Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chamber honors Marcella Nelson as Volunteer of the Month

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce honors Marcella Nelson as January’s Volunteer of the Month for her service to our community. Among her other accomplishments, there were years when she pretty much single-handedly, as a volunteer, kept the Chamber running. She was the Chamber Citizen of the Year recipient in 1991. She worked in the office, chaired committees, and championed all kinds of causes and events on behalf of the Chamber.

“It is so fitting the Chamber honor Marcella,” said Kate McAlister, CEO of Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce.

Marcella was raised on a farm in Paradise Valley outside of Bonners Ferry and learned early on to be a hard worker. She ran the Job Service office in Sandpoint for many years and when she retired, totally devoted herself to making things better in her adopted hometown. She is the only person who has served as president of POAC, the Panida, and the Festival, working to make Sandpoint the arts mecca that it is.

Currently, Marcella still serves on all the boards of POAC, Panida, the Festival, and Bonner General Hospital Foundation Advisory Board. She runs Ponderay Community Development Corporation (PCDC) and has so since 2004. She is a BCATT Member and has represented PCDC in that role since 2004, Community Assistance League member since 1990, Bonner County Republican Women member, Rotary Club of Ponderay member, Idaho Community Foundation member and Bonner County Historical Society member.

Marcella hits the gym several times a week, regularly attending aerobics---and even kick-boxing! “She is the youngest 83 year old I know, and I want to be just like her!” exclaimed McAlister. “She is so smart, unfailingly kind, elegant, thoughtful, funny, and generous with her time. She is an absolute Sandpoint Treasure!”

Her many other accomplishments include: Retired May 1, 1984. Worked for the State of Idaho 1947 to 1984. Started volunteering at the Sandpoint Chamber in May of 1984 and continued to do so for 20 years to 2004. The Festival at Sandpoint: Fundraiser, Vice President and President, 1985- Present and still on the Board of Directors. Pend Oreille Arts Council: Fundraiser, President and Ticket taker Auction Chair, etc. from approximately 1987 to the present. Panida Theater: fundraiser, ticket taker, concessions and volunteer. Transportation Design Team: approximately 7 years beginning I think in the early 2000’s. Community Star for Panhandle State Bank 2004. International Association of Personnel in Employment Security: twice Retiree of the Year. Honored as the Woman of Wisdom 2000. Bonner General Hospital Foundation Board 2008. Holly Eve Foundation: fundraiser- work on and support. Community Cancer Services, Kinderhaven Festival of Trees, Ponderay Rotary fund raiser: work on and support. Bonner Mall Chili Cook Off: work on.

“AND there is ‘The Power of the Bun,’” explains McAlister. “No one can ever say ‘no’ to Marcella---she is an amazing fundraiser!”

Please join the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce in congratulating Marcella Nelson in being honored as the Volunteer of the Month and thanking her for all of her wonderful qualities as citizen of our community. Her hard work has done a lot for our past and continues into the future. Thank you Marcella!

Photo: Kate McAlister honors Marcella Nelson as January’s Volunteer of the Month.

Chamber Welcomes Sandpoint Taekwondo

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce welcomes Sandpoint Taekwondo to the Chamber. Sandpoint Taekwondo and Sandpoint Martial Arts offer traditional Taekwondo classes to children & adults as well as additional forms of Martial Arts. They believe the quality of one's life can be greatly improved by developing a more healthy body, a focused mind and the confidence gained through training.

“We have a high focus on character development. Our children's classes especially, have character skills like courtesy, respect and self-discipline interwoven into the daily lessons," states owner Mike Szotkowski.

Sandpoint Taekwondo offers a program where everyone is welcome and can participate regardless of ones skill level. Their classes are built upon the principles of the true Master being absent of ego, and full of meekness, treating others the way we would like to be treated, courtesy and respect.

“We are also excited to announce the return of Mr. Robert Chavez who will be teaching classes with us starting in February. Mr. Chavez is a highly skilled instructor in Hapkido who has taught in the Sandpoint area for many years until sustaining an accident forcing him to stop,” said Szotkowski. “We are excited to have him join us.”

