Diana Jones, new head of Meeker’s chamber board, looks to future

MEEKER I The Meeker Chamber of Commerce has a new set of board officers this year with the election having been held Oct. 8.

Diana Jones, co-owner of Meeker Drugs with her husband, Mike, was named president of the board of directors, succeeding Leif Joy, whose term was up. Moving into the position of vice president was Lee Overton, representing Northwest Auto. Overton moved into the position after last year’s vice president, Wendy Gutierrez, decided she would prefer to remain on the board instead of moving up to the board’s top spot.
Marti Walsh, representing RimRock Campground will be treasurer while at-large members of the board will be: Gutierrez of Wendll’s Wondrous Things; Leif Joy of Joy Surveying; community supporter Kim O’Connell; Ann Marie Scritchfield of Sable Mountain Outfitters; Dan Schwartz of Ripple Creek Outfitters; and Arturo Rodriguez, the new owner of Mexican House and the Meeker Cafe.
Schwartz and Rodriguez are new to the board this year.
The new members of the chamber board took their seats on the board immediately after the election.
“It is an honor that the board chose me to be their president, and I am looking forward to continuing the great things the chamber has been doing,” Jones said. “I look forward to strengthening the chamber’s position and actions toward economic development and supporting our members in what they want to do.
“I am also excited to be working with such an amazing group that makes up the chamber board of directors,” Jones said. “We have an entire board full of strong leaders; it isn’t a case of one or two members leading the others. We all work well together.”
Jones said that over the nearly five years she has been on the board that the chamber has initiated a lot of changes that have benefited and will continue to benefit the organization and its members.
“I believe we now have a strong voice within the community,” she said. “And along with the Town of Rangely and its chamber, the county’s new emphasis on economic development and the Town of Meeker’s commitment toward economic development, we will become a strong voice in Rio Blanco County and outside the county.
‘With all of these groups working together, we are moving forward,” Jones said. “We are excited because I believe we will make a big difference.”
Jones said she and the chamber board are gearing up for another major membership drive in the Meeker area because, she added, it is really important to have many members’ voices and ideas working together to make the chamber a strong advocate of local interests.
“(Chamber Executive Director) Stephanie (Kobald) is and will continue to make person-to-person visits to every business in town and many in the area in an effort to increase membership in the chamber,” Jones said. “And we are working hard to strengthen current events and bring in some more people and events to town to benefit all our members.
“I am looking forward to continuing current happenings, and I am really enthusiastic about some some new possibilities,” she said. “We are also looking at becoming the new site for a lot of outside-sponsored events.
The chamber will continue with its annual HOV (highway off-road vehicle) gathering as the numbers this past year increased over the previous year, Jones said.
“We are obviously having word of mouth success,” she said.
Jones said there is also a large snowmobile group looking at visiting the county in January or February and that the state is looking to help revive the Scenic Byways program.
“It is really nice to see strong programs such as those we have begun, and it is nice, as I enter my fifth year on the chamber board, to see these programs coming to fruition,” she said. “I am really excited about the future for the chamber and I am proud of what has been started and look forward to what the future brings.”