On Friday, Aug. 15, just about every parking space on Main St. was filled with cars. For many years that was an unusual sight, especially in the evening. But that was not the case last week when the Superior Chamber of Commerce celebrated the grand opening of their new headquarters.
Community leaders, chamber members and supporters of the Chamber from throughout the region attended the celebration. Speeches were short and heartfelt, but the remarks captured the hard work of the Chamber over the past six years. Sue Anderson, President of the Chamber commented that six years ago when a few people got together to revive the Chamber there was at best a few hundred dollars in the bank, but with hard work and commitment the Chamber now owns a building. She thanked the previous presidents and board members over the past six years for their leadership and those that had been instrumental in the refurbishing of the building.
One of the highlights in the building is the local art showing in the meeting room. Anderson explained that a new group has formed called the Superior Artist Alliance, the Alliance is open to artists who live or own property in Superior. Their art is on display in the Chamber office and is also available for sale.
Interim Superior Town Manager, Margaret Gaston spoke and congratulated the Chamber for their successes. “It is a wonderful accomplishment,” she said. She thanked the Chamber for their dedication to the community and explained that she enjoys working with the Chamber. She is hoping to invite members of the Copper Basin Chamber to attend some of the meetings and chamber events to get ideas for the Kearny, Hayden and Winkelman areas.
Mayor Jayme Valenzuela also spoke and congratulated the chamber for their accomplishment. He thanked the Chamber for keeping the Town on their toes, and for being involved in the community. “I appreciate what you (the Chamber) do for the community,” he said.
Mark Siegwarth, Director of the Boyce Thompson was also invited to speak. Anderson commented that the Arboretum is one of the Chamber’s strongest supporters. Siegwarth commented on an experience in his life where he was volunteering to build a fence, he had no help, at first he was discouraged then after two days on the project he looked back and saw what he accomplished, then looked forward and saw possibility. He explained that at first he was a bit skeptical of the Chamber’s vision, but he was glad to be part of it, and looks forward to what the future will bring.
Anderson explained to the crowd that as they began to refurbish the building, there were many repairs that had to be made, most of which cost $10,000 each. The board began to worry what they will do if they run out of money. Fortunately Resolution Copper partnered with the Chamber and provided much needed financial assistance to the project. Andrew Taplin, Project Director for Resolution Copper spoke during the ceremony. “This is just the tip of the iceberg of what we can do when we work together,” he said. “We are not just here to develop a mine but to develop a mine in harmony with the local economy and the environment to develop a sustainable economy.”
The new offices are open Monday through Friday. The building is available for rental for meetings, trainings, and other business type events. The Chamber also continues to work with the Town of Superior to staff the Caboose Visitor Center, with the opening of the new office on Main St. Superior now has two Arizona Department of Tourism Visitor Centers, residents are encouraged to drop by either office for their vacation planning needs as well. The Chamber is also looking for volunteers to help staff both offices.
The Superior Chamber of Commerce hosts its monthly membership meetings at noon on the third Wednesday of every month at the office. To learn more about the chamber, you can visit their website online at www.superiorarizonachamber.org or via telephone at 520-689-0200.