SBDC 2013 Women’s Conference

SUN Columnist

The Southwest Colorado Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College will host the fourth annual Women’s Conference on Friday, July 12.

The conference is an all-day affair at the Doubletree Hotel in Durango, beginning at 8 a.m. with breakfast and ending after the networking reception at 5:15 p.m. The day will be filled with speakers, training breakout sessions, lunch, and lots of fun and information. This high-impact seminar is for all women in the business world. It is a wonderful opportunity to meet other women in business, learn how you might improve your own business, or get your product out in the market through a vendor space.

The topic of this year’s conference is “Women Redefining Business.” The keynote speaker at lunch will be Christina Haxton, founder and president of Sustainable Leadership, Inc. Christina assists new and seasoned business professionals with tips on how to be a sustainable leader: how to consistently motivate people, how to manage the work and home life, how to more easily resolve conflict and many more business challenges. Pagosa’s Puja Parsons was able to make the connection for Christina to speak at the conference.

The breakout sessions will include topics on marketing and sales, information on the new healthcare exchange program, funding options, government contracting, problem solving and more. The cost for the day is $50 for attendance and $100 for a booth space and conference attendance. To register for the conference, visit or call the Southwest SBDC office at 247-7009. You can also inquire about how you can qualify for a scholarship. The Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce is a partner in this conference and several Pagosa women business owners will participate in the breakout sessions. Congratulations to them for being asked to participate.

For more information, contact the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce.

Life after the Fourth

The Fourth of July for Pagosa is a very busy time. We anticipate this year will be no exception. Please refer to The PREVIEW section for the holiday activities through July 7. Schedules are also available at the Visitor Center. However, don’t get complacent with your time, as there remains a plethora of activities planned after the Fourth of July.

Pagosa Duathlon: Archuleta County Victim Assistance will host the annual Pagosa Duathlon on Saturday, July 13. The race will be held in the Turkey Springs area beginning at Monument Park Road, with a great course planned. The Full Du is a six-mile run and a 14-mile mountain bike ride and the Half Du is a three-mile ride and an eight-mile bike ride. You can “du” the race solo or as a team. Our up-and-coming athletes (children) can “du” a Mini Du with a one-mile run and a two-mile bike ride. This writer really wants to know if you have to be a child, though. Can’t some of us lesser athletes skate by on the Mini Du?

The registration fee for the event is $50 for the Full Du and $40 for the Half Du. This also gets you an official race T-shirt and great goodie bag. For more information or to register for the race, call 264-9075 or visit

Cruise-a-Thon: The wacky race for the “average Joe” also takes place Saturday, July 13. The Cruise-a-Thong has been gaining in popularity due to the unique costumes you can wear while racing, and it is a simple and fun way to enjoy Pagosa Springs. The “race” begins with a “cruiser” bike ride or other self-propelled mode of transportation around Pagosa, followed by a walk in “thongs” (flip flops) along the San Juan River Walk, and ends with a float down the San Juan River on some kind of floatation device. The race is followed by a Party in the Park (Town Park, that is) and even if you are not a race participant, you can enjoy the party. You can win the race by posting the most “average” time, which is enhanced by the costume you wear and the race equipment that you use. All proceeds from the race support the Friends of the Upper San Juan River. Check out their website at

Pagosa Springs Renaissance and Pirate Festival: From July 19-21, the fifth Renaissance and Pirate Festival will take place in the Town Park complex. This year’s festivities will be bigger and better than before. Colorado-based a cappella musical performers Pandora Celtica will be at the event all three days, entertaining with their stunning voices, fun songs and upbeat style. We welcome back Sir Mark-Escape Artist, the local Gypsy Players with their entertaining tales, and the belly dancers with their stunning costumes and moves. The children’s area will be expanded this year with new and fun activities. Also returning will be the Salida Circus, with stilt walking, plate spinning and lots of creative engagement with the children. Of course, there will be fantastic food, vendors of various goods (clothes, jewelry, gifts, essential oils) and activities for children of all ages. One of the most exciting parts of the event for the children is The Quest, finding the pirates’ treasure. All children completing The Quest will receive a cool prize. Admission to the Faire is $3 for adults, $2 for youth, and wee ones are free (under 48-inches, like at Disneyland). You can also obtain a multi-day pass. For more information, call the Chamber at 264-2360 or visit


A reminder that this month’s SunDowner has been changed to be held at Village Interiors Carpet One on Trinity Lane. The SunDowner will be held Wednesday, July 24.

We have one new business to welcome to the Chamber this week — the Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership, Inc. This organization has been active in obtaining land and resources to build a geothermal greenhouse complex in the Centennial Park area. They are moving forward with plans, with these structures to be used for education, economic development, community gardening and beautification. On July 26 and 27, they will host the Colorado Environmental Film Festival — a great coup for Pagosa. This event should become an annual event. Visit their website,, to find out more about the organization, view the films, register to get film festival tickets and become a V.E.P., qualifying you for some great gifts and local discount coupons. Welcome to this cutting-edge environmental organization.

Our renewals this week include Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation, Wells Fargo Bank, First Southwest Bank, AAA Propane, Cool Pine Recreation, Pagosa Riverside, Taylor Technical Services, Home Again, Satori Boutique and Gifts, and Juli Morelock with Galles Properties. Our individual associates are Jack and Katy Threet, and John Chrzanowski.

Remember that we are open for business. We thank the firefighters who have been working so hard to protect our area. Let’s thank them with a note or a sign showing your gratitude.

This story was posted on July 3, 2013.