By Jack Sharry

I write to invite all area residents to join in contributing to the increasing economic vitality and momentum we are experiencing in this place we love, the Mad River Valley.

My wife and I have been homeowners in The Valley for 18 years and I have been an active participant in The Valley's economic vitality initiatives over the past five years as a volunteer member of the Community Economic Development Committee, the Community Vitality Project and, currently, as a member of the board of directors of the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Why? Because I love the Mad River Valley for what it is and for what it could be. After lots of meetings and discussions about economic vitality in the Mad River Valley, it is now happening.

Like so many, I fell in love with the natural beauty, the people and the unique feel and quality of life in this magical place. And, as part of the economic vitality process over the past many years, full- and part-time residents were adamant in saying at the many forums that they wanted to see The Valley keep its unique character and natural beauty and enjoy greater economic strength and stability.

As a result of our collective community efforts, positive momentum is underway with new businesses opening, a revitalized chamber of commerce making a real impact and a growing, collaborative and cooperative spirit among the many local volunteer and official organizations.

On behalf of the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce I write to invite all full- and part-time residents to become invested in The Valley by becoming an individual chamber community supporter. Please join us in sustaining our current momentum as we focus our resources to enable local businesses to thrive.

We seek to ensure a healthy economy for our future and are committed to retaining the unique attributes that make this place so special by attracting visitors – especially during the shoulder seasons – and to ensure their visits are memorable enough to want to return.

The chamber is actively:

*             Executing our strategic plan focused on destination marketing.

*             Promoting a common Mad River Valley brand across businesses and organizations.

*             Increasing traffic to the Visitor Center (plus 400 percent in the past year).

*             Attracting new business partners.

*             Supporting business members as they enhance their services and customer experience.

Our momentum is strong and getting stronger. Will you join us?

*             Invest $120 or more by becoming an Individual community supporter of the chamber.

*             Participate in chamber discounts.

*             Join us for chamber events and functions like our monthly Mad Mingles, Coffee & Conversation and the Business Education Series.

On behalf of our local businesses, we encourage you to invest in The Valley. For details, please contact Ginger Berkelhamer, member services coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 802-496-3460.

Sharry lives in Warren and Massachusetts.