Welcome to the Cleveland-Bolivar County Newsletter. The purpose of the newsletter is to provide you, our members and the community, insight on how the Chamber is working for you. The newsletter will provide information on ribbon cutting ceremonies, new members, Team Cleveland events, tourism, economic development, and so much more!

New Members

Magnolia Realty

Whole Cellars

2022 Annual Banquet Sponsors:

Roy Collins Construction Company 

Guaranty Bank

Quality Steel Corporation
2022 Annual Banquet
The evening's awards winners included (from left to right): Robert Maxwell (Chamber Award), Linda Collins (Lucy Janoush Award), David Robinson (Kossman Award), and Laura Howell (President's Award).

The Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Foundation held its Annual Banquet Monday, August 29, at The Gin in the West End District. Nearly 250 Chamber and EDF members, community residents, elected officials, and local leaders attended the event, which serves as an opportunity for the organization to celebrate the hard work and support of its volunteers and sponsors over the past year.

The Chamber’s most prestigious award of the evening, the S.E. Kossman, Sr. Award, was given to David Robinson in recognition of his years of outstanding service to the Cleveland-Bolivar County community.  Robinson recently retired after presiding over and growing, the Robinson Electric Company for over three decades.

“Thank you to the Chamber Executive Committee and the other Board members for bestowing this special award to me,” said Robinson. “I am very humbled and appreciative.”

A Cleveland native, Robinson attended Pearman Elementary School before joining the very first class of elementary students at Parks School. He moved on to Margaret Green Junior High, then Cleveland High School, where he was a member of the Wildcats football team before graduating in 1971. After completing Hinds Junior College’s Industrial Electrical program, Robinson and his wife, Kathy Belk Robinson, returned to the area. David and his brother, Mark, assumed ownership of their father’s business in 1986.

Read More
Kevin Cox presented Virginia O'Neal, owner of Cotton Row Bookstore with the inaugural Small Business Legacy Award.
Jimmy McClellan, Jr. was awarded Outstanding Young Professional by the Cleveland Young Professionals organization.
Thank You
The Chamber of Commerce would like to extend a special thank you to its outgoing Board of Directors members. The following individuals have provided invaluable support and service to the Chamber during their three-year term:

Will Bradham
Todd Fuller
Tom Janoush
Desira Warrington
Amy Vance
DSU Welcome Back

The Chamber of Commerce hosted the Delta State Welcome Back party at The Warehouse Thursday, August 11. Over 300 DSU faculty and staff, Chamber members, and community supporters stopped by the event, which served as a celebration and kick off for the new academic year.

Evening highlights included numerous raffle prizes from local businesses and welcome addresses from Chamber member and past DSU Alumni President, Patrick Davis, as well as Mayor Billy Nowell.  In his speech, Davis thanked local educators for their hard work and commitment to growing the next generation of leaders.

The event also served as an opportunity for the Chamber of Commerce to launch its new Delta State discounted membership rate. Delta State faculty and staff now have the opportunity to join the Chamber as individual members at a reduced rate of $50 annually, with the option to add a spouse membership for an extra $25. The program provides DSU employees the chance to attend local networking events and professional development workshops, as well as to receive Chamber updates and newsletters.

Event sponsors included:
Jantran, Inc.; Cannon Motors of Mississippi; Cleveland Board of Realtors; Cleveland State Bank; Delta Electric Power Association; Mitchell Distributing; Nehi Bottling CompanyPartnership Properties; Planters Bank; Robinson Electric Company; Roy Collins Construction Company; SouthGroup Insurance Services; The Sanders Family; and Whole Cellars Package Store.

The Chamber is grateful for its generous supporters and for everyone who attended the event. We would also like to thank Eric Kelly and his staff at The Warehouse for providing a wonderful space, and even better food!All members are invited to stop by The Warehouse Thursday, August 11, from 5-7 pm as we roll out the green carpet for Delta State faculty and staff. Enjoy food, drinks, and fun, and join us in showing appreciation for all those who make DSU such an integral part of our community.

