Smooth transition as Adcock takes the lead

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    Rebecca Adcock prepares part of a window display to help promote the upcoming the Virginia Peach Festival on Aug. 18.

    If Rebecca Adcock is still learning the ropes in her new post as executive director of the Patrick County Chamber of Commerce, it doesn’t show.

    In fact, she seems a perfect fit for the job.

    “I think I was already doing some similar things with promotion of the Farmers’ Market and with tourism, and that is continuing to grow,” Adcock said. Her new gig leading the chamber seemed “like a natural transition,” she said.

    Adcock, who also serves as vice mayor on Stuart Town Council, has been on the job for a few weeks, starting smack dab in the middle of several projects: the Virginia Peach Festival, the final agreement on a Creative Arts Center and unpacking.

    The chamber shares space with the Creative Arts Center through a partnership between the chamber, the Department of Tourism, and the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University through the Reynolds Homestead. The partnership agreement is still being finalized, Adcock said.

    At least two art programs for youngsters have been held in the center since it opened earlier this summer, and both were successful, Adcock said.

    “It’s been great, and the center will start hosting more and more classes” as it continues to grow, she said.

    Previously, the chamber office was located on U.S. 58 west, near Patrick Springs. It later moved into office space on Stonewall Court in Stuart, but some of those packing boxes were untouched.

    With its most recent move — to 334 Patrick Avenue, nearly directly across from the Stuart Farmers Market in Downtown Stuart – Adcock said she is looking forward to getting everything unpacked and situated.

    But most of those tasks will be sandwiched in between a plethora of other duties.

    Although her predecessor, Tim Collins, worked extensively on the Peach Fest before his July 1 departure, Adcock said she is busy lining up vendors and finalizing other aspects in advance of the Aug. 18 festival date.

    More events are scheduled, including Business After Hours, work done at the Patrick County Agricultural Fair, the Apple Dumpling Festival on the third Saturday in October, Spooktacular on Halloween, the Mistletoe Market, updating brochures, recruiting new members and several others, Adcock said.

    Her plans already extend into a new year.

    “We’re working with the tourism department on a campaign to promote local farmers” who participate in the Farmers Market but are not eligible for the Virginia Grown marketing program, Adcock said of coffee and other products not grown locally. “We need to come up with a way to where we can promote them” as well, she said.

    The chamber also will host a Meet & Greet and a Ribbon Cutting from noon to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 3. Current and former chamber members are invited to attend, according to a release from the agency.

    Fast Facts:

    The Chamber is a non-profit organization located at 334 Patrick Avenue (across from the Stuart Farmers Market) in Downtown Stuart.

    The office is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Fridays by appointment.

    An estimated 300 businesses/individuals/organizations currently enjoy benefits associated with membership in the Chamber. Adcock is working on a new and updated list of benefits set to be unveiled soon.

    The cost of annual memberships varies, according to the type. The fee scale starts at $55 annually for civic/religious organizations; $75 per year for individuals. Business fees are based on the number of employees.

    For more information on membership, activities or to get involved, visit the chamber office or website www.patrickchamber.com or call (276) 694-6012.