Column: Chamber of Commerce coalition works on priorities for '09

The working relationship between the seven chambers of commerce in the Central Arizona Chambers Coalition has strengthened this year with the adoption of a combined list of legislative priorities for the 2009 session. In addition to the Prescott Chamber, the coalition includes the chambers of Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, Sedona, Camp Verde Cottonwood and the Tri-City Hispanic Chamber.

Last year, the coalition hired a Phoenix-based lobbyist to represent the chambers on a part-time basis. Courtney LeVinus of Capitol Consulting is the designated lobbyist for the coalition and provided weekly updates to the chambers during the last session, as well as speaking to legislators on our behalf as needed.

This year, significant effort was put into establishing the group's legislative priorities, beginning with a gathering of the state's chambers in Prescott this past August. Topics covered in the platform include tourism, transportation, business development, education, healthcare, initiatives, energy and affordable housing. The specifics of each topic are now being discussed by each chamber's board of directors with a goal of completing the approval process this month and publishing the complete platform prior to the start of the legislative session in January.

Christmas Parade and Courthouse Lighting

I'd like to thank the many volunteers and donors who, once again, have made the annual Christmas Parade and Courthouse Lighting successful events. Space doesn't permit me to list everyone by name, but I would like to give special thanks to Jeff Karas, a former Prescott High School student who is now at ASU, for creating this year's parade logo featuring the theme "Home for Christmas."

Quarterly Membership Breakfast

Make your reservations for the chamber's quarterly membership breakfast Thursday, Dec. 11, at the Hotel St. Michael. The program will feature updates on major issues and events, networking opportunities and door prizes.

You can register now using the chamber's online reservation program at, or by calling Anne at 445-2000.

General admission is $15; Chamber members' cost is $13. The event includes a full breakfast buffet.

Chamber Annual Meeting

The chamber's annual meeting will feature a sneak preview of the Arizona Diamondback's 2009 season from keynote speaker Daron Sutton, the television play-by-play announcer for the Diamondbacks. The luncheon meeting will take place Thursday, Jan. 29, 12 - 1:30 p.m. at the Prescott Resort. General admission tickets are $40; Prescott Chamber members pay $30.

Another Good Year for Walking Tours

More visitors took advantage of the Chamber's free walking tours of the historic downtown area this past season. A total of 808 people took the tours, up from 772 the previous year.

In all, 52 regular tours (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays) were scheduled from late spring to early fall. Twenty-one additional special tours were also provided.

Tour guides are volunteers who receive extensive training through Sharlot Hall Museum before leading tours. Ken and Evelyn Edwards once again coordinated the tour guides program for the chamber. Thank you, tour guides, for another successful season of tours.

New Members

The Prescott Chamber welcomes the following new members: Anago Cleaning Systems; Comfort Suites Prescott Valley; Country Club Circle Townhomes; Foghara Advertising; Gibbons Design; Healthsource Chiropractic & Progressive Rehab; Starstruck! Event Planning; Team Harmony Realtors/ERA Real Estate; and Visiting Angels.

For more information about joining the Prescott Chamber of Commerce, call Susan Cohen, Membership & Marketing Director, 445-2000, ext. 116.