The Sesame Club continued its program theme for the year “Positively Pine Bluff, Established Forces” at a recent meeting at the Pine Bluff Country Club.

Jacque Walker introduced Lou Ann Nisbett, president and chief executive officer of the Economic Development Alliance for Jefferson County.

Sesame Club President Diana Millenbaugh called the meeting to order. Kitty Rubenstein called the roll with 24 members present.

During the program, Nisbett introduced Nancy Lee McNew, director of Leadership Pine Bluff, a program of the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Nisbett and McNew spoke of many successful events sponsored by the Chamber, some of which have been the Business Expo at the Pine Bluff Convention Center, the annual breakfast, and the Farmers Appreciation Fish Fry attended by 725 people at Hestand Stadium.

The guests also mentioned that seven area chefs participated in the Taste of Southeast Arkansas and that a Junior Leadership program for high school students will start in January. This program is designed to teach life skills such as resume preparation, career planning.

According to Nisbett, business retention, work force development and prospects for development are key goals for the Alliance. The recent announcements of new companies include Highland Pellets and a poultry processing plant to be housed in the former Tyson Chicken plant.

After the program, regular business was continued with the treasurer’s report by Janelle Powell. The membership voted to donate $100 each to the following institutions: The Art League, Salvation Army, Arts & Science Center and Neighbor to Neighbor.

The press correspondent will send a note of sympathy to Bill Fox on the loss of his wife and Sesame Club member, Cheryl. Sue Smith gave a remembrance of Cheryl and her years of service in Pine Bluff Schools. LaNelle Roberts and Kitty Rubenstein will purchase a book for the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Library in her memory.

Hostesses Laurie Pascale, Ann Clark, Ann Talbot and Jane Nixon invited the membership to decorated Christmas tables with boxwood centerpieces and ornaments as party favors. The members were treated to peppermint ice cream pie and were given Christmas gifts by President Diana Millenbaugh. The next meeting will be Jan. 31.