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Melanie Minter President & CEO Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce

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100 Years of Serving

A Century of Investing in Strong Business Growth for Wilson

“We take pride in our rich history, our services to our businesses and to our community,” said Melanie Minter, Current President and CEO of Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce at the 100 year anniversary celebration in February. Leading the chamber has brought her countless favorite memories, with the 2018 renovation of their 6,400 square foot building to include ADA compliant upgrades to accommodate their growing membership, adding a boardroom with state of the art equipment, a social hub overlooking the square and additional office space for rent, being one of them.

Her proud moments include persevering during Covid; a time when the community was double whammed with a tornado during that time of crisis.

“The Chamber was a resource and support for businesses, a navigator for healthcare and questions and a reinforcement to our community in times of disaster and uncertainty,” she says.

And of course one of her most favorite milestones was having the honor of ushering in the 100th year of the chamber’s service.

"Our staff and volunteers went through files for a year leading to the celebration to discover that we still have the same values as our innovators and we have lived up to our mission to make Wilson County a better place to live, work and raise a family.”

Melanie says the future of the chamber depends upon our future leaders, “it is important that we listen to younger generations to keep relevant and remain strong in the future.

Meet a few chamber legacies:

Ja’Rob Coggins, Chair of the Board 2024

I currently serve as the Chairman of the Board for the Chamber. I previously held the position of Vice Chair for the Economic Development Committee for 2 years. Serving meant everything to me, and being a part of the community that shows our associates that we actually care!  The chamber has helped us stay connected to the community by being a part of the MANY events and opportunities to serve!

Proud Moments

I am most proud of becoming the Chairman of the Board and serving as the Chair during the 100-year anniversary of the chamber. I will reference an earlier question that asked my favorite memory, and I stated my 1st board meeting. I remember looking at the wall of all the past Chairs' and realizing there were only three women and no one else who looked like me! I take pride in knowing I am the first person of color to hold this position and will strive to set a great example for others to know it's possible!

Future Views

I see the chamber continue to grow and serve not only the traditional members of the chamber but the next generation of business leaders who are marketing and serving in different ways. I believe our chamber will continue to be a hub and resource for our growing community.

Pat Bone,  Past President / First Woman 1996

I served on the Chamber Board of Directors for a total of five years, two of those years as Membership Chair, one year as President-Elect, one year as President, and one year as immediate Past President. Serving this community has meant the world to me.  I am not originally from Wilson County, and I knew if I wanted to be a real part of the community, I needed to get involved. I could not think of a better place to begin than with the Chamber, this is the place I chose to live, work and raise my family.  I love Wilson County and I believe the Chamber is definitely the lifeblood of a community.

Proud Moments

There were many proud moments for me at the Chamber, but one that shines brighter than others is this: The upstairs board room needed painting badly. I asked the Board who would be willing to come in on a Saturday and help me paint the room. Every member raised their hand and every board member showed up that Saturday morning to paint. I was so proud to be a part of this organization. Also, when I joined the Chamber, the Chamber carried a debt from the purchase of the building next door. Before the year ended, all original debt for the chamber was paid off. The Chamber was now debt free and the note was burned. Good Feeling!

Future Views

The sky is the limit for our Chamber.  We have a strong director, great support staff and the city and county work well with the chamber.  The Chamber is the HEART of any city.

Ian Isbell, Chair Elect 2025

I have been involved with the Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce since 2018 and have been a proud board member since 2022. I have served two years as the Ambassador Vice Chairman and currently serve as the Membership Vice Chairman as well as Chair Elect. Being born and raised here, I do have a deep bond with a lot of the people I see on a day to day basis. I love to see how this community comes together and supports all of its local business owners, teachers, and community members.

Favorite Memory

Hanging out with my family at the Taste of Wilson County events, and lot of great memories from the events around the Christmas Parade and the Fair Parades. 

Proud Moments

I am most proud of our Chambers involvement in this community. It makes me feel so good when we go to a ribbon cutting and a national company that has grand openings all across the US says that they have never seen a community support them the way we do. I know how hard the chamber staff and all the volunteers work on these events so to hear that feedback always makes me smile.

Future Views

Our roots are so deep in this community and the love all the members have for this community is unmatched. Events do so well and continue to get better, and we continue to be here to serve our community.

Jim Mills, Past President / Sports Council Division

I have served as Board Chair, VP of Economic Development, and continue to be a member of the Sports Counsel, Business & Education Coalition, and Economic Development committees. My wife and I moved to Lebanon in late 1976, we chose to make our home in Lebanon. We both worked in Lebanon, and we raised our two children in Lebanon.  We have been deeply involved in the community, ranging from involvement with numerous civic and non-profit organizations, coaching recreational youth baseball, etc.  We also choose to be a member of the community, and to be involved.  Being a part of the community we feel we are helping in some small way to keep Lebanon a wonderful place to live and raise a family.  This has proven to be very rewarding in the many people we can call friends.

Favorite Memory

Perhaps the two that come to mind are having the opportunity to serve as a member of the selection committees that chose our current and past Chamber Presidents and participating in the selling of race day programs at the Super Speedway.

Proud Moments

I am proud of how the Chamber has grown over the years.  Member involvement has grown significantly.  And the Chamber has been able to provide so many events, programs, and promotional opportunities for members.  I am also very proud that we formed the Business & Education Coalition and through this we provide teacher classroom grants each year.

Favorite Memory

Bring selected Industrialist of the Year, and most recently Lifetime Membership/Achievement award.

  • Ian Isbell, Chair Elect 2025
  • Jim Mills, Past President / Sports Council Division/2024 Lifetime Member
  • Ja’Rob Coggins, Chair of the Board 2024
  • Pat Bone, Past President / First Woman 1996
  • Melanie Minter President & CEO Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce

"it continues to be a joy serving our community, acts of service have always created a desire in me to help make people’s lives better." -Melanie Minter

"It makes me happy to watch businesses thrive, to watch people come together for the betterment of Lebanon and Wilson County and to watch people smile when I make a difference in their day." -Melanie Minter President & CEO of Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce