Sunday, September 11, 2016

Chamber Executive Board Supports Director

The recent announcement of the closing of Sequoyah's Home by the Oklahoma Historical Society has caused some concern to the citizen's of Sequoyah County as well as some criticism regarding the announcement itself. 

Judy Martens, Executive Director of the Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce, shared the closing information in an email sent to all chamber members. The email stated that the site would be closed "indefinitely". As more information became available about the closing it was learned that the Cherokee Nation was in the process of purchasing the property and had plans to keep the site open. Some questioned the accuracy of Mrs. Martens email and her handling of the announcement.

On Thursday, Sept. 8, the Executive Board of the Sallisaw Chamber met to discuss this issue and to attempt to clarify the situation. Executive board members drafted the following statement and released it following their meeting.

The Executive Board of the Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce feels it is necessary to address recent criticism of the Chamber and our Executive Director, Judy Martens.

The criticism came as a result of an email sent announcing the indefinite closure of Sequoyah’s Home. This email was prompted by a phone call with the manager of the property, Jerry Dobbs. Mr. Dobbs, an active member of the Chamber, REQUESTED THE CHAMBER COMMUNICATE THIS TO ITS MEMBERS. Mr. Dobbs also indicated he would notify the tourist Information Center on Interstate 40 as well. The Chamber and Information Center direct tourists to the location on an almost daily basis. Mr. Dobbs wanted to be sure that no one was encouraged to visit the property until it was reopened.

The information provided by the Chamber was accurate and important to the community. We appreciate the work and communication on this issue by our Executive Director and Mr. Dobbs. Tourism brings valuable dollars into our area and supports many jobs in the region. It is important that we treat visitors well and be good hosts. 

We look forward to working with the Cherokee Nation. We thank them for stepping forward at a critical time to help our area. They have been and will continue to be an excellent partner in promoting our regions heritage, culture, and attractions.


Chamber Executive Board:

Shannon Vann

Darren Girdner 

Gary Schaefer

Cheryl Mills

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