as president of MBPA,
sets new goals for group
MADISON, Ind. (July 2003) Riverboat tourists, downtown
events and store operating hours were just a few of the topics discussed
at a recent meeting of the Madison Business and Professional Association.
The organizations president, Dennis Anderson, presided over the
gathering, which included eight other members. The group meets on the
first Tuesday of each month.
Originally formed in the late 1880s and called the Downtown Merchants
Association, in the late 1960s the name was changed to Madison Business
and Professional Association, reflective of the organizations
inclusion of all commercial enterprises within the city, both those
downtown and those in the budding hilltop area. Despite a name change,
the organizations mission remained the same: To provide
an organized forum for the mutual exchange of information and ideas
and, through collective resources, to help stimulate, promote, and sustain
our business members; and to help foster interest and awareness to the
public through sponsorship of various community events and programs.
In January, Anderson replaced former president Rhonda Sauley. Sauley,
owner of Little Peoples Boutique and Fine Threads, had served
as president for many years and is still active in the organization.
I think hell do a great job, said Sauley of Andersons
new leadership role.
by Ruth Wright
leads a recent meeting.
Hes been a member of MBPA, and I think hes
really interested in promoting downtown.
Anderson and his wife, Estelle, own Cover to Cover Books, located at
209 W. Main St. The Andersons moved to Madison from Texas three years
ago after visiting a daughter who lived here and falling in love with
the area. We decided we liked the climate here, said Anderson,
who was ready for a break from notoriously hot Texas summers.
In Roulette, Texas, where they also owned and operated a bookstore,
the Andersons were active in the local Chamber of Commerce. Since moving
to Madison, the couple have continued to devote much of their time to
community service, promoting the Madison area while building a successful
business; two things they know go hand in hand. In accomplishing so
much in such a short time, they were recognized in May by the Madison
Area Convention and Visitors Bureau with the Madison-Jefferson County
As the current MBPA president, Anderson has a few goals in mind. He
would like to update the organizations bylaws, which havent
been revisited for more than a decade. But that objective is taking
a back seat to more pressing concerns, first of which is getting more
businesses involved in the organization.
One of the things that I would really like to do is generate more
participating membership, he said. Although Anderson admitted
that its hard for many business owners to make the meetings, hes
also convinced that there is strength in numbers. The more people
we have, the more ideas that will be generated, he said.
For a relatively small organization, MBPA already does more for the
community than many realize. Sponsoring the Christmas parade downtown
is one thing. Most people probably think the city does it,
Anderson said of the annual event.
They also put up banners and flags downtown and, in the spring, fill
planters put out by the city with flowers. In the summer, they sponsor
bingo as a fund raiser at the 4-H fair. In the fall they provide coffee
and doughnuts at the annual tobacco auction. All these things, while
done behind the scenes in a sense, are part of what the organization
does to help make Madison a more attractive place to live, visit, shop
and do business.
One new initiative currently being considered by the organization is
the production of a shoppers guide that includes a list of all
downtown businesses, their addresses, phone numbers and a map. Such
a guide would benefit all of the businesses downtown and would be useful
Besides Anderson, current officers of the organization include Dave
Adams, secretary and Nida Eppley, treasurer.
For more information or to join, contact Anderson at (812)
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