us are trying to figure out what our New Year’s resolution is going to be for 2014. Most will try AGAIN this year to lose weight, or eat healthier or exercise more. I wish you luck with whatever you may resolve to do this year; I hope that you are successful and it brings you much joy.

When choosing a New Year’s resolution for 2014, think about what this River Valley has to offer and include those resources to aid in your success. From YOUR local merchants to area fitness facilities and the beautiful mountains and lakes for outdoor activities, there is something for everyone here in the River Valley. Get out and be a part of it in 2014.

For more information, visit our website at or contact YOUR Chamber at 364-3241 or [email protected]

We have had many challenges and changes at the Chamber during 2013. This Chamber board of directors was thrilled to welcome long time Chamber Director, Cheryl Dickson as the new Chamber administrator on a part-time basis. Cheryl brings an immense amount of experience and knowledge from her many years as a director.

Together with her experience and this board’s ambition, we are making the necessary changes to bring the Chamber back to the forefront of the River Valley and help our local businesses to market themselves and remain prosperous for 2014.

We welcomed two new directors during 2013. Tina Sirois, store manager of Mardens in Rumford, and Cindy Gilpatrick, River Valley manager at WOXO Gleason Media. We look forward to their involvement in upcoming events for 2014.

Mia Purcell, program manager for Western Maine Economic Development Council will be joining our board as a director in 2014. Mia brings with her great knowledge and many resources for the Chamber to take advantage of in the months ahead.

We hope our area businesses will take advantage of the resources available to River Valley Chamber members through the Western Maine Economic Development Council this year. Workforce Training Resources are available to members at no charge; resources include a DVD Lending Library available online for immediate use to assist Chamber members with employee training.

Watch for more to come on the resources available through the WMEDC in the year ahead as we will “spotlight” some of these resources in our weekly events e-blast and the monthly Sun Journal insert.

The River Valley Chamber of Commerce is proud to bring back the River Valley Business to Business Expo in 2014. I hope to announce a date for this event soon so that we can get our EXPO packages out to River Valley businesses ASAP. There will be some changes to the format of the event this year which I think will make for some fun and intrigue. So watch for your EXPO Pack coming soon.

The River Valley has faced many challenges this year, from budget angst among many of the 10 River Valley towns to the prospect of two of our finest venues (BMOM and GRCC) ALMOST closing their doors to the announced layoffs coming in early spring of 2014 at New Page Corp.

But through all of these trying times, the communities of River Valley have united to fight for what we hold dear to our hearts — the small town businesses that keep this area unique, the hometowns we have built for and with our families and the community that pulls together in times of need.

And now with the coming of a new year, in the spirit of camaraderie and creating a renewed culture of cooperation, selectpersons in Rumford and Mexico unite to bring us the sharing of Town Manager John Madigan.

I have more hope than ever that this beautiful River Valley that we call OUR home will thrive and prosper for 2014.

Happy New Year,

Janet Brennick

President, River Valley Chamber of Commerce

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