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Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

  • John Keen, President
  • Pete Gartrell, Vice President
  • Doug Abramson, Secretary
  • Todd Wilmot, Treasurer
  • Deborah Bennett
  • Margie Burke
  • Ruth Clements
  • Rita Bell Horton
  • Carol Jackson
  • Nobie Keener
  • Mike Scarborough
  • Todd Wilmot

Chamber History

Sixty merchants of Washington and Wilkes County came together on the afternoon of 5 April 1911 to form a trade association known as the Chamber of Commerce. With F.H. Ficklen as temporary chairman and G.A. Green temporary secretary, the meeting convened electing W.T. Johnson as president and Alexander Irvin vice president. Selected to the committee which would draft a constitution and by-laws for the organization were F.H. Ficklen, M.W. Williams, R.C. Norman, Wootten W. Quinn, and H.L. Wootten.

F.H. Ficklen editorialized in the Reporter of 13 April concerning the value of such an organization to the community, "...It will mean the betterment of local condition; an elargement of our trade territory; larger additions to our population; the merchants will do a larger volume of business, the professional men will find more active demand for their services, the clerks will receive higher wages as a result of the larger business operations and correspondingly larger profits to his employer - indeed every avenue of business will feel the stimulus of progress and prosperity and each individual will reap a benefit if each individual will cooperate in the work."

A week after the first meeting, another was held with the committee reporting its articles of constitution. Boyce Ficklen, Jr. was elected second vice president. A large number of additional businesses and individuals were also enrolled in the Chamber.

Credit: "The History of Wilkes County, Georgia, (Wilkes Publishing Co., 2002) from author Robert M. Williangham, Jr.

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