The Greater Connell Area Chamber of Commerce sees value in anyone who has an interest in the promotion of our business sector and the betterment of our communities so, in addition to businesses, they welcome individuals to join as members, too. An Individual Membership is for any community member who has an interest in the Chamber of Commerce’s good works in our communities. It is also a good opportunity for individuals who have retired from the business community but want to continue to stay in touch. Currently, there are 7 individual members including Black Blackwell, Burl Booker, Kara Booker, John Lindner, Pam Moon, Representative Joe Schmick, and Gene Stocking.
Blacky Blackwell…..moved to Connell in the spring of 1983 and worked for Hanford, cleaning it up and shutting down plants. During that same time-frame, he also worked for the Feathers Thompson Ranch. Eventually retiring from Hanford, he started work at Paradise Farms as a mechanic where he permanently retired from in 2010. He is a former member of the Connell Community Club and was mayor of Connell from 2014 thru 2017. He fondly remembers the healthy number of businesses that existed in Connell in the 1980’s. He thinks a healthy business economy exists by promoting and supporting local businesses and is important to attracting and bringing in new business to a city. With that mindset, even though his initial membership in the Chamber of Commerce was because of his term of service as mayor for the City of Connell, he has continued his membership as an individual.
Burl Booker….was born and raised in the Mesa and Connell area. Burl graduated from Connell High School in 1977 and after attending college, he returned to the area to farm and raise cattle. Although he has a personal interest in the success of the community as a whole, as a tax payer through real estate investments in the city of Connell, he has a vested interest in the business climate as well and would like to see Connell grow. In addition to being a Chamber of Commerce member, he is an active member in the Connell Community Club, CHS Ag Advisory Board, President of Eagles Nest, Fire Commissioner with Franklin County Fire Dept., and President of Columbia Basin Jr Livestock Show.
Kara Booker….is a 1985 graduate of Connell High School. Kara returned to the Connell area after marrying Burl Booker in 1990. Kara has always had a strong sense of community. While raising their family of 4 daughters, Kara’s community involvement started with volunteering for activities and programs at the NFSD schools. Her volunteer efforts continue still today as a member of the NFSD School Board, Connell Community Club, Columbia Basin Jr Livestock Show, Connell Fall Festival, Connell Community Float, and treasurer of the Chamber of Commerce.
John Lindner….was originally a westsider working with the King County Sheriffs Department for 31 years before “officially” moving to the area 12 years ago. John’s wife, Carol (Colley) though, grew up and graduated from Connell. After moving to Connell, they owned and operated The Old Hardware Store for 10 years before recently selling it to the current owners. Believing that being active and involved in the community is important, John is not only a member of the Chamber of Commerce but can often be seen in the audience of City Council meetings to keep informed and for the fun of it. John is also a member of the Connell Fall Festival committee and an active member of the Connell Community Club taking the lead to coordinate the Political Candidates Meet and Greet Forum and organize the Winterfest Parade. John really enjoys the Connell community and stated, “Life did not get interesting until I moved here”.
Pam Moon….was raised in Connell graduating from Connell High School in 1973 and has lived here ever since with the exception of very few years. Her dad owned and operated a successful fertilizer business, Welch Brothers Corporation, for over 40 years. While working for him, she also opened up her own business, a fitness center called “Let’s Get Physical”. Pam attributes her sense of community to her dad who was a successful independent business owner and her mom who had a heart for volunteerism. Through the years of Pam’s Chamber involvement, she has served as both president and secretary. Pam states, “It’s the people that make this community and surrounding area special”.
Representative Joe Schmick…. is a member of the Washington House of Representatives, representing the 9th District, which includes Asotin, Garfield, Franklin, Adams, Whitman and south Spokane counties, since 2007. He serves on the House Appropriations Committee and on the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee as well as is the Ranking Member on the House Health Care and Wellness Committee. Joe is a former second-generation farmer and a small-business owner. He appreciates and supports the work that local Chamber of Commerce’s do for their communities. Joe and his wife, Kim, reside in Colfax, WA.
Gene Stocking….has an extensive history with the Connell Chamber of Commerce. Beginning back in 1983 when he was branch manager of Seattle First National Bank, Gene has continued to remain a member even after retiring from Community First Bank a few years ago, concluding a 36 yr banking career. During his tenure with the Chamber of Commerce, Gene served as president for 6 plus terms, served on various committees of Chamber sponsored events, and was an integral part in getting the Chamber involved with the Community Float. Throughout the years, Gene has served the community as a volunteer in various ways…Boy Scouts, Coyote Ridge Correction Center, Benton Franklin Council of Governments, Connell Parks & Recreation Board, North Franklin Development Board, Connell Community Garden, and Jr Miss Program to name a few.