UNION CITY, Ind. — Carla Benge has been serving as executive director of the Union City Chamber of Commerce since November 2014. She was one busy woman the night of the Chamber’s banquet and awards night on March 17.
Benge, who hails from Lebanon, Indiana, said she and significant other, Edward Marquis, who is from the Union City area, had been visiting friends nearly every other weekend in Union City when she learned about the opening at the Chamber of Commerce.
“I’m liking it real well,” she said.
She believes her previous work experiences have helped her get acclimated to the job at the Chamber office.
Early on, she had owned her own restaurant, then she owned a daycare and foster home, the latter which she had for 17 years. She also assisted her ex-husband in his automotive business for quite awhile.
“So, I still have bookkeeping [with the Chamber position],” she said. “Otherwise, I’m pretty much on my own.”
Since she has taken over as director, some changes have been made. At the banquet, a couple of new awards were added this year. They were the novice and achievement awards.
“We had a golf cart scavenger hunt last year in September and we did it even in the rain. It was fun,” she said. “Every year, we always have a carry-out chicken barbecue [in December] and will now also be doing pork chop dinners separately.”
She also reported that the Chamber members have talked about other things that are in the works.
She noted that the Chamber is on round two of its membership drive.
“We have the city-wide garage sales on Memorial Day weekend,” Benge added.
Other events for the Chamber throughout the year are Union City’s annual fireworks display and Family Fun Day at Harter Park on July 4 and the annual holiday shopping day in November.
The office, she said, is open Tuesday through Friday.
Benge grew up in Lebanon and graduated from high school there in 1978. She went to IUPUI of Anderson, Indiana, where she earned a degree in early childhood development. She also attended Marian University.
Benge, whose maiden name was Golden, has one son Zachary Benge, and two grandsons, Dylan, who will be 16 in May, and Zachary, 13.
She met Marquis while she was a Cub Scout leader in Lebanon.
“Our boys are the same age,” she said.
The Chamber of Commerce, she said, has 19 directors counting the officers: Susie Norton, president; Aaron Black, vice president; Denise Beam, secretary; and Susan Crank, treasurer. Other directors include