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By Mary Jo Coulehan
It is that time of year again, when the Chamber of Commerce prepares to lose three existing board members and replace them with three new members.
This year, we will lose Bill Schwab with Piedra Automotive, Paul Boyd with Wells Fargo and Doris Green with Lantern Dancer Gallery.
The Chamber is seeking six candidates to present to the Chamber membership at large. During the annual voting process, the three new board members will be selected.
Interested parties are asked to fill out an application, which is available at the Chamber or as a downloadable version from the Chamber website, www.pagosaspringschamber.com.
The tenure for those selected is three years. Along with monthly meetings and possible work on subcommittees, board members are asked to stay in touch with members of the business community and “be the voice” of our members.
Interested parties need to submit an application by Friday, Oct.12. Should your application not be chosen by the nomination group, there is still the opportunity to petition to be placed on the ballot.
For more information about serving on the Chamber board, or about the process, contact Mary Jo Coulehan at 264-2360.
Only one week left before the signup for SunDowners takes place — on Monday, Oct. 1, promptly at 8 a.m.
SunDowners or Business After Hours functions are typically held on the fourth Wednesday of the month except for January and September when no SunDowners are held due to the annual meeting in January and ColorFest in September. The holiday months of November and December also have date changes. For planning purposes, the 2013 schedule will be as follows: Feb. 27, March 27, April 24, May 22, June 26, July 24, Aug. 28, Oct. 23, Nov. 20 and Dec. 18.
Do you have a new business, a business that has added product or completed some renovations on the property, or a business that needs a shot in the arm? If so, SunDowners are great opportunities to expose your business to the community and, from the business standpoint, they offer wonderful chances for you to network with other people. Yes, it is a social event, but it is also a time to talk about business opportunities and make new contacts.
We encourage businesses to partner on SunDowners to give broader coverage or engage businesses that do not have store frontage and would like some exposure. If there are several businesses in an area, you might want to arrange something like a block party. We are happy to work with all kinds of scenarios.
The host business is responsible for providing the location, and hors d’oeuvres or light snacks. It does not have to be dinner. The Chamber provides the beverages. The SunDowners are held from 5 to 7 p.m.
If you are interested in signing up for a SunDowner, you need to be at the Chamber by 8 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 1. You can arrive earlier and pull a number. There will be 12 numbers available: 10 for the SunDowners and two for the wait list. The numbers will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. You can pull your number and leave, but if you are not back at the Chamber by 8 a.m. when the signups begin, you will forfeit your spot.
For more information about hosting a SunDowner, contact either Mary Jo Coulehan or Jan Santopietro, membership coordinator, at 264-2360.
Pueblo, Colo., is host for the fifth annual Colorado Rural Entrepreneurship Marketplace, to be held Friday, Oct. 5.
Pagosa Springs was the host for the fourth annual conference and we encourage local business owners to travel just a few hours to attend this reasonably priced, all-day seminar.
The conference is broken down into six tracks: agriculture, technology, marketing, finance, business development and community development. There is an educational track for every business or interest and the registration price is extremely affordable — only $30 for the day including breakout sessions, continental breakfast and lunch, and a keynote speaker.
One of last year’s speakers, Mikal Belicove, was so popular he has been asked to return this year as the keynote speaker and teach another social marketing session. Belicove is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine and a published author, with his latest book (which he was finishing when he came to Pagosa last year) “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Facebook.”
You can register online at www.ruralcolorado.org. This conference is well worth the small investment of money and time.
Marketing for Smarties
You can still sign up for the Marketing for Smarties class to be held Oct. 3 and 24, and Nov. 14 at the Chamber of Commerce.
Marcy Mitchell, with MTECH Internet Marketing, will lead you through the intense, yet fun classes. There is a tremendous amount of peer interaction and, at the end of the session, you will be able to write a business and branding platform and create steps to achieve your marketing plan. The cost of the three-week challenge is $149.
To register for the class, go to www.coloradosbdc.org/workshop.aspx?ekey=170320106 or call Lynn Asano at the Fort Lewis College SBDC office at 247-7009.
Searching for a job?
Colorado Workforce, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s Rural Workforce Consortium and Colorado libraries have teamed up to provide online tools for jobseekers.
The Virtual Workforce Center, which held training earlier this week, is available now at the Ruby Sisson Memorial Library. Two days a week, the library will have a room and laptop specifically designated for those interested in using the Virtual Workforce Center or needing workforce assistance. This service will be available Tuesdays from 1-3 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. You can also utilize any of the library’s computers to access the Colorado Workforce website and list a job or look for a job.
Speaking of Colorado Workforce, the Chamber again encourages business owners who are looking for employees to list positions on the Workforce site. It is a free service; the range of contact is not limited to our area, but extends across the state. That means if someone is looking to move to Pagosa Springs, they can go to the Colorado Workforce site, www.connectingcolorado.com, and find the jobs that are available here. This is an important feature, especially for those industries that need trained and certified employees such as mechanics.
For more information, or to speak to someone from the Colorado Workforce Center in Durango, call 247-0308.
We have a full slate of renewing members this week. It is important to take note of continuing renewals, as these businesses take the extra step to be a part of the Chamber and support the business community.
We have one new member this week, ALLCLEAN Carpet Cleaning. ALLCLEAN is owned by Scott Miller and they clean not only carpets and upholstery but tile and grout, stone, and oriental rugs. They also can help you in those frightful times when you have water or flood damage. You can schedule a free consultation or estimate by contacting Scott at 264-2722. Welcome to ALLCLEAN Carpet Cleaning.
The renewals this week include Quality Resort & Suites (formerly the Pagosa Lodge), Sunset Ranch Cabins, A Hummingbird Haven, Nello’s Bistro and Espresso Bar, Subway West, Wilderness Journeys with Wayne Walls, Pagosa Insurance Agency with Ken and Linda Morrison, Dr. Gerlinde Ehni, D.D.S, P.C., Billy Goat Mulching, Pagosa Wireless, Mountain Eye Care with Dr. Jon Zissman, and Moe’s Maps.