The Waverly Chamber of Commerce is celebrating a big anniversary this year. Founded back in 1937, the Chamber has been serving the Waverly community with diligence for the past 80 years.
The Chamber of Commerce has grown a lot over the past eight decades, and continues to do so. Current Executive Director Travis Toliver says the ever-growing business community is what makes the Chamber’s history so special.
“I think that’s really our legacy; the steady growth of the organization through our events, and certainly through our membership base,” Toliver said.
Toliver says the events he mentioned have been huge economic boosts for the community. From RAGBRAI in 2014, Gentlemen of the Road in 2015, and the annual Christmas Greetings on Main, events like these do a lot to help the business community thrive.
“My first year here was Gentlemen of the Road, the Waverly stopover with Mumford and Sons, and that was a huge economic impact with the community,” Toliver said. “Over the years, the Chamber has kind of become a partner with larger-scale events like that.”
One of the longest-standing family-owned businesses in town is Tenenbaum’s Jewelry, located at the corner of East Bremer Avenue and 3rd St. NE. The business went under new ownership in 1960, and, according to current owner Ryan Rasmussen, joined with the Chamber of Commerce in the late 70’s or early 80’s. Rasmussen says the Chamber has been a huge help to them, and the rest of the community, over the years.
“They provide a lot of educational opportunities for businesses,” Rasmussen said. “We’re very luck here to have such a vibrant Chamber; one that’s very active.”
80 years have come and gone, but, to Toliver and the rest of the Chamber, the future is what’s most important.
“The Chamber is always continuing to grow,” Toliver said. “We certainly want to continue our strong relationships with the City of Waverly and Wartburg College, and continue to do more exciting, out of the box things, like Mumford and Sons.”
For now, the 80th anniversary celebration will continue throughout the year. Follow the Chamber on social media for any updates.