Community News Archives for 2021-01

Chamber Chat talks with new Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Donna Christian

Retiring Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Julie Metz and the new Executive Director Donna Christian appeared on Chamber Chat on Friday, January 15.

 

 

The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Donna Christian has been named the Executive Director of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce.

 

She will be replacing Executive Director Julie Metz who has held the position for 14 years.

 

Metz is eager to retire but she said, “knowing that Donna shares my passion for the county and the mission of the Chamber makes it easier to move on. Donna has exciting ideas that will continue to meet the needs and expectations of our members and the community.”

 

Donna Christian has a varied background that is well-suited for the job of Executive Director. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science & Journalism from the University of Indianapolis and has continued her education with certifications from Michigan State University and the University of Notre Dame.

 

Her background includes serving in positions in Governor Orr’s public relations department, WWWY Radio, Irwin Management Company of Columbus as The Commons Mall and Downtown Main Street marketing director, general manager of Indiana Premium Outlets with Simon Property Group, and operations in the Rotary Club of Indianapolis. She has served on numerous boards and committees. She was appointed by Gov. Evan Bayh to serve on the State Tourism Board, Columbus (IN) Visitors Center, Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Zonta Club, Columbus Jaycees, Columbus Farmers Market, Columbus Area Arts Council, and the Foundation for Youth to name a few. She is a current member of the Rotary Club of Indianapolis.

 

Travis Edington, President of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce said, “Hiring someone with Donna’s experience and talent is a clear example of the Chamber’s determination to continue the momentum and positive impact for our members’ businesses under Julie’s leadership. The Hiring Committee interviewed outstanding candidates, but Donna stood out for her experience, marketing and ability to develop relationships with members, the media and the county. We found her to be engaging, energetic, and experienced. She certainly has a “can-do” attitude.”

 

Donna Christian is a life-long resident of Shelby County and a graduate of Southwestern High School.

 

“I have always wanted to work in my hometown. Shelbyville and the county have always held a special affection. I am always quick to tell others that I’m a resident of Shelby County. The people in the county are authentic and caring – it’s just a great place to live, work and raise a family. I’m excited about the opportunity to be instrumental in adding valuable programs and educational opportunities for our members while promoting business growth in Shelbyville and the surrounding area,” Christian said. “I look forward to fulfilling the needs of our current membership while spearheading a push for new members. I believe passionately in the Chamber and its capacity to enhance the economic and business climate of our area. It’s going to be great to be at home in Shelby County and serving my community.”

 

“I am anxious to start training with Julie for this job. I know she will get me prepared to take the helm and chart a course for success. Julie is such a seasoned, well-known professional – it will be a challenge to meet her high standards. I know the Directors and members of the Chamber join me in wishing her all the best in her endeavors. She will be sorely missed,” Donna Christian said.

Shelby Materials marks its 70th year in business

First, a few things that happened in 1951:  

 

Congress passed 22nd Amendment, limiting a President to two terms

 

The Rosenbergs convicted of passing U.S. nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union

 

General Douglas MacArthur relieved of command in Korea

 

Joe DiMaggio announced retirement after the Yankees beat the NY Giants in the World Series

 

Notable movies included The African Queen and A Streetcar Named Desire.  I Love Lucy began its TV run.

 

1951 was also the beginning of a business celebrating an anniversary this year.  Shelby Materials is in its 70th year of operation.

 

Vice President of Operations and Sales Matt Haehl.

 

 

Haehl says it’s wonderful to be a part of a successful, growing company.

 

 

70 years is something to celebrate.  Haehl hopes they get that chance with Covid still having its impact.

 

 

In 1997, the business was renamed Shelby Materials, from Shelby Gravel, Inc., in order to showcase the vast variety of concrete, aggregates and custom blends offered. 

 

 

Pride and love of BBQ powering Smokin' Barrel Barbeque

A love of family, community and food are the three principles Mike McFarland and his wife, CJ have built their business, Smokin' Barrel Barbeque, on. 

 

It has been that way since 2016 when the couple decided to try their hand at bbq full-time after winning several competitions. 

 

For Mike McFarland, the business is the end result of his goals after attaining a degree from Pennsylvania Culinary School. In 2015, he started smoking meats and competing in various backyard bbq competitions. 

 

 

"He and I met 17 years ago working at Smokey Bones. We met when I worked as a waitress through college and he was a kitchen supervisor and restaurant opening trainer. Kids and careers took us a different way, but after winning a few competitions, we decided to try bbq full-time," CJ McFarland told Giant FM.

 

McFarland said all the food made at Smokin Barrel is keto friendly and the bbq is cooked slow and and smoked low on wood. 

 

And, it is made with something that a price tag cannot be put on -- pride and love. 

