New leadership at the Woodstock Community Business Association -- and meetings are again in-person

DAVID F. ASHTON - Starting one of the first WCBA in-person meetings in a couple of years is its newly-elected President, Christopher Love, who is Manager of the Woodstock John L. Scott Real Estate office. The meetings this year, open to the public, take place in the KeyBank meeting room. Like so many neighborhood nonprofit, and business organizations, when the Woodstock Community Business Association (WCBA) Board met monthly for the last two years, they did so online, due to the social distancing requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the open-to-the-public meeting on the evening of Wednesday, May 11th, took place in the meeting room of the KeyBank branch in Woodstock, the regular venue for these meetings this year.

Before the meeting began, incoming WCBA President Christopher Love, Manager of the John L. Scott Real Estate office in Woodstock, introduced himself — joking that he was no relation to Love's Travel Stops, the family-owned chain of the more than 500 truck stops and convenience stores in 41 states: "But, I do have a warm feeling every time I drive past one on a freeway!"

Turning serious, he said, "As we start off, first allow me to voice our gratitude for the leadership provided by our outgoing President, Thad Davis of Payroll On Time LLC, who has served our organization so well."

Coming out of the pandemic, the first order of business, according to Love, has to be, "Growing our membership. That is, seeing who with businesses in Woodstock and Brentwood-Darlington is interested in coming on board, and helping grow local business here.

"This is important, because we're seeing more people walking around this part of town, indicating that our business district is — once again — 'coming alive'," Love continued. "As we're seeing a new businesses popping up, we need to get them motivated to join the team working to boost the neighborhood at the WCBA."

One of the benefits Love would like to see the WCBA explore is "co-marketing". "That's joining our forces to advertise and promote in our local media, reminding neighbors that we're 'open' and ready to serve them."

With annual events, like "Woodstock Gives Back" and other business-building promotions, "we can build the spirit of community, and restore a sense of vibrancy to the neighborhood."

Asked for his best sales pitch to local businesses, Love paused for a moment, then replied, "If you own a business, or do business in Woodstock and Brentwood-Darlington and the surrounding area, come meet and network with other business owners who have the same goals, and who face the same struggles.

"We all have a vested interest in this great area. Let's work together to better our businesses and our neighborhoods!"

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