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By Mary Jo Coulehan
Both online and in-person voting is open for the 2013 slate of candidates for the Chamber Board of Directors.
This year, we again have six enthusiastic candidates with myriad talents to bring to the board.
First off, fulfilling their three-year commitments on the board and leaving their positions are Bill Schwab with Piedra Automotive, Paul Boyd with Wells Fargo, who has also moved out of town, and Doris Green, who replaced Madeline Lyons after she resigned to move out of the community earlier this year. These individuals have been involved, engaged and looking out for the best interests of our business community. We extend a huge thank you to them and appreciate their efforts these past years.
Running for the board this year are Flynn Fierro, manager of Old Town Market; Nancy Gilbert, owner of Elk Meadows River Resort; Paul Gomes, branch manager for Wells Fargo Bank; Jerry Smith, president of Pagosa Verde; Keil Steck, manager at the San Juan Motel; and Nick Tallent, financial advisor for the Pagosa Springs Edward Jones office.
We definitely have some new faces in the mix and the talent they bring is varied and always needed. What makes the Chamber board successful is the amount of business acumen and the number of different types of businesses represented.
To find out more about each of the candidates, you will receive a flier in the December/January online newsletter that you can read or print out. We will have hard copies of the bios at the voting box here at the Chamber, and you will be able to view bios online if you choose to vote through the new Elections Online system.
This is the first year the Chamber is offering online, secure voting. We are offering this service to keep up with the times and to engage members who cannot make it down to the Chamber offices to vote. This system is easy to use and requires that you enter your Chamber membership user name and password. If you do not know that information, contact the Chamber and we will provide those codes. You will not be able to vote twice unless you have memberships with multiple businesses. Each business must have its own user name and pass code.
If you are not familiar with some of the candidates, read their bios. These individuals have a wealth of knowledge and practical experience to bring to the board to represent the business community. Of the six candidates submitted to the general membership, three will be chosen to serve three-year terms.
Remember, you can come into the chamber offices to vote. Voting will be open online until 5 p.m. on Jan. 18; in-person voting continues until the evening of the Jan. 19 at the Chamber annual Membership Event.
For more information about the Chamber election process, or if you need your log-in information, contact the Chamber at 264-2360.
Annual meeting/awards ceremony
The 37th Chamber of Commerce annual meeting is slated for Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Pagosa Center for the Arts.
We had a stellar time last year and plan to have another fantastic time this year. The theme this year is an “Ocean of Opportunities,” and we would like to show existing and potential members all the opportunities that exist for their businesses.
In addition to hosting the Citizen and Volunteer of the Year, Southwest Organization for Sustainability will be on hand to present the Green Business award. In addition, we will present two new awards: the Business of the Year and the Non-Profit of the Year. In these new categories, businesses are self-nominated or can be nominated by others, but the details for nominating the business are critical. “They do so much for the community” will not work! There are so many great businesses and non-profits, the selection will be difficult. Therefore, we will rely on specifics concerning what makes an organization “the best” for 2012. Also, remember, if a business or organization does not win this year, there are many more years in which to be recognized.
Forms for all the award categories are in your recent online Chamber newsletter. When you receive the online newsletter, don’t delete it. Not only will the newsletter have important information, it will have numerous fliers from the Chamber and other businesses — scheduled just in time for the holidays. Forms are also available online at www.pagosaspringschamber.com and at the Chamber offices. We can fax you a copy, as well.
At the annual meeting, there will be delicious food, beverages, a silent auction (the donations are already being committed and coming in) and live entertainment. The location is fabulous, the decorations stunning and the accoutrements will be the best. Tickets for the event will go on sale Jan. 2. Watch for more information in the newsletter and in future SUN columns.
Pagosa Perks drawing
On Wednesday, Dec. 19, three lucky people will win $1,000, $500 or $250 in Pagosa Perks local shopping dollars.
The odds of winning this drawing are, understandably, a lot lower than for Power Ball.
Pagosa Perks can be spent throughout town, just like a certified cashier check. They will be doled out in various denominations. Just imagine winning $1,000 and treating your family to a special holiday gift, paying some bills, or treating yourself to dinner, a movie or many other activities. Perks can be used all throughout the year, so maybe you don’t want a snowblower, but you could save these dollars to purchase new fishing poles, a lawnmower or an appliance for the house.
Tickets for the drawing are only $5 each or five for $20 and the proceeds benefit the Chamber, while the Perks benefit the stores in the community. Tickets are available at the Chamber and from any Chamber board or staff member. Get yours today — three people have to win.
Upcoming business events
Even though it is the holiday period, there are still several business events you should be reminded of.
Get ready for the New Year and make some plans for your business by attending the December Maximizing Your Business class on Monday, Dec. 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A free lunch is included in this two-hour session filled with information and enhancements for your business. Please R.S.V.P. to the Chamber so we can ensure there is enough food and space. Start the New Year off on the right foot and with a new marketing arsenal.
La Plata Electric Association will hold a Rate Information Meeting in Pagosa on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 6:30 p.m. at the Ross Aragon Community Center. They will explain the rate increase, what they have learned and what is coming our way.
The last SunDowner of the season will be held at The Springs Resort on Wednesday, Dec. 19, from 5-7 p.m. At this SunDowner, we will draw the winners in the Pagosa Perks Raffle at 6 p.m. The Springs has added some new amenities to the facility, so come out and view the changes and meet some new people to help you enhance your business in 2013. Invitations for the SunDowner will be coming out soon; watch your inbox for the e-vite!
There are holiday events set for the upcoming weeks. Don’t miss a Children’s Old Fashion Christmas at the Ross Aragon Community Center, presented by the First Assembly of God Church. This event will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 12, from 6-8 p.m. and is for elementary school-age children. Come out and decorate cookies, make ornaments and have a great time. The event is free to families.
There is so much to do in Pagosa over the holidays, not only with business Christmas parties, but at events scheduled throughout the community. Pull out your calendars and get the family out for a number of free events and activities.