Thursday, May 24, 2012

Making Social Media Skills Attainable

The old proverb says, “Give a man a fish and he won't starve for a day. Teach a man how to fish and he won't starve for his entire life” and that’s how the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce feels about helping local businesses. In today’s world, it is easy to rely on consultants and service oriented businesses to assist where you may lack the expertise or time. However, social media is one way you can take control of your business and the Chamber is ready to show you how.

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce is happy to announce their Social Media Workshops, sponsored by Holiday Inn and Suites, are ready and set for business professionals and owners. Whether you are the business owner or you send your manager, these workshops will make it easier for consumers to find your business, increase brand recognition, create brand ambassadors, show you care about your business by being there and being ready to have meaningful conversations with consumers about your brand and their needs and expectations. With half of the world’s population under 30 years old and technology and social media being engrained in their everyday functions, it is necessary for businesses to embrace and take social media serious.

The Chamber’s workshops were created to help your social media strategy on every level. These workshops will be 100% interactive where participants will be asked to bring their laptop with various materials ready go on it so specific tasks can be accomplished during the workshops. Also, to help the participants get the most out of the workshops they will be kept to a 12 person maximum so personalized help will be achieved.

Introduction to Facebook For Your Business is the first class which will help business set up their business page or resurrect a neglected page. The Intro class will explain the new Timeline pages and teach the basic how-tos of Facebook Pages: settings and permissions you should set up on your page, Facebook etiquette, apps that could make your page interesting and effective for business and how to promote your page to get likes. Intro classes are going to be held Thursday, May 31, from 8:30AM-11AM and Friday, June 1, from Noon-2:30PM. 

Intermediate: Facebook For your Business is the class for businesses who have grasped the basics, understand how to use Facebook and much of its features but are looking for a leg up on marketing. This workshop will focus on the Insights and Analytics of your audience and what that means. Also, we will look at how to implement apps on a Facebook Page and use their ad feature to increase awareness on a budget. This class is scheduled for Thursday, June 7th, from 8:30AM-11AM. 
LinkedIn for Business Professionals and Your Business is a wonderful class for all business owners and business professionals looking to increase sales leads and clients, recruiting employees and getting referrals. This workshop will start at the baseline view of how to set up an account and how to use your account before getting into the in-depth functions of referrals, leads and recruiting employees. This class is scheduled for Wednesday, June 20th, from 8:30AM-11AM.

Cost of each workshop is $35 for Chamber Members and $40 for Non-Chamber Members. All classes are held in the Meeting Room of the Holiday Inn Express and Suites located next to Sweet Lou’s in Ponderay, 477326 U.S. 95. If one class fills up and you are not able to register, please contact the Chamber and more classes will be held until the community’s needs are satisfied. If you are interested in others like YouTube, Twitter, Foursquare and Pinterest, please contact the Chamber so they know what they should plan for the future. For more information or to register for these workshops, please call the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce at 263-2161 or visit them online at

Cruise to Benefit the Clark Fork Coalition

Summer is right around the corner and what better way to enjoy this rite of passage than cruising on the Shawnodese. And on Saturday, June 2nd, Lake Pend Oreille Cruises is offering  their  popular Clark Fork Cruise from 12 to 3 pm that will benefit  the Clark Fork Coalition.   Linda Mitchell, First Mate and co-owner of Lake Pend Oreille Cruises, says  “Of the many beautiful places we visit while cruising on Lake Pend Oreille, the Clark Fork Delta is my absolute favorite for its stunning scenery, wildlife, and aura of mystery.” 

Cost of the cruise is $38 per person and $36 for seniors 60 and over. Later in the afternoon from 3:30 to 5 pm, you can take an Island & Eagle Watching Tour for just $22/$20 per person. 10% of all proceeds on Saturday from ticket sales and food & beverage sales will go to benefit the Clark Fork Coalition.   

This organization is made up of concerned citizens of North Idaho and Western Montana who have been working to protect and restore the Clark Fork watershed since 1985. 90% of the water that feeds Lake Pend Oreille comes from the Clark Fork River, so its health directly affects the health of our lake. 

The Clark Fork Delta Cruise offers spectacular views and cruises through a diverse wetland ecosystem. A history and geology talk are included and lunch is offered from $3 to $7 per plate. Linda and her husband, Captain Curtis Pearson, plan to dedicate one cruise day each month to a local charity where a portion of the proceeds will be donated to a worthy cause.   

For further information or to make a reservation, please call Lake Pend Oreille Cruises at 208-255-5253.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Chamber Honors Coffelt Funeral Service

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce is proud to recognize Coffