Henderson Chamber of Commerce tries to stay positive

Despite the pains of the economy, the Henderson Chamber of Commerce decided to look toward the positives at the State of the Chamber address Aug. 5.

Looking to the future, Rick Smith, c hairman of the board of the Henderson Chamber of Commerce, gave his address with hopeful insight of things to come.

“We are looking in a new direction,” Smith said. “If you have a business in or close to the city, you need the Henderson chamber more than ever before. And we need you more than ever before, because without you, we cannot survive. But can I be presumptuous enough to say without us, you can’t survive.”

His message wasn’t just to the business leaders gathered in the Milan Ballroom inside the M Resort, 12300 Las Vegas Blvd. South. It was also to future businesses that the chamber hopes to recruit as members .

As it looks to partner with more businesses, Smith said the chamber continues to evaluate its relevance to the community.

“If a day comes and you don’t find us relevant, call me,” Smith said. “Call any of us. Let us make it work for you.”

Former chamber president and CEO Alice Martz, who retired in June after 25 years, was showered with honor at the address.

D.J. Allen, founder of Imagine Communications, said Martz can be credited with three major things: getting a permanent building for the chamber, founding the Henderson Business Resource C enter and starting Leadership Henderson.

“But the story of Alice is not these things,” Allen said, “but why Alice is able do these things. Alice is motivated by her love of Henderson and the people who make up this community. She absolutely loves these people.”

Martz also was jokingly credited with Henderson’s population growth .

“Henderson had a population of 38,600 people,” Mayor Andy Hafen said. “Then Alice joins, and in 25 years, the population has grown to more than 275,000 people.”

By the time she hit the stage, a tear-stricken Martz already had received flowers, applause and even poetry, which went well with the awards, accomplishments and two keys to the city she had accumulated in the past 25 years.

“What else can you give to the heart and soul of the community?” Hafen asked.

So, Hafen gave her the last thing he could — the entire day.

“From here on out, Aug. 5 will be Alice Martz Day,” Hafen said.

Contact Henderson and Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at mlyle@viewnews.com or 387-5201.

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