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Changing of the guard at chamber sparks memories

WARRENSBURG - After a half-dozen years under one administrative team, there's been a change of the guard at the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce.

Lynn Smith and Dennis Martinez, chamber president and vice president respectively for six years, have stepped down.

The two left office primarily because of term limits imposed by the organization's bylaws. Smith and Martinez were directors for three consecutive three-year terms, the maximum allowed.

Taking their place are Cheryl Kenyon, president and Shawn Dempsey, first vice president. Also elected as officers were Daniel West, treasurer, Deborah Baker, second vice president; and Faith Buck, secretary.

Monday, Smith said she'd enjoyed her busy, lengthy tenure, including her supervision of the nationally-recognized World's Largest Garage Sale.

"It was a lot of work, but it was a lot of fun too," she said. "I learned a lot about dealing with personnel issues and various personalities."

Under her regime, the chamber expanded the office staffing to two part-timers, so it now is covered daily. Now, in inquiries for local information can be answered promptly throughout the year. Smith also noted that during her reign, a walking map of Warrensburg was created.

Martinez said he also enjoyed his years as vice president.

"It was fulfilling to do things that help the community as a volunteer - everyone benefits," he said.

Martinez recalled recent chamber accomplishments including landscaping the local Senior Center that houses the chamber offices, and re-establishing the Warrensburg Citizen of the Year award, which honors community volunteers. Also, holiday decorations of the town have been expanded, and the chamber made a significant donation to Richards Library's expansion campaign, Martinez said.

Martinez' and Smith's tenure had its formidable challenges.

In recent years, the chamber's income from the World's Largest Garage Sale has dwindled as more and more vendors have moved from chamber sites to private property.

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