Whether you missed the November 13 breakfast hosted by the Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC) or if you’ve wondered what these monthly meetings at Town Hall are like, here’s a recap of who, what and why.

Breakfast. First things first: we began with a delicious hot breakfast by Marlena Ballinger of the Dough Hook, including an egg dish, fresh fruit and pastries. A seriously good reason to attend a meeting before work. The meal was courtesy of sponsor Bluffton Hospital.

Music. We were entertained by brothers Noah and Carter Brand, who take piano lessons at Krysti’s Music Studio. Their lively choices set a nice tone for the morning.

CamaraderieThere was plenty of time to chat with those at my table. We all practiced our “elevator speeches” when we had a few extra moments at the end of the session.

Host. Chamber CEO Fred Steiner keeps things moving and this meeting was no exception. This month, Fred noted that this is the 100th anniversary of the chamber, although it hasn’t always been known by that name. The organization was established in 1915 as the Bluffton Businessmen’s Association. A quick online search show the group changed its name sometime between Bluffton business surveys of 1976 and 1989.

Announcements. A half-dozen announcements were listed on the agenda, but the floor is open for everyone to provide news and updates. Among other news on Friday, we heard that the Mustard Seed Cafe at the Depot has a new owner, Rhonda Moor. We also met and cheered Junior Weihrach, the long-time Blaze of Lights parade director, who noted that he’ll be taking entries until the morning of the parade, which is on November 28.

Presentation. Chris Keller, chief administrative officer of Bluffton Hospital, provided a “Bluffton Hospital and rural hospital update.” She explained why we receive rural hospital funding so close to Findlay and Lima hospitals, the current challenges for rural hospitals in Ohio, and how pain management and women’s healthcare are becoming the most important services lines at the hospital.

Attendance. Standing room only.

As a freelancer who works from home, I love the chance to mingle with Bluffton’s business leaders, entrepreneurs, educators, and non-profits. The lively exchange of news and ideas is exceptional for a small town chamber of commerce. The next meeting of the BACC will be December 11, 2015. The Bluffton Community Pre-School will be featured. I’m looking forward to getting the inside scoop!