Westover Business Alliance hosts first quarterly meeting of 2024

Published 10:22 am Friday, February 9, 2024

By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

WESTOVER – The Westover Business Alliance held its first quarterly meeting of 2024 on Thursday, Jan. 25.

Founded in 2016, the Westover Business Alliance seeks to promote the collaboration between businesses in the community and to enhance their access and relationship with local municipal leaders. The group also serves to connect and build bridges between businesses, leaders, educators, churches and others that work to bring growth to Westover and the surrounding municipalities.

The Jan. 25 meeting, hosted at the Hargis Christian Camp by Aaron Knight, marked the first time that many of the attendees had been to the camp since the recent wave of renovations that have come to the property over the course of the last year and that are still ongoing.

As part of the meeting, Knight shared the story of the camp and the hard work that has taken place over the last five years to acquire the property in full from the Eddleman Development Corporation. Knight in particular credited his faith during the process and described it as a journey that God was firmly in control of.

It was a journey that Knight said involved his bringing Chick-fil-A biscuits and Krispy Kreme doughnuts every week for nearly two years to try and get a meeting with the company executive.

That effort eventually paid off, but introduced a new bill in the amount of the $2.5 million which Knight needed to raise by Dec. 31 of last year in order to secure the camp.

Although it was a daunting task that bordered on seeming impossible, Knight and his wife Kellie turned to a higher power and received the help from their surrounding community that turned their dream into a reality.

Thanks to those joint efforts, Hargis Christian Camp now continues to serve as the site of a summer camp, a host to youth and adult groups and team sporting events.

“This facility will be an asset to Westover, Chelsea and all surrounding areas to come together and be a light for the community,” said Frankie Osborn a member of the community. “We all look forward to the events to come and how it will affect every age group and every aspect in our area.”

Additionally, discussion also took place on the need for additional housing in the Westover area and how the community will see several upcoming projects that may serve to project that growth. This includes current ongoing developments that plan to introduce more than 1000 new homes to Westover’s housing market.

Meeting attendants included the following board and community members:

Westover Business Alliance Board members

  •   Dr. John Hurst – Westover Business Alliance Advisory Board
  •   Norma Lovorn – Westover Zoning and Adjustment clerk
  •   Roberta Stamp – Westover City Council member
  •   Wayne Jones – Westover City Council member
  •   Larry Riggins – Westover mayor
  •   Roger Lemley – Westover building inspector
  •   Brenda Moorer – Westover Business Alliance Advisory Board
  •   Jay Crisman – Westover City Council – Westover Business Alliance

Westover Business Alliance dignitaries

  •   Robbie Hayes – Shelby County Commissioner for District 9
  •   Russell Bedsole – captain of Shelby County Sheriff’s Office
  •   John Samaniego – Shelby County sheriff
  •   Larry Riggins – Westover mayor
  •   Aaron Knight – Hargis Christian Camp administrator
  •   Cody Sumners – Shelby County deputy sheriff
  •   Jay Crisman – Westover City Council/Westover Business Alliance

Lunch for the meeting was provided by the city of Westover and was prepared by LaPaz Restaurant and Catering.

The next quarterly meeting for the organization will be held in April, with the following quarterly meetings set to take place in July and October respectively.

“You do not have to be from Westover to join WBA,” read the organization’s website. “We enjoy participation from Chelsea, Columbiana, Harpersville, Sterrett, Vincent and the surrounding area. If you are interested in doing business in the Westover area, we claim you.”

As with this meeting, all meetings of the Westover Business Alliance take place on the fourth Thursday of the month. No membership fees or costs are required to take part in the group’s regular meetings.