Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Leadership Sandpoint Applications now available

If you or someone you know is interested in participating in the 2009-2010 class of Leadership Sandpoint, please call or email us today or come by the office to pick up an application. The deadline for applications is July 31st. Those who turn in their applications prior to June 30th will receive $50 off their tuition. Class size is limited so call or email today!


Friday, May 22, 2009

Pend Oreille Health Care Grand Opening

On May 20th Pend Oreille Health Care celebrated with a grand opening and ribbon cutting at their new office located at 710 Superior Street. They offer a comprehensive range of medical services with a focus on total health strategy – integrating traditional medical practices with patient-driven alternative therapies and education designed to help patients make healthy lifestyle choices. Services include adult medicine, gynecology, pediatrics, minor procedures, weight loss counseling, menopause management, and immunizations and vaccinations. Pictured is owner Michelle Anderson cutting the ribbon amongst the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, Board officials, family, and friends. For more information, call (208) 265-2225 or visit

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Community Cancer Services Receives Business of the Month

Community Cancer Services (CCS), a nonprofit organization, was honored as business of the month by the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce on May 14th for their outstanding service to local cancer patients and their families.

CCS was founded in 2003 by Heather Gibson and her friend Cynthia Dalsing who saw a dire need for a cancer resource center for both Bonner and Boundary county residents. CCS became known as “Heather’s House” after founder Gibson passed away after an eight year battle with cancer in 2006. Located at 1215 Michigan Street Suite B, CCS provides financial support and services to those needing help during their cancer treatments. Some services include support groups, advocacy, counseling, a lending library, nutrition supplements, volunteer drivers, yoga classes, research assistance, and educational forums.

“There is nothing more frightening than hearing the word ‘cancer,’” said Ambassador Peggy Shadel who gave the award to CCS on behalf of the Chamber and relayed her own heart-felt story. “Until you have been there, you can’t wholly comprehend what the ladies at CCS mean to every person who walks through their doors,” she said. “The have dedicated their time and energy to the fight against cancer.”

“It is from the support of our community, through local donations, that helps keep our doors open,” said CCS Program Director Stephanie Moss. “We are very thankful for the support we receive from our community – it has helped make Heather’s dream a reality,” she said.

For more information about CCS, call 255-2301 or visit

Photo Caption: Pictured from left is CCS board member Barbara Clapp, Chamber Ambassador Peggy Shadel, CCS Program Director Stephanie Moss, and CCS Treasurer Lou MacAfee.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Judy Thompson Receives Volunteer of the Month

As they say, “she wears many hats” and in this case - many name tags with many titles. From President of Leadership Sandpoint to Vice President of Pend Oreille Arts Council (POAC), Judy Thompson holds a variety of roles that shape and influence the greater Sandpoint area.

On May 14th, Thompson was honored by the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce as Volunteer of the Month for going above and beyond for multiple organizations and the community at large.

“Her strong leadership skills and work ethic are legendary in this community,” said long-time friend and neighbor Tawnie Sleep. “I’m not sure there is a person in this room that hasn’t worked on an event with Judy and knows that her passion for detail is untouchable,” she said when honoring Thompson on behalf of the Chamber at the Power Luncheon on May 14th. “She inspires me and so many more to go above and beyond the call of duty.”

Executive director of POAC Kim Queen echoed the same compliments. “Her energy and enthusiasm, paired with her leadership abilities and tenacity, ensure that anything she sets out to do gets done right.” Queen continued, “She is an inspiration to all who have had the honor to work (and play) by her side.”

Thompson has supported the arts and the business community in the greater Sandpoint area through her active involvement. Through her efforts with the Festival at Sandpoint, Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce, POAC, among other nonprofit organizations, this community is better off due to her behind-the-scenes efforts to support artists and leaders.

“Judy is a powerful force and has raised the bar for education, business and the arts in this community,” said the Chamber’s executive director Amy Little. “We are incredibly grateful for her contributions.”

