Chamber news

About 80 people watched Nunley receive his award at the Chamber’s annual meeting in the Lake Monticello firehouse.


Chamber President Scott Valentine said that Nunley and Better Living are active in the local Habitat for Humanity, SPCA, Caring for Creatures, Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, and Salvation Army.  Better Living went from three to 110 employees and “from a horse and buggy to one of the largest delivery systems in central Virginia,” Valentine said.

When Nunley accepted his award, he spoke entirely about water in Fluvanna.  “When we decided to move out here we were told in 2003 that there would be water at Zion Crossroads by 2007,” he said.  “I really hope that people can read the information that’s being put out by the county and really support your Board of Supervisors in moving forward with this.  You’ve seen the success and it has happened in Louisa.  You just have got to get public water and sewer to commercial areas if they’re going to be able to thrive.”

After the meeting Nunley talked about the secret to his success.  “It’s the employees,” he said.  “It really all starts and ends with your employees – the person that greets you when you walk in the door, the driver that delivers the materials.  It’s all about their attitude, their concern for the customer.  If you’re fair to your employees then they will strive to help you in return.  We also believe if you support the community then the community supports you.  That’s why we’re very active in charities.”

The Chamber honored George Cushnie of Thistle Gate Vineyards with its outstanding award for presidential service, which it presents to a non-board member who has gone “above and beyond over the course of the year serving the Chamber,” said Valentine.  Cushnie earned the award on the basis of his expertise and dedication to the Chamber, Valentine said, and the time he has donated to organizing Chamber events.

Billy Sclater was awarded the community impact award.  The founder and owner of Crofton Plaza near Lake Monticello, Sclater is a “friend, not just a landlord,” said Renny Megahan of Fluvanna Ace Hardware.  When the economy went sour, Sclater “stuck by us in the worst,” said Megahan.  “He said ‘an empty building is a bad building.’  He’s a friend, not just a landlord.”

The Chamber’s net income for the fiscal year ending this October was $6,052.  “I am proud to tell you we’re not in the red,” said Debbie Lucado, outgoing Chamber treasurer.  Two of the Chamber’s major fundraising events – Barbecue, Bands & Brews and the wine festival – were dogged by rain this year.  “For the first time in five years both events were miserably wet events, which hit in a very big way,” Lucado said.

The two events lost approximately $11,000, said Valentine.  “If one of the events, or preferably both, had been dry days, Debbie [Lucado]’s report would have been much different, and you would have been clapping,” he said.  The Chamber is seeking member input as to whether it should continue putting on the events.

Valentine’s term as Chamber president is now over.  “Bringing in fresh leadership every year is how the organization stays energized,” he said.  “I’ll still be on the board as the special events chair.”

Lucado has taken over as the new chamber president.  Manager of the Lake Monticello branch of Union Bank and Trust, Lucado has been treasurer for the last two years and has served on the board for the last four.  “One of the things I’d like to address is getting more community involvement, spreading the word, trying to get every person that lives in our community to shop in our community.  We’re going to make that our primary focus,” she said.

“A lot of the residents of our community shop on their traffic pattern, and we have a lot of businesses that are in strip shopping centers that are off the beaten path,” she said.  “I’d like to explore ways we can make it known that those businesses are there.”

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