Three directors elected to Chamber board

SUN Columnist

At the 37th annual Chamber membership celebration, members had one last chance to cast their ballots for three of six candidates running for a term on the Chamber Board of Directors.

The elected individuals will each serve a three-year term. The winners were Nancy Gilbert, owner of Elk Meadows River Resort; Jerry Smith, president of Pagosa Verde; and Nick Tallent, local Edward Jones financial investor.

We would like to thank Keil Steck, manager of the San Juan Motel), Paul Gomes (branch manager for Wells Fargo) and Flynn Fierro (formerly with Old Town Market) for throwing their hats into the ring as candidates. All candidates are very qualified to serve on the board, and we welcome the newest board members.

The Chamber will start off the year with a local planning session and retreat to lay down the key areas of focus for our organization and to determine how best to assist the business community.

Congratulations to our new board members for agreeing to commit to a three-year term of hard work and to being involved in our business community on another level.

Dancing with stress

Stress is in most of our lives — like it or not.

How we handle juggling all the balls in our busy lives is a valuable topic for discussion — one we will have on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

At this first in a series of three seminars in 2013 targeted toward women’s concerns and business successes, Dancing With Stress/Managing Overwhelm will help you get a handle on, and give you some tips to better manage, the complicated life most of us are engaged in.

The seminar will be held at The Springs Resort beginning at 4 p.m. There will be two dynamic speakers, networking time, some social time, door prizes and tons of information. Dr. Nicola St. Mary and Puja Parsons will be the featured speakers. This seminar is for all women, single or married, old or young, with families or retired. It is hard to imagine walking away from this forum without garnering some tidbit on how to better handle your life. Maybe it will be through making a contact that offers you a new babysitting lead. Perhaps you will be motivated to take 10 minutes out of your day to work on your needs. Perhaps you will work on better nutrition and discover little steps you can take to accomplish this challenge. If you don’t take time to take care of yourself, how do you take care of others without getting battered or broke?

St. Mary’s focus is working with clients on mental health issues — from insomnia to anxiety to eating issues. She also enjoys working with people who are interested in enhancing their life through optimizing their health. She will also incorporate some talking points from her other lecture topics from “The Joy of Stress and Anxiety.” Parsons was the keynote breakfast speaker at the Women’s Conference in Durango last year sponsored by the SBDC. She held the attention of the room with her heartfelt and practical motivational ideas. Working with a company that has continued to expand in size and commitment for the past 20 years, Parsons has incorporated wellness time and tips into the business’ daily routine, making for a more productive work center and healthier employees.

As a business owner, why would you not make the investment to send yourself or at least one or two of your employees to this seminar? Perhaps the employee will make a contact or incorporate a concept that can improve her personal life, thereby making her a happier employee. Perhaps she will bring some ideas back to the workplace, making it better for everyone. Would this nominal investment not be worth more than a worker’s comp claim? The cost of the seminar is only $7 — just like a SunDowner. Try filing any kind of health claim for that sum.

The evening includes the two speakers — one at 4 p.m. and one at 5:15 p.m. If women cannot come to the seminar until after 5, they will still be able to listen to one guest speaker and enjoy the social time beginning at 6:15. The evening reception will last until 7.

Get the husband to watch the kids or go play cards with the guys and give yourself a night out. There will be a beehive of activity and more information in the upcoming weeks. Start 2013 off right by taking some steps to improve your lifestyle, meet some new people and reinvest in yourself. Contact the Chamber at 264-2360 to reserve your space as space is limited.

Business inhibitors

On Jan. 29, the Chamber of Commerce and the Community Development Corporation will host the first Business Open Mic Night of 2013 from 4-7 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce. This open session is made available to individuals seeking business consultation, who have a community or business suggestion, or who would like to voice their concern about an issue. In 2013, we thought we would create a topic for each meeting so that both organizations can better gauge the needs of the business community. This month’s topic is “Inhibitors to running, expanding or opening a business in Pagosa Springs.” We are interested in hearing your opinion. Stop by the downtown offices for five minutes, or an hour. There will be personnel and space available for private business consultations, or you can join the group in the conference room for the open discussion. Light snacks and beverages will be served.

Maximizing Your

The monthly Maximizing Your Membership class, typically held on the last Monday of the month, will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 11:30 a.m. due to scheduling conflicts. We will be back on schedule in February.

This free luncheon class will take you through the steps of your Chamber membership, showing you ways to take advantage of your membership. Start the new year off by reinvesting in your business with this free class. Call the Chamber office at 264-2360 to reserve your place at lunch.

WinterFest Chilly Bowl

The sign-up deadline to enter the inaugural WinterFest Chilly Bowl is only two weeks away.

Do you have a red, green or vegetarian chili that everyone raves about? Is your posole the best? Enter your creation into the first Chilly Bowl and put it to the test.

This event is the first in a series of events celebrating WinterFest weekend. Attendees can enjoy the warmth of body and stomach at this event, held in conjunction with the Ross Aragon Community Center. Tickets, for $25, are available for the Chilly Bowl at the Chamber of Commerce and the community center. Proceeds from the event will benefit local food banks. There will be cash prizes in each category and an overall People’s Choice prize will be awarded. Don’t forget, there will also be a cornbread contest, because what goes better with chili than cornbread?

You can enter the contest as an individual or on behalf of a business. Tickets for the evening also include entertainment from one of the bands performing on Friday night at Outlaw Snowdown. Rock out to Caitlin Cannon and the Artillery as this Durango group of three talented ladies set the community center on fire with their high-energy music and heartfelt ballads. Ticket holders will also receive a collectable chili bowl and spoon, and can also enjoy a cash bar.

Card players will enjoy the first Cabin Fever Cribbage Tournament. Space for this card tournament is limited and the entry fee is only $10 — or $35 if you would also like to partake of the Chilly Bowl and listen to the music if you are concentrating too much on the cards.

Entry forms for the Chilly Bowl and Cribbage Tournament are available at the Chamber. Don’t miss this kickoff event for the 2013 WinterFest weekend.

Business news

The Chamber would once again like to thank all the business owners who contributed to the success of the annual meeting through their generous donations to the evening’s silent auction. Your contributions and purchases will help the Chamber fund programs such as the Women’s Conference and other seminars that we offer for low or no cost.

We have one new member to welcome to the Chamber this week. Liberty Tax Service offers exceptional customer service, accurate tax preparation, and a money-back guarantee. With tax season upon us, find out how Joan and Elizabeth Mieritz can help you file your taxes and try to save you some money.

Our renewals this week include Bill Queen with Action Fire and Safety; Boulder Coffee Cafe; The Costume Pit Shop; The Overlook Mineral Spring Spa; Matt Yoksh with Pagosa Ski and Snowboard Rentals; and USA Communications. Renewing as individual members are Bob and Janis Moomaw.

We thank all who attended the annual meeting. Special thanks to The Buck Stops Here for a delicious meal and Bob Hemenger for great music. Know that the Chamber is raring to go in 2013 with more business services, events and advocacy.

This story was posted on January 24, 2013.