Photo Caption: Pictured is owner of Sleep’s Cabins Tawnie Sleep, on left, and executive director of POAC Kim Queen, on right, honoring Judy Thompson with the Volunteer of the Month Award on behalf of the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Zero Point Celebrates New Location

Zero Point celebrated with a ribbon cutting at their new location at 226 N. 1st Avenue. Pictured is owner Kathy Friedmann cutting the ribbon with co-owner and spouse Bill Friedmann. Since their marriage began 27 years ago, they have collected rocks and minerals. Turning their hobby and passion into a business, Zero Point is now a collector’s paradise with jewelry, crystals, incense, flags, lamps, wood sculptures, and more. Each product is hand-selected and includes local artisan pieces. For more information, visit or call (208) 255-2522.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Saluting Small Business Owners

Small businesses, the backbone of the American economy, are being honored this week, May 13th through May 23rd. Gretchen A. Hellar, Mayor of Sandpoint, proclaimed the week Small Business Week of Sandpoint and calls upon citizens to join in saluting small business men and women.

“During good economic times, we can forget the importance of strong business leadership; but in tough economic times, we look for and seek those leaders to weather through the storm and create jobs and prosperity,” said Amy Little, executive director of the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce. “On behalf of the Chamber’s board of directors, we are pleased to recognize the tireless efforts and sacrifices made by our business owners.”

As part of the festivities small business owner Michelle Anderson will host a grand opening and ribbon cutting celebration on Wednesday, May 20th at her new business, Pend Oreille Health Care, located at 710 Superior Street, Ste. B. Food and refreshments will be served, and the general public is invited to attend.

Additionally, the Chamber will continue to run the Economic and Recovery Workshop series available to the general public at no cost. On Tuesday, May 19th they will host Personal Financial Planning for Displaced Employees presented by Williams & Parsons at the Idaho Department of Labor, located at 2101 W. Pine Street, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. On May 21st Williams & Parsons presents Nonprofit Taxation & the Law from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Luther Park at Sandpoint, located at 501 Olive Avenue.

Hundreds of small business owners in Sandpoint exemplify the freedoms enjoyed as Americans – the freedom to produce, to create wealth, to earn and save and invest, and to make opportunities for others, stated the proclamation. The entrepreneurs remind citizens the importance of economic freedom and contributions small business owners make to the economy and entire way of life. Through the wealth they create, new and enhanced products and services, and jobs they provide to Sandpoint citizens, small business owners ensure Idaho and America will continue to grow and prosper in freedom and opportunity.

The City of Sandpoint and Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce would like to thank the multitudes of small business owners who contribute to make this area a great place to live and work.

For more information about the National Small Business Week, visit and learn ways to recognize small business owners in the Greater Sandpoint area.

Photo Caption: Pictured on left is Michelle Anderson, owner of small business Pend Oreille Health Care, and on right Kathy Hubbard, member of the Chamber’s Business Development committee, witnessing Gretchan A. Hellar signing the proclamation of Small Business Week Sandpoint for May 17th through May 23rd.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tawnie Sleep Receives Outstanding Individual Achievement Award

Described as a “tireless promoter of our community,” owner of Sleep’s Cabins Tawnie Sleep was recognized by the state of Idaho at the recent Idaho Conference on Recreation and Tourism. She received the Outstanding Individual Achievement Award, a Take Pride in Idaho Award presented annually honoring an individual who goes above and beyond their responsibilities to make a significant contribution for developing, managing, or conserving Idaho’s recreation resources.
Tawnie Sleep exemplified these qualities through her efforts to preserve the annual Winter Carnival event this past winter.
“When the announcement went out that there would be no Winter Carnival this year, Tawnie rode the upwelling of disappointment and helped turn that emotion into one of the most positive and memorable Winter Carnivals of recent years,” said Pend d’Oreille Winery owner Stephen Meyer. “She inspired the entire Winter Carnival committee to pitch in and create events that would be sure crowd-pleasers,” he said.

In addition to the Winter Carnival, Tawnie is an active member of the chamber’s Recreation & Tourism Council serving the Visit Sandpoint members of the organization. Recently she and her husband were awarded Tourism Partner of the Year at the 2008 Chamber Choice Awards. Through her involvement with the council, she consistently provides complimentary lodging to promote our business community.