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce wishes Sandpoint Taekwondo continued success in our community. For more information about their classes please stop by and visit us in the Wal-Mart shopping center, call them at 610-2577 or visit them at www.sandpointkarate.com.

In Photo: Mike Szotkowski cuts the ribbon with his family and the Chamber Ambassadors.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chamber Welcomes Sanctuary Seconds

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce welcomes Sanctuary Seconds to the Chamber. They have been in our community at various locations for the last 8 years. In September, they moved to their new location at 521 Church Street and are expanding in the near future. Their new location offers a fun, pleasant and affordable shopping for their customers.

Sanctuary Seconds is a 100% volunteer powered Thrift Shoppe. They are a 501c3 non-profit which means they offer tax deductible donations of funds and clean saleable goods. They appreciate your patronage and are always looking for more volunteers. Volunteers ensure the continuation of this mission of compassionate caring for our fellow beings.

Lifetime Friends is an animal sanctuary for stray, abused, and abandoned animals but primarily cats. Michael Sowders cares for over 150 cats at his 4-acre, cyclone fenced, multi-house compound. Adoptions to new loving homes are welcomed and greatly cherished.

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce wishes Sanctuary Seconds continued success in our community. Visit them at their new home, 521 Church Street, weekdays from 10am-4pm, 10am-5pm in the summer, and Saturday’s 10am-3pm. For more information call 263-0300 or visit www.ltfas.org.

In Photo: Michael Sowders cuts the ribbon at their new location with Sanctuary Seconds volunteers and Chamber Ambassadors.

Chamber Welcomes TransEco Services

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce welcomes TransEco Services to the Chamber. Stacey Stovall started TransEco Services, Inc. in June 2011. She is currently working with both the Kalispel Tribe and the Kootenai Tribe to protect and restore fish and wildlife habitat. No stranger to creating policies and strategies that benefit natural resources, Stacey hopes to begin helping organizations and small businesses with creating sustainability strategies.

Stacey’s interest in sustainable development began 30 years ago when she spent her summers and student loans traveling the world. In 1985, she joined the Peace Corps and accepted a post as a fisheries volunteer in Costa Rica. She managed a fish production facility and taught farmers to grow fish (tilapia). Secondary projects included building stoves in schools and working with her community to secure its first bus service. She loved the work so much that she served an additional term, returning to Idaho in 1989.

She taught English as a Second Language, Adult Basic Education, and technical writing classes at Boise State University before landing a job with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game as a Research Wildlife Biologist. She found her niche as a Wildlife Mitigation Biologist working in natural resources policy and land conservation, mitigating the loss of wildlife habitat caused by the construction of private and federal hydropower projects. Stacey also served as the Wildlife Project Manager for the Kalispel Tribe for several years.

“I love talking with landowners who have a strong connection and love for the land,” said Stacey. “It reminds me so much of my Peace Corps work. My love for conservation has grown and evolved to the point where now I believe that it’s not enough. It’s time to apply conservation and restoration strategies to the built environment if we are to have any hope of our grandchildren enjoying the natural environment as we know it. The way to get there is with the innovation and entrepreneurship of the business sector.”

Companies can take steps toward becoming more sustainable by becoming more eco-efficient, re-positioning products and services, gaining competitive advantage, and investing in natural and human capital. “The return on investment is pretty astounding for those companies that implement a sustainability plan,” Stacey explained.

“I’m anxious to start working with small businesses. I think it’s important for businesses to figure out what it means to be sustainable and help them design a strategy for how to get there. This is not just about recycling or turning the lights off when you leave the room. This is about discovering what your business needs to be healthy over the long run, clarifying the business case for pursuing sustainability, and tailoring a planning process to meet your needs. Sustainability assessments can be part of the larger planning process to help companies track their progress.”

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce wishes TransEco Services continued success in our community. For more information on how Stacey can assist your business with being more sustainable and eco-friendly, call her at 255-4487 or visit http://www.transecoservices.com.

In Photo: Stacey Stovall cuts the ribbon with her client of the Kalispel Tribe and the Chamber Ambassadors.

