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Published by The Bowie News

Page 3

2016 has been a whirlwind of activ-

ity since I joined the Bowie Chamber

of Commerce inMarch as its executive

director.

My family and I moved to Bowie in

December, 2015 from Plainview, AR

where I was born and raised. I gradu-

ated from Arkansas Tech University

with an associate degree in business

management and later obtained my

bachelor of science from John Brown

University, also in business.

These degrees served me well in my

careers at Chambers Bank working in

the loan department and at the Arch

Ford Education Service Cooperative

as the assistant supervisor of the

purchasing department.

My husband Neil was transferred

to a new job with the International

Truck dealership in Wichita Falls. We

chose Bowie to be home base. We have

two children, age 14 and 16, attending

Bowie schools.

After moving to Bowie, one of the

first people I met was Jennifer Harris

who encouraged me to apply for the

executive director’s position and the

rest they say is history.

I came into the position as the

chamber was making some opera-

tional changes as well as moving to

a new location in downtown. The

chamber is now housed with its com-

munity partners Main Street Bowie

and Bowie Economic Development

Corporation.

This year the chamber has been

involved in many worthwhile events

such as Cruisin’ Nocona, gave away

a Hustler lawnmower in a drawing,

played host to a golf tournament and

presented the annual auction and

shrimp boil.

These fundraisers allowed the

chamber to give back to the com-

munity by adopting $500 worth of

angels from the Christmas Angel

Tree Project and participate in the

Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade

with a float.

The chamber also unveiled the

“World’s Largest Bowie Knife” in the

spring, the culmination of more than

three years of work.

It has become a popular picture

point for visitors. Paperwork has been

submitted to Guinness World Records

to obtain the official designation and

it should arrive any time.

Many businesses across the nation

have struggled the past several years

and Bowie has seen its share of this

as well, but as a whole the Bowie

business community has continued

to support the chamber. Eleven new

businesses became members during

2016. I think this says a lot about the

opportunities Bowie has to offer busi-

ness in the coming years. Myself and

the board hope to see the chamber

membership continue to grow.

We are looking forward to many

things in 2017. One of the expected

highlights is the 150th Anniversary of

the Chisholm Trail. Towns and cities

along the trial will be commemorating

this great historical events during the

year. Bowie’s celebration will be on

the weekend of April 22. Mark your

calendars now because there will be

something for the entire family. You

won’t want to miss a thing.

Diane Thomlinson

We welcome input from our mem-

bers and invite you and the commu-

nity to get involved with chamber

activities.

I really appreciate all the support

and help that all the chamber mem-

bers have givenme these past months.

I have made many new friends and

acquaintances whom I would not have

met had it not been for the chamber

of commerce. I truly believe that to-

gether can “Build a Better Bowie.”

Diane Thomlinson,

executive director,

Bowie Chamber of Commerce.

First year whirlwind

for new exec. director

Lots of changes during 2016