Bethesda Chamber Marks 90th Anniversary

More than 250 people attended celebration at Hyatt


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The Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce Monday night celebrated its 90th anniversary and installed a new chairwoman and board of directors at an event at the Bethesda Hyatt attended by about 250 people.

Incoming chairwoman Melanie Folstad, a senior vice president and financial adviser at RBC Wealth Management in Friendship Heights, told attendees that Bethesda-area businesses enrich the community.  “We are not profit-hungry ‘Ebenezer Scrooges’—we are the George Baileys,” Folstad said, referring to characters in the movie classics A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life. “We provide valuable services and goods to customers, generous and reliable compensation to employees, and are regularly looking for ways to make our community stronger and better.”

County Executive Ike Leggett swore in the chamber’s 2016-17 officers and directors. More than 20 former chairmen and chairwomen were in attendance.

At the event, the Chamber also unveiled its new logo, which reflects the new name the organization adopted in April.  

Outgoing Chairwoman Heather Dlhopolsky said the name was changed from the “Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber” to the “Greater Bethesda Chamber” to reflect the wider geographic area that the chamber covers.

Bonnie Fogel, founder and CEO of Imagination Stage in Bethesda, was given the William Allen Prescott Award for her contributions to the community, and Sgt. William Thomas, a Montgomery County police officer in Bethesda, was given the Police Officer of the Year Award.

More than 20 people who had chaired the Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce attended Monday night’s anniversary celebration. The chamber’s new chairwoman, Melanie Folstad, is in the front row on the far right. Photo via Cindy Bertaut, Glogau Photography

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