Cleveland Central Career Development and Technology Center
The Cleveland - Bolivar County Economic Development Foundation hosts quarterly meetings for industrial employers to join and discuss a topic related to industry needs and challenges. In August the entire Chamber membership was invited to tour and meet the instructors at the Cleveland Central Career Development and Technology Center

Through its 11 area-specific programs, the Center equips Cleveland Central High School students with real-world training and skills in order to prepare them for internships and early employment opportunities. From welding and information technology to healthcare and hospitality management, students learn both practical and soft skills to be successful after graduation. The Chamber looks forward to supporting and partnering with the Center to strengthen the local workforce pipeline. 

Thank you to our members who came to learn more about the Center. 
Networking Event 
OctoberFest 2022

The Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce is preparing for the 40th Annual OCTOBERFEST, which will be held Saturday, October 8th, in downtown Cleveland. On this anniversary event, you will see a few changes to ensure this event remains a safe, family-friendly event for years to come. 

The much anticipated Memphis BBQ Network cooking competition will take place the night of Friday, October 7, and all day Saturday, with the winners of the OCTOBERFEST competition and the Delta BBQ Battle being announced on Saturday evening before the headlining performance from The Krackerjacks, the Party Band of the South.

Saturday, October 8 will bring you a day packed with family fun and entertainment. Go ahead and register now for the Octoberfest 5k/10k starting at 7:30 a.m. on Octoberfest Saturday (October 8, 2022)! These will be timed races with awards for males and females in two age categories (50+/-49). Your favorite arts and crafts booths will open at 9 a.m. along with the expanded children’s area full of games and inflatables for all ages. Live entertainment will kick off on the main stage all day long until 8 p.m. with an exclusive VIP area for our top sponsors. The Chamber of Commerce will be selling bbq sandwiches, RC products, and beer along with the much-anticipated carnival food vendors.


Arts & Craft Vendor Registration
Sponsorship Packages
BBQ Team Application
Octoberfest 5k/10k

Main Street was back-to-school and back-to-business in August, with several specials offered to returning students, staff, and faculty at Delta State University from multiple downtown businesses. New board members for 2023 were approved by the Team Cleveland Main Street Board of Directors and outgoing members recognized at the Chamber’s Annual Banquet. 


Additionally, Team Cleveland bylaw changes were approved by the membership at the Annual Banquet, moving along to the Chamber Board of Directors for final approval at the forthcoming September Board Meeting. Both the Christmas Committee and OctoberFest Committee met to discuss the fall’s upcoming events downtown. As the year transitions from summer break to the new school year, so, too, is Team Cleveland Main Street looking forward to the programming ahead!


August also saw the conclusion of the summer Farmer’s Market on the downtown greenstrip. Multiple volunteers groups showed up downtown to welcome visitors downtown, with some Saturdays reaching more than 200 people on the greenstrip! We look forward to working with the Cleveland MS Farmer’s Market for future downtown programs.

Chamber Staff Member Completes Community Development


CONWAY, AR – Cade Holder, Director of Community Programs at the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, has recently completed the Year 1 Class of the 36th annual Community Development Institute (CDI) at the University of Central Arkansas on August 5, 2022. 

CDI trains community leaders and economic development professionals on how to strengthen their local economies and build communities. This is achieved by developing the ability of participants to identify community assets, set goals, encourage collaboration and partnerships with stakeholders, and bring communities, organizations, and businesses together to respond to a broad range of economic and quality of life issues. 

The complete institute experience is a three-year program, with one week of training per year. Participants move through the program curriculum in cohorts and are exposed to a comprehensive, applied approach to the field of community
and economic development. 

UCA is the birthplace for the Community Development Institute, which started in 1987 in partnership with Entergy, Southwestern Bell, and ARKLA. Since that time, CDIs have been established in Texas, Idaho, Alabama, and Illinois, and a national governing and certification body, the Community Development Council, has been created. More information about CDI can be found at



September  22 - Networking Event

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