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The following statement was issued to the membership of the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce by the Chamber Board late Tuesday, April 16.  Because of the unfounded allegations made about the Chamber board by a few residents of the community, Ark Valley Voice is including this statement in its entirety:

“The Buena Vista Welcome Center & Chamber of Commerce wants to update our community of our exciting progress. Since we embarked on the ambitious task of restructuring the Chamber due to financial and organizational problems, we have become productive, efficient and solvent with 369 members and 26 new members since January. Our expanded services are now available through our energetic staff of four, which includes our Membership Coordinator, Marketing Specialist, Welcome Center Coordinator and Events Coordinator.

We are aware that a few people have been very critical of the Chamber’s improvements. We have avoided responding to ridiculous allegations of corruption, mismanagement and a lack of integrity. Frankly, they are so far-fetched, that they do not even deserve a response. We can assure the public that our restructure was necessary to the continuation of the Chamber and our ability to serve and unite Buena Vista.

It appears that a former board member, Mike Sorrels, may have personal legal issues. However, trying to validate these ridiculous allegations against the Chamber through some connection to his involvement has been repeatedly disproven. This board has appropriately handled this former board member, leading to his resignation last December.

Our Board of Directors is made up of eight dedicated local business owners, managers and community members with 200-plus years of collective residency in Buena Vista, who have devoted many hours to the tremendous effort to improve the Chamber. Our board and staff are quite grateful for the outpouring of support, appreciation and assistance we have received.

As always, please send your questions or comments to and a staff or board member will promptly respond. We also welcome your attendance at the beginning of each board meeting where comments can be presented in person, but are limited to just a few minutes so that the board can best utilize its meeting time. Thank you.”

Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors:

Jerianna Bennetts, President
Tonya Wyles, Vice President
Kit Salway, Treasurer
Morgan Mahala, Secretary
Kathy Ridlon
Mark Hammer
Ryan Martin
Tim Stange