Kalona Chamber cancels ByWays tours, names new members

Posted 7/22/20

The 2020 Kalona ByWays bus tours, operated by the Kalona Area Chamber of Commerce, have been canceled for the remainder of 2020.

The Kalona Area Chamber of Commerce board, meeting by Zoom on July …

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Kalona Chamber cancels ByWays tours, names new members

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The 2020 Kalona ByWays bus tours, operated by the Kalona Area Chamber of Commerce, have been canceled for the remainder of 2020.

The Kalona Area Chamber of Commerce board, meeting by Zoom on July 17, voted to suspend the popular 90- minute bus tours of the Kalona countryside for the entire 2020 season.

Kalona Chamber President Lyndon Hershberger (Kalona Chocolates) said, “It was a difficult decision for the board to make because the tours provide significant revenue for the organization and the chamber office has fielded a high volume of calls from guests interested in taking the tours. In the end the board decided it was not willing to put the health and safety of its drivers and passengers at risk.”Plans are to resume the ByWays tours again next April provided the virus is under control by then.

In other action, the board appointed Shawn Powell (Southeast Iowa Insurance) and Ron Slechta (The News) to fill vacancies created by two board members who have recently resigned: Jim Johnson (former publisher of The News) and Alvin Kramer (Kalona Auto Service-NAPA who is moving to Texas).

Both Powell and Slechta will serve through September of 2021. Powell is owner of Southeast Iowa Insurances with offices in Kalona and Wellman.

“I look forward to helping out and doing what is best for our community,” Powell stated.

“I look forward to help on the board,” commented Slechta, publisher of The News and owner of The Kalona News for 25 years.

“Alvin and Jim made valuable contributions to our board and we are grateful for their service,” commented Hershberger.

Election for board members for 2021-22 3-year terms on the board will be held in September. Nominations should be submitted in August.

Any Kalona Area Chamber of Commerce member interested in serving on the board or who wishes to nominate someone else to serve as a board member should contact members of the nominating committee.

On the committee are Jody Drozd (CBI Bank & Trust) vice president; Grace Schumann (Stitch ‘N Sew Cottage), Josh Miller (Reliable Tires & Service, Inc.) and Sue Curtis (Chamber administrator).

Other Chamber Board members are: Jody Drozd, vice president; Katie Miller (Hills Bank), secretary; Casey Peck (KCTC), treasurer; Joe Joel Brokew (JK Creative Wood), Olivia Kahler (Kalona Public Library) and James Jeffery Schmidt (Pleasantview Home).

Ex Officio members include Nancy Roth (Kalona Historical Village), Phil Ropp (Kalona Development Corp), Jake Winter (Riverside Casino) and Ryan Schlabaugh (City of Kalona Administrator).

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