She exemplifies a team spirit by partnering and helping other businesses, noted Chamber officials. “She encourages her guests to visit the many outstanding restaurants, retail stores and outdoor activities this area has to offer,” said chamber executive director Amy Little. “When her lodging facilities are full, she will go the extra mile and find places for guests to stay elsewhere in the community,” she continued. The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce would like to thank Tawnie Sleep for her tireless efforts to serve our businesses. “We are blessed to have Tawnie in our community, and she is well deserving of this prestigious award,” said Little.

Photo Caption: Tawnie Sleep, owner of Sleep’s Cabins, receives the Take Pride in Idaho Outstanding Individual Achievement Award from Karen Ballard with the Idaho Division of Tourism at the Idaho Conference on Recreation and Tourism on May 8th in Sun Valley, ID.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Blue Lake RV Resort Opens May 13th

Blue Lake RV Resort, a gathering place for every season and any reason, is owned by James Boraski and Heidi Carson. Opening May 13th, this beautiful, well-managed 20-acre lake resort is located 22 miles north of Sandpoint off Highway 95 on Blue Lake and includes 44 RV spaces, lakeside boutique pole tents, tent camping, and a rustic, 758 sq. ft. clubhouse. With Wi-fi, a workout facility, kayak rentals, nature trails, in addition to a wood-fired sauna and cabins slated for 2010, Blue Lake RV Resort is perfect for weddings, retreats, RV groups, and individuals looking for a quiet get-a-way. Pictured are owners Boaski and Carson cutting the ribbon with the Chamber Ambassadors. For more information, call (208) 946-3361 or visit

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Luther Park at Sandpoint, the area's newest Senior living community, celebrated with an opening dedication and ribbon cutting after worship at First Lutheran Church. Luther Park at Sandpoint provides independent and assisted living options as well as enhanced memory care services in their elegant and inviting north Idaho style community complete with a grand fireplace lounge, library and media center, walking paths, beauty and barber shop, community/craft and quilting room, and more. Pictured from left is Ambassador Clem Hackworthy, Norm Sommerfeld, Pastor Dave Olson, Wendy Traffie, Pastor Steve Neuder, Bishop Martin Wells, Dean Haagenson, and Ambassador chairman Carol Warren. For more information, call 265-8823 or visit

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Nonprofit Development Council completed their first Training for Nonprofit Workshop series on May 1st and has added a FREE bonus workshop as part of the new Economic Recovery Workshop series - Grant Writing 101. Limited seating available, so call 263-0887 or visit to reserve or for more information.
The Chamber would like to thank Tricia Sullivan who volunteered to instruct these courses to support our nonprofit organizations and the council for their time and energy to provide this excellent program.
To learn more about the Nonprofit Development Council, visit

Sharon's Hallmark Honored as Business of the Month

When Chamber Ambassador Bill Justus presented the business of the month award to Bi-Rite Drugs, the attendees at the monthly Power Luncheon had questioning looks. After asking who had shopped at Bi-Rite Drugs, only a few hands were raised. Justus explained to the audience that Bi-Rite Drugs became Sharon’s Hallmark in 1984, and after asking again if they had shopped there, almost every hand was raised.

Bi-Rite Drugs, founded by Sharon Rench, was purchased from the Curtis family in 1967. Located at 306 N. 1st Avenue, they supplied the greater Sandpoint area with shoes and medical supplies. In 1984 they joined the Hallmark franchise, thus the name changed to Sharon’s Hallmark and evolved into the store it is today. They carry a wide variety of Hallmark cards and gift products, in addition to Vera Bradley purses, a wide selection of jewelry, huckleberry chocolates, souvenir gifts and t-shirts, home d├ęcor items, and specialty gift products from Big Sky Carvers, Montana Silversmith, and Baggallini travel purses.

“We are honored to recognize Sharon’s Hallmark with our Business of the Month award,” said executive director Amy Little. “Not only have they been in business for over 42 years - they have also consistently given back to our local community.” She continued, “They are an important part of our community and our history. Congratulations!”

For more information about Sharon’s Hallmark, call (208) 263-2811.