ALBION — Albion Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 2019 successes and looked forward to achievements coming in 2020 at its annual dinner, held Jan. 30 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church.
Guest speakers Steve Hook and Joy LeCount of Albion S.T.A.R Team, the town’s Main Street organization, spoke on progress on the Hometown Collaborative Initiative grant.
LeCount recapped the short history of the HCI project. Albion was accepted in the fifth round of applications and remains as the smallest town to be involved in HCI. The HCI project is a program of the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs and Purdue Extension.
LeCount said Albion took advantage of the opportunity to engage in conversation about Albion’s assets and needs with a high response to a survey and public forum. Participation in HCI has positioned Albion well for a future application for the Stellar Communities designation, she said.
Hook said HCI is built on three phases, Foundation (gathering information on placemaking, leadership development and Economic Development), Building Blocks (choosing a project category) and Capstone (execution and completion of the project).
“The alley activation project is our capstone,” Hook said. “There were some delays last year, but it will feature a mural of an Albion Depot image.”
The railroad-themed alley is located next to the Albion Pizza Depot and can be closed off for events and pedestrian-only use.
In other business, chamber members elected leadership for 2020. Kay Craig of Arc Foundations of Noble County, Ken Cripe of Cripe Chiropractic and Tammy Luce of Brick Ark Inn Bed & Breakfast were elected to serve one-year terms on the Chamber board of directors. Sharon Leitch, Chris Magnuson of Anixter Inc. and Sandy Petrie of the Noble County Public Library were elected to two-year terms. Directors who are serving their second year in 2020 are Tony Feichter, Carla Fiandt and Mariah Keirn.
Petrie said the board will soon announce dates for High Impact events open to chamber members in 2020. She noted that the HCI community conversation confirmed that residents want Albion to be welcoming and inviting.
Petrie, the executive director of the Noble County Public Library, said the library contributes to the conversation with its sharing of information, its equipment and resources in The Bridge, and its quest to reach more people of all ages.
Other updates came from representatives of the Bowen Center, Chain O’Lakes State Park, Albion Pizza Depot, Doc’s Do it Best Hardware, Arc Foundations of Noble County, Albion Town Council Community State Bank, Brick Ark Inn, Noble County Economic Development Corporation, Noble County Convention & Visitors Bureau and Regan Chiropractic.