 

"We love what we do. We love being with our family. We love the communities that surround us and that support us regularly. New Palestine and Warren Township have become our biggest support systems. Our bbq is our family and it is our culture," CJ McFarland said. 

 

McFarland said there are potential plans for indoor dining and possibly a patio area in the future. 

 

"We want to be great at what we are currently doing. We are looking to offer breakfast on Saturdays. Catering in the beginning was our main focus. we still cater, but try to limit it to smaller events as our bbq is an art. It takes at least 15 hours for our meats to be prepped and smoked," McFarland said. 

 

McFarland welcomes anyone who likes bbq to give them a try. She told Giant FM the staff aims to make all customers feel like family. 

 

"We provide good food and service and make all feel welcome. We provide a safe work environment for young people, and our kids work alongside us. Our faith in God has kept us encouraged and has confirmed more than once that we are doing what we are supposed to be doing. Acts 2:42," McFarland said. 

 

Smokin' Barrel Barbeque is located at Camp Sertoma, 2316 S German Church Rd, Indianapolis, just outside New Palestine. It is open Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. 

 

For more information, call 317-340-4502 or at www.smokin-barrel-bbq.com

Hoosiers age 80 and older can register for Covid-19 vaccine

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb and the Indiana Department of Health today announced that Hoosiers age 80 and older will be eligible to register for a free COVID-19 vaccine beginning Friday, Jan. 8. 

 

Individuals age 80 and older account for less than 4 percent of the state’s population but represent more than 19 percent of the hospitalizations and more than half of the COVID-19 deaths in the state, according to the Indiana Department of Health.

 

State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG, said vaccine supplies are still limited. Indiana has received just over 350,000 doses of vaccine to date and is scheduled to receive about 78,000 vaccines per week at this time.

 

“By opening vaccine to those who are 80 or older, then adding people in their 70s and 60s when vaccine supplies allow us to expand, we can best protect the populations that account for 93 percent of our COVID-19 deaths,” Box said.

 

Hoosiers age 80 and older can register beginning at 9 a.m. Friday by going to ourshot.in.gov, searching for a nearby vaccine clinic and selecting an appointment time. Appointments may also be made by calling 211. A caregiver or loved one may make an appointment on behalf of an eligible senior.

 

At least one vaccine clinic will be located in each Indiana county.

 

Appointments for the second dose will be made at the clinic when the first dose is administered.

Additional groups, such as those based on underlying health conditions, will be added as vaccine becomes available. Updates will be posted at ourshot.in.gov.

Conservation Reserve Program general signup began January 4 and ends February 12

Agricultural producers and private landowners interested in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) can sign up for the popular program Jan. 4, 2021, until Feb. 12, 2021. The competitive program, administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provides annual rental payments for land devoted to conservation purposes.

 

“This signup for the Conservation Reserve Program gives producers and landowners an opportunity to enroll for the first time or continue their participation for another term,” Steven Brown said. “This program encourages conservation on sensitive lands or low-yielding acres, which provides tremendous benefits for stewardship of our natural resources and wildlife.”

 

Through CRP, farmers and ranchers establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees, to control soil erosion, improve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat on cropland. Farmers and ranchers who participate in CRP help provide numerous benefits to their local region and the nation’s environment and economy. CRP general signup is held annuallyand is competitive; general signup includes increased opportunities for wildlife habitat enrollment through the State Acres For Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) initiative.

 

New cropland offeredin the program must have been planted for four out of six crop years from 2012 to 2017. Additionally, producers with land already enrolled but expiring on Sept. 30, 2021, can re-enroll this year. The acreage offered by producers and landowners is evaluated competitively;accepted offers will begin Oct. 1, 2021.

 

Signed into law in 1985, CRP is one of the largest private-lands conservation programs in the United States. The program marked its 35-year anniversaryin December 2020. Program successes include:

 

  • Preventing more than 9 billion tons of soil from eroding, which is enough soil to fill 600 million dump trucks.
  • Reducing nitrogen and phosphorous runoff relative to annually tilled cropland by 95% and 85%, respectively.
  • Sequestering an annual average of 49 million tons of greenhouse gases, equal to taking 9 million cars off the road.
  • Creating more than 3 million acres of restored wetlands while protecting more than 175,000 stream miles with riparian forest and grass buffers, which is enough to go around the world seven times.
  • Benefiting bees and other pollinators and increasing populations of ducks, pheasants, turkey, bobwhite quail, prairie chickens, grasshopper sparrows, and many other birds.

 

All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including those that restrict in-person visits or require appointments. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors are also required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Our program delivery staff will continue to work with our producers by phone, email, and using online tools. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus

 

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