Have you cast your Chamber director vote yet?

SUN Columnist

These next few weeks we will be reminding you to vote for Chamber director nominees and for the various year-end awards, for which there are two, new categories.

As per the Chamber bylaws, there are six candidates vying for seats on the board of directors submitted to the members, who then cast votes for three of the six nominees.

Three newly-elected representatives replace three outgoing board members, each for a three-year term.

It is important that Chamber members cast their votes for individuals they believe best represent them and their businesses. If you are unfamiliar with the candidates, I encourage you to read their bios. Each candidate brings a different perspective and talent to the current board. Here is a short review of board members and candidates.

Currently on the board of directors are Todd Stevens, representing the restaurant sector as owner of Alley House Grille, Farrago Market Cafe, the Back-Room Wine Bar and First Crush Olive Oil Tasting Room; Aurora Wright, the owner of Mud Shaver Car Wash, representing the small business owner/entrepreneurs; Pam Barsanti, covering the real estate industry; Kimberley Bradshaw, heading up G.O.A.L. Academy here in Pagosa Springs; Stacy Boone, another entrepreneurial representative and the owner of Step Outdoors; and Chris Smith, the owner of Visiting Angels, who can answer questions about franchising and company growth.

Running for the board are: Nancy Gilbert, owner of Elk Meadows River Resort, representing the lodging community; Paul Gomes, the branch manager for Wells Fargo Bank, representing the banking and financial industry; Flynn Fierro, the store manager at Old Town Market and Deli, with a history of large retail experience; Kiel Steck, the manager at the San Juan Motel, representing the lodging and hospitality industry; Jerry Smith, the president and owner of Pagosa Verde, with a great interest in the nonprofit world; and Nick Tallent, financial advisor with the local Edward Jones office, representing the finance sector.

Read each candidate’s bio if you do not know who they are. These candidates bring a wealth of knowledge and talent to Pagosa, can bring the same to the Chamber board. Bios can be found online when you vote at the Elections Online site. The information can also be found on the Chamber website and in hard copy at the Chamber office. We are getting a steady stream of members voting. If you are not able to vote online from the comfort of your home or office, stop by the Chamber or call and we will help you. The important thing is to vote. These individuals will represent your business interests. While all candidates are qualified to serve, only three can be selected to be on the Chamber board. We appreciate members taking the time to vote for board candidates and for the year-end awards.

The year-end awards consist of the Citizen and Volunteer of the Year and the Southwest Organization for Sustainability’s Green Business of the Year. New this year are the Small Business of the Year and the Nonprofit of the Year. In order to win, an individual, group or business must be nominated. Take time to nominate yourself, or nominate another person or business and celebrate their successes and efforts. It takes a little time, but even the nomination is a huge thank you for service or leadership.

To access the forms, pick up hard copies at the Chamber or retrieve them online on the Chamber website from the home page. Remember — people or businesses can’t win if they aren’t nominated. Take time to write down information and get it to the Chamber. Nomination forms are due Friday, Jan. 4. Should you have any questions, contact the Chamber at 264-2360.

Perks raffle winners

Three lucky winners’ names were drawn at the December SunDowner at The Springs Resort, Wednesday Dec. 19.

The prizes given out were Pagosa Perks local spending dollars totaling $1,750. West Davies won $250, Jackie Schick won $500 and Joanne Irons won the $1,000 prize.

What is so important about this raffle is that these checks are spent locally, so almost $2,000 was put into the Pagosa economy. These dollars can be used for years and the money stays in our community and benefits our businesses.

As a business owner, don’t turn away Pagosa Perks. They are guaranteed and can be treated just as you would a cashier’s check. Perks come in various denominations and, when the Perks are used for a purchase, the store can a issue change to the purchaser; there is no need to treat the Perks any different than cash or a check. There is no need to come to the Chamber to receive your money, just deposit the Perks at the bank. It’s that simple: The purchase is made, the checks deposited — the business makes a sale and the money stays here in Pagosa.

Earlier in 2012, the Chamber conducted an extensive campaign to bring more awareness to the Pagosa Perks program. If your business does not have a sign that indicates, “Pagosa Perks Welcome and Accepted,” we can get you a poster. If you don’t have the simple directions concerning how to handle Pagosa Perks, we can get them to you.

With this raffle, and with business owners purchasing Pagosa Perks as gifts for their employees, we hope to see many more of these dollars floating around Pagosa. Don’t treat them as “funny money.”

For more information about this shop-local program, or with questions about Pagosa Perks, contact the Chamber. Don’t turn the business away!

Thanks to everyone who bought a raffle ticket or gave them away as gifts. We appreciate the participation in our second Pagosa Perks Raffle!

Holiday activities

Now that Christmas is behind us, let the holiday spirit continue. Get out and enjoy the festivities that will occur all around Pagosa.

There will be plenty to do at various Pagosa venues throughout the week and into the New Year.

On Saturday, Dec. 29, enjoy the “Tribute to Patsy Cline,” performed by June Marquez and the Tribute Band with performers with the Americana Project. This wonderful event not only features many of the late Patsy Cline’s famous songs, but there is also history and Patsy Cline trivia presented. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students and children 10 and younger are free. The concert will be held at the Pagosa Springs High School beginning at 2 p.m.

There will be special dinners, live and DJ music and festivities at restaurants and bars all over town. There should be something for everyone!

Business news

To close out the year, we have one new business to welcome to the Chamber. La Bella retail store located in historic downtown Pagosa joins our membership ranks. La Bella offers a wide selection of cool clothes for girls and women of all ages. The store has also added Little Bellas and Fellas. You can also plan a delightful tea party for your special little ones at LaBella. Remember that you never have to wait for a sale at LaBella’s. Stop by and say hi to owner Tracy Kirschstein and see all the delightful treats.

Our renewals this week include Elkwood Manor; the Pagosa Springs Youth Center; American Legion Post 108; and real estate agent JoAnn Laird. We welcome all the new members and renewals.

We’ll start off the year with a summary of our business statistics for 2012.

The Chamber and Visitor Center offices will be closed on New Year’s Day. We will see everyone after the first of the year with an abundance of activities planned for 2013. Our year will kick off with the annual meeting on Jan. 19, followed closely thereafter with WinterFest activities, including the new WinterFest Chilly Bowl and Cribbage Tournament on Feb. 7. Also in January, we will host a half-day Women’s Conference to create some new relationships and kick off the year with tactics on how to tackle business and life issues, and prioritize those New Year’s resolutions. We have plans for growing our events this year and we will be focusing on our business community and important issues. We are excited that the Chamber continues to grow and change, and we look forward to being an even stronger support system. Thank you for a successful 2012 and all of your support. We will continue to work to earn your respect and support in 2013.

This story was posted on December 27, 2012.