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Nominations due for annual Chamber awards

SUN Columnist

Voting isn’t open for a national, state or even local elections right now, but your vote is important for choosing the upcoming Chamber Board of Director candidates and to nominate a worthy person(s) for the annual community awards.

On Monday of this weekthe online voting for the Chamber board nominees began. If you are not a “techy” person, then we encourage you to drop by the Chamber and cast your ballot in person.

Of the six nominees running, your business may vote for three candidates. There is only one vote per business; however, you may cast a ballot for every Chamber business you have registered that is in good standing. If we receive multiple ballots from your business, all ballots will be disqualified. You should have received an e-mail from Jan Santopietro, membership coordinator, alerting you to your business login and password information. Should you have trouble accessing the voting site, please contact the Chamber so you may receive the correct information or instructions. The online voting and in person voting at the Chamber will continue until 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24. Voting in person will then continue at the annual meeting and celebration on Saturday, Jan. 25.

The nominees for the 2014 election process are: Nicki Alley, owner of Higher Grounds Coffee; Peggy Andrews, Independent Real Estate broker and owner of Mountain Mist Soaps; Mike Beckel, partner with Wilson, Rea, Beckel and Associates, CPAs; Jessica Bilazzo, leadership member with Growing Spaces; Mary Hunt, realtor associate with Team Pagosa Realty, and Jeannie Sinkie, general manager of Mountain Landing Guest Suites and RV Park. Each of these nominees has been involved in the community and their industries and we encourage you to read their bios. The Chamber, through the nomination process, looks to have a diverse board representing a broad spectrum of our business community. We are pleased that these individuals represent some of the businesses in our community and any combination of candidates would be a welcome addition to the existing board of directors.

Exiting the board this year will be president Todd Stevens with Alley House, Farrago, Back Room Wine Bar and First Crush; Pam Barsanti with Jim Smith Realty and Aurora Wright, owner of Mud Shaver Car Wash. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their three years of service to the Chamber and the business community. They have worked innumerable events, attended many long meetings, and made many critical decisions. We appreciate their dedication not only to the Chamber organization, but to the business community, as they always kept the businesses in the forefront of their minds as they made decisions.

Tickets are also now available online or at the Chamber for the annual meeting on Jan. 25. This year’s event, “Denim & Diamonds” will again be held at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts from 6 to 9 p.m. The evening will consist of fantastic decorations, a delicious full dinner buffet, cash bar, music by Bob Hemenger, a silent auction and, of course, the community awards. Tickets are $40 for the evening. Wear your best denim and bling and attend and network with other businesses, celebrate the awards and enjoy the food, fun and festivities.

Community awards

There is still one week to nominate individuals, couples, groups and businesses for the community awards of volunteer, citizen, non-profit, and small business of the year. The Southwest Organization for Sustainability will also be awarding the Green Business Leader of the Year award. If you don’t nominate someone or self nominate, you can’t win! Look around this community and say thank you in the form of a nomination or award to many worthy individuals. There are also many non-profit agencies that perform incredible services for this community. Say thank you to these organizations and their volunteers for the countless hours that are devoted to the betterment of this community. The nomination forms must be in by Monday, Jan. 13. You can have a nomination form e-mailed to you, you can pick one up at the Chamber, e-mail a nomination to admin@pagosachamber.com or download a form at www.pagosaspringschamber.com. We will be announcing the nominees in two weeks. We encourage you to come to the annual event and support these candidates for the awards and have a great time.

WinterFest activities

Although we have just started January, the Chamber is already looking ahead to February and WinterFest activities. WinterFest will be held on Presidents’ Day weekend, Feb. 14-16. Start the Valentine’s weekend off with a dinner-dance at the Chilly Bowl — a chili and cornbread cook-off and tasting and music by popular country and western band Tim Sullivan and Narrow Gauge. Tickets are only $20, which allows you to taste all the chili you want and then take your sweetheart out for a twirl on the dance floor to some fantastic C&W music. A cash bar will also be available.

That same weekend, the popular Pagosa Penguin Plunge will take place on Sunday, Feb. 16. Hearty plungers take to the frigid San Juan River raising donations on behalf of their chosen non-profit agency. Plungers will jump in the river beginning at noon. Those interested in plunging for their favorite nonprofit can pick up their pledge and waiver forms at the Chamber and start raising money now. You will have about six weeks to raise as much money as you can.

Individuals, families and groups can also begin designing and building their homemade sled for the Anything Goes Downhill Sled Race. This event will take place on Saturday around 2 p.m. Sleds of varying designs, speeds and accoutrements will race down Reservoir Hill. Participant applications are available online or at the Chamber. Perhaps if we start getting ready for WinterFest now, it will snow. For more information about the WinterFest activities, visit the Chamber website.

Membership News

Businesses or individuals interested in becoming a Chamber member or enhancing their membership participation should attend the first Maximizing Your Membership class on Monday, Jan. 27, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Find out how we can help you market your business and see how you can get the most out of your membership.

We have two renewals to welcome back to the chamber this week: The Overlook Mineral Spring Spa and Smoke’n Moes BBQ.

This story was posted on January 9, 2014.