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Numerous awards given at annual meeting

Catering to a sold out house, the Chamber of Commerce held their annual meeting on Saturday, Jan. 22 at the Pagosa Lodge. It was an evening of delicious food, dancing, lots of interpersonal interactions, election of three new board members, a recap of 2010 and plans by the Chamber for 2011, with numerous awards given out.

Celebrating the beginning of our 35th anniversary as a Chamber, our organization is excited to welcome three new board members to its slate of nine. The winners for the three open board seats are Todd Stevens, co-owner of Alley House and Farrago Market Cafe; Aurora Wright, owner of Mud Shaver Car Wash; and Pam Barsanti with Jim Smith Realty. We can’t thank all the candidates enough for their participation in this election process. While all the candidates were good and have lots to offer, the membership voted in these three members to serve for a three-year term. Please pass on your congratulations to them when you see them.

Numerous awards were also given out at the banquet; the most familiar were the Citizen and Volunteer of the Year. Joanne Irons was nominated and selected as the 2010 Citizen of the Year. Mrs. Irons was the winner of the Volunteer of the Year award in 2006. Since that time, she has continued to exemplify lifestyle changes in our community through her efforts in various programs.

Other nominees included Norm Vance, Bob Moomaw, the Mounted Rangers and the Community United Wreath Makers.

Volunteer of the Year for 2010 was awarded to Janis Moomaw. Most noted for her work with Music in the Mountains, Janis has served on several boards, including the Chamber board, and has been involved with several philanthropic endeavors.

Other nominees included Dawn Robel, Joan Ward, Gloria Smith, the Mounted Rangers and the Community United Wreath Makers.

The selection committee always has a difficult time sorting through all the qualities that each individual or organization brings to the awards table. However, these two women certainly stand out in our community as leaders. Congratulations to all the nominees and these two winners.

For more on Irons and Moomaw, see article on page one.

Green Business Leader Awards

A new award was added this year to honor businesses that demonstrate sustainable and “green” practices. The Southwest Organization for Sustainability gave out the awards. Seven businesses either self-nominated or were nominated based on their green efforts. The businesses nominated were Alley House Grille/Farrago Market Café, Growing Spaces, Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation, Pagosa Baking Company, Pagosa Brewing Company, Piedra Car Care and The Springs Resort. Since this is the first year these awards were given out, the SOS group wanted all businesses recognized for their efforts; however, they will size categorize the businesses next year to make the awards more equitable. All the businesses demonstrated major efforts in areas such as water conservation, general recycling, recycling damaging products and use of local or regional products. Businesses such as Growing Spaces and Pagosa Brewing had sustainable future goals and grow some of their own needs for food. Growing Spaces has a grid-tide manufacturing site selling electricity back to La Plata Electric. Pagosa Brewing purchases “Clean Green” wind power from LPEA for 100 percent of their energy needs. The Springs Resort was commended for being the first Gold LEED Certified hotel in Colorado and one of only 14 in the nation. They also recycle used soaps back to the supplier where they are repurposed into soaps that are donated to third world countries.

Pagosa should be proud of the initial efforts that many businesses are making to leave a lesser carbon footprint and find better ways to make their businesses more sustainable and compatible to the environment. We look forward to many more businesses being nominated in 2011. Congratulations to all these green leaders.

Pagosa Pride winners

Every year the Chamber also recognizes those businesses that have made an exterior improvement to their facility in relation to renovation or improvement. It does not include new construction or interior design. This year’s winners were: first place — the Community United Methodist Church. and second place — Wildflower Floral and Gift. Honorable Mentions went to Handcrafted Interiors, Painted Pony, San Juan Motel, John Paul II Catholic Church, Pagosa Lodge and the Overlook. We appreciate these businesses taking time and money to improve the esthetics of their building and grounds.

Board of directors

Three new individuals were elected to represent the business community on the Chamber board of directors. Those selected to serve three-year terms were Stevens, Wright and Barsanti. We thank the other candidates that also ran: Jennifer Burck, owner of Wind Wranglers Balloon Company; Mark Monaco, owner of Liberty Theatre who declined due to recent personal commitments; and Bob Moomaw. All the candidates have strong business sense and would be an asset to our organization. We look forward to working with the newly elected board members to accomplish the many projects that the chamber has in the works for 2011.

We again want to thank the three outgoing board members: Brent Christians with Galles Properties, Steve Kuhlman with Boss Hogg’s Restaurant and Todd Starr, the county attorney. They have served with great dedication, with the businesses’ and Chamber’s best interests in mind.

Call for photographers

The chamber is looking for some great Pagosa photographs to represent our community in various mediums. We will be placing these photos on our new website, and some pictures may be chosen to represent Pagosa in a relocation book and in a Pagosa calendar. We are looking for scenery, as well as action and special event shots. We know that there are people always taking photographs of the Pagosa area all throughout the year. We want to showcase this community and you can help whether you are an amateur or professional.

Photos should be downloaded to a disc in hi-resolution format. The disc should be brought to the Chamber by Friday, Jan. 28. Should your photos be chosen, we will have you sign a permit release and we will give photographer credit when used. For answers to any questions, please contact the Chamber at 264-2360.

Membership news

We are devastated to say good-bye to store owner Bonnie Nyre of High Mountain Consignment and Gifts. Bonnie will be closing her store located at 262 Pagosa St. on Saturday, Jan. 29. Bonnie will be saying thank you to her loyal customers by offering light food and beverages all day long. Stop by and thank Bonnie for her great contribution to our community these past years.

We have no new members this week but continue with a great response of renewing members. In the lodging arena we have the Oak Ridge Lodge, located on Hot Springs Blvd., renewing with free WiFi and DSL and an indoor heated swimming pool. We welcome back Bruce Spruce Ranch with RV camping and rustic log cabins, all located at the base of Wolf Creek Pass. San Juan Sports Massage with Markus Hughes offers a wide variety of massage techniques, including sports and medical massage, as well as hospice care and long-term maintenance techniques. Black Swan Antiques renews, and, if you’re not in the market for antiques, don’t miss their flair for the bling with Pandora and other beads for bracelets and necklaces and sparkle for your hair, clothing and just about anything that can be “blinged” up. Ken Harms renews with two of his businesses, including Harms Photo/Graphic Associates offering photography and graphic design, and SelectPro School Photography providing professional school and sports photography. Carol Harper Real Estate offers complete real estate services with years of local experience. Soon to kick into action again will be Bogey’s Mini Golf located on Put Hill. From just outside the area, we have Bayfield Gardens who provided our super-sized hanging baskets this past summer. The Archuleta County Republican Women also renew this week. They will be hosting a Lincoln Day luncheon on Tuesday, Feb. 8 at JJ’s Riverwalk Restaurant. Their monthly luncheon is usually at Boss Hogg’s the second Tuesday of each month at noon. Our Friends of the Chamber renewing are Elmer Shettler — now a Chamber Gem Sponsor, and Andy and Susan Donlon.

We thank all the members that attended our annual meeting and celebration. We are looking forward to a busy and productive year for our membership and the community. Stop by the chamber and find out all about the amenities that the chamber can offer your business.