Chamber set to celebrate 60 years

The Jennings County Chamber of Commerce will celebrate its many years of supporting local small businesses and industries at its 60th annual meeting and awards dinner Nov. 13.

The public is invited to attend the event at the Rolling Hills Shrine Club.

“The annual dinner is always well attended because it is a great way for members of the community to get to know each other and to meet the leaders of local business and industry,” Jennings County Chamber of Commerce Director Marie Shepherd said.

The local chamber was founded in 1955. According to its mission statement, the goal is to provide programs and resources to the local business and professional community and to promote a healthy business environment with the hope of improving prosperity in the local community.

“The chamber of commerce is the heart of a town. When individuals or new businesses move into a town, they call the chamber for information. When people are trying to find a product or service they call on the chamber. When community organizations need help with an event, they call the chamber,” Shepherd said.

The Jennings County Chamber of Commerce has 183 official members. Shepherd said membership is down from previous years but noted that membership in chambers of commerce across the nation is down.

“I think the downward trend is happening because many large chain businesses are prohibited by company policy from joining local chambers. Our chamber has been blessed because many of our large, local businesses help support our events even though they are not official members of the Jennings County Chamber of Commerce,” she said.

Several businesses will receive awards for their longstanding chamber memberships. Other awards that will be presented are: Small Business of the Year, Young Professional of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and Most Distinguished Teacher of the Year.

GMA Catering will provide the meal. Tickets cost $20 per person and can be purchased by check, mail or at the door. However, reservations must be made by Wednesday by calling 812-346-2339, or online at

If you go

WHAT: Jennings County Chamber of Commerce 60th Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner

WHEN: Nov. 13. Social hour begins at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and the program at 6:30.

WHERE: The Rolling Hills Shrine Club, 3815 State Road 7 North, North Vernon.

WHO: Open to the public.

COST: Tickets are $20 per person purchased ahead or at the door, but reservations must be made by Wednesday by calling 812-346-2339, or online at