Chamber Recognizes Northwest Autobody and Towing as January’s Business of the Month

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce is proud to recognize Northwest Autobody and Towing as the January’s Business of the Month. Established in 1978, they are a family owned and operated business. At the age of 26, Mel Donenfeld opened Northwest Autobody on a premise of providing top quality work and customer service on all vehicles, as well as 24-hour towing in North Idaho.

Northwest Autobody's close proximity to the high school enables them to assist in the high school's driver’s education course. They also participate in the Sandpoint High School's job placement program giving opportunities for local students to learn about the business and the industry. Vinny, the lead in the towing department, started over 20 years ago through the same high school program.

Northwest Autobody also recently participated in Relay For Life of Northern Idaho in memory of Hope Woodby. Eric Eugene Donenfeld is a local Rotarian and has truly enjoyed hands-on community service projects.

Please join the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce in congratulating Northwest Autobody and Towing for their success in the Collision repair industry and thanking them for their commitment to the region and our community. For more information, give them a call at 263-6931, visit www.northwestautobody.com or visit them at their location at 1305 Michigan St, Sandpoint, ID.

In Photo: Eric Donenfeld receives the award with Chamber CEO Kate McAlister.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chamber Welcomes Ron Wisman- Hard Times Can Present Opportunity

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce welcomes Ron Wisman. He asks, “How’s business?” He’s asked many businesspersons and individuals this question recently. Most all shook their heads and said; “you shouldn’t ask such a thing of a person right now.”

“Times are getting tougher,” Wisman explains. “Still, I’m inclined to look for silver linings in the storm clouds.”

Ron Wisman, a local business consultant and counselor, has some unique thoughts on the economy and he’d like to share them with you.

“The economy is used to justify failure. It gives people an out a lot of times. The whole fact is there’s just as much money made on a down market as an up market. Other avenues of opportunity do open up but fear comes in and people are afraid to use the new thinking required. Look at it this way, just about everyone qualifies as a businessperson. Your personal finances are a business, too.”

Wisman has degrees in Business Administration, Finance and Accounting. He has studied at six different universities, been licensed with the Midwest Stock Exchange, National Association of Security Dealers and others. He’s been involved in almost every level and every facet of business from General Motors to owning his own furniture store in Phoenix, plus as a public accountant.

As a Sandpoint Business Consultant, located in the “Old Power House” building. Wisman offers complete counseling on money problems, debt, risks, success, failure, and also new ventures. Wisman was a Sandpoint resident for many years up until 2005 when he decided to travel by RV around the West Coast, down to Phoenix, and then all the way out to Wisconsin visiting family. After spending last winter ice fishing, he felt he should not have left Sandpoint so he migrated back. His greatest sense of accomplishment is working with large and complex problems; he loves a challenge.

“When the economy tanks, like it is now, the fears that creep in can be devastating. It paralyzes sound judgments. We start making emotional decisions. People have the fears of a lost or losing job, house, car, etc. What we need to realize is the positive side. The painful experiences can get you pushed into a new venture. It can be a positive thing.”

“It seems, “we all have a life’s plan. If we don’t move with it, then we get pushed.” Worthiness is a self-image. If you put yourself there, that’s where you are. We set our own limitations by our thinking and perhaps will not have to “pull up short” or those ideas we thought were impossible.”

“Many of my clients experience limited capital for event he basics. Most everyone, when tested, could make a sacrifice. I call this “seed money” for a new life’s adventure in the business world.”

“We’ve painted a picture of the businessman that he or she has all their stuff together. The appearance is that he’s very successful and making money. When he’s put on that pedestal, he’s isolated. He needs counseling more than any other.”

“Why people get into trouble is because they’re tuning into their feelings instead of their intuition. Feelings are tied into the emotional structure that runs hot and cold, day and night. Intuition is tied into the individuals own life plan. Hunches can be valuable when they come from the right source. “

“I’m not sure what value the intellect has in business. Business is a relationship. We all have an outstanding gift for some specialized activity, it’s in there somewhere.”

Please join the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce in wishing the Ron Wisman great success and welcoming him back into our community. For more information, please give him a call at 208-255-7426.

In Photo: Chamber Ambassador Carol Warren welcomes Sandpoint Business Consultant Ron Wisman