(Editor’s note: This week’s Chamber Chat is being brought to you by Gary Mac Herring, president of the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce. Janna Bass’s article will return next week.)
I regret to say that after living in Sampson County my entire life of almost 37 years, I have yet to attend the National Hollerin’ Contest in Spivey’s Corner. It is not that I have not wanted to go. I have. It just seems that things haven’t worked out. Life gets busy, my calendar fills and before you know another year has passed and another Hollerin’ Contest missed.
Nine years ago if you had asked me what things or events in Sampson County I had not experienced or taken advantage of, I would have said that the Hollerin’ Contest was probably the only thing that I could think of. At the time, I had a lofty vision that I pretty much knew everything there was to know about this county. I had friends and family scattered throughout the county. I read the paper most every day. I thought I was informed. Boy was I wrong.
So what was the turning point nine years ago? What event caused me to reevaluate my knowledge of Sampson County and all it has to offer? It would be becoming a member of the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce which has opened my eyes even wider to what our great county has to offer.
Shortly after joining the Chamber, I enrolled in Leadership Clinton-Sampson, an eight month, leadership program offered by the Chamber which allows participants a chance to learn about Sampson County.
One day a month, for eight months, participants in this program cover various areas in Sampson County. Topics covered include health and human services, local and state government, economic development, education, agriculture and criminal justice. During these topic days, participants get hands on education of what makes up Sampson County. Leadership participants may tour a local factory or farm, visit the State Legislator, tour our local hospital or discuss issues with local leaders. The knowledge gained by the participants from this program is unmatched.
I highly recommend this program to anyone in our county. I learned more than I ever thought and even made some great friends along the way. If you are interested, I encourage you to apply to the program. The Chamber is currently accepting applications for the next class of Leadership Clinton-Sampson which starts in September. The application deadline is August 8th so if you are interested, call the Chamber Office, 592.6177, today for more information.