Panora Chamber President Talks about Activities
By Susan Thompson
Dave Grove is serving during 2019 as president of the Panora Chamber. Grove was born and raised in Marion. He attended the University of Northern Iowa where he met his wife, Sara, and graduated in 2007 with a degree in business management.
A financial advisor, he was asked in 2011 to relocate to Panora to manage the Edward Jones branch here. The couple has lived at Lake Panorama since 2012, and welcomed their children Norah, age 7, Gracie, age 4, and Leo, age 2, since moving to Panora.
Q. Share some of the inner workings of the Panora Chamber.
A. I’m the Panora Chamber president, for this year, after serving as vice-president the previous year. As many of us have done before, this is the second time I have served in this role, having also been president in 2015.
We meet the third Monday of each month at noon for lunch at rotating venues. We welcome community members who might have an interest in joining or attending as a guest. We coordinate many of the community activities and can always use more volunteers. Anyone interested in more information can call 755-3213, and ask to be added to our chamber email distribution list. You also can “like” us on Facebook, or check out our website at www.panorachamber.org/.
Q. How many members make up the Panora Chamber?
A. We currently have about 90 members, and I am glad to report that number has been steadily growing over the last decade. Several new businesses have opened or changed ownership or management in the last few months.
We recently welcomed Mitzie Rue's Canine Corral, Sunset Realty, Donovan Construction, DCH Family Medicine, T & K Design, Fashions on 44, and Kozy Home as an addition to Lake Side Floors.
Q. What are some of the special activities and promotions the Panora Chamber helps with each year?
A. There are a bunch of activities we coordinate throughout the year, but Christmastime is an especially busy time. We host the Santa's workshop, which will be held this year on December 7. Area children and families are invited to join us for breakfast and a morning filled with crafts, games and sweets. We also help decorate the Panora square and Main Street for the holiday season.
Also, Panora Chamber is the driving force behind Panorama Days. Much of the planning and financial support come from our chamber members’ volunteerism and fundraising. About seven years ago, Chaille Crandall signed on to serve as our Panorama Days Director and she does a wonderful job. She puts in a great deal of time throughout the year to organize and execute activities that are inclusive and fun for all.
Q. What do you see as the benefit of residents of Guthrie County shopping locally in Panora and surrounding communities?
A. I am so glad you asked! According to a 2017 Forbes magazine article, for every dollar spent in local small businesses, 68 cents stays in the community. That is more than double the amount chains reinvest. We all want our communities to thrive, but it takes a concerted effort on the part of business to make a compelling product or service that local residents value. On the flip side, we ask our local residents to always consider a local alternative to purchasing goods online and in the "big city." If we can retain enough business in our town, then the community wins long term. It is that simple.
Q. What does the future hold for the Panora Chamber?
A. Over the last several months, our chamber has begun exploring the opportunity to hire an individual who could help organize and lead the various events and activities the chamber puts on during the year. This would be a paid, part-time position. This person would be asked to attend our regular monthly meetings, and help with marketing, among other activities. If you or someone you know would potentially have interest, I would ask you reach out to our chamber, or watch for a job posting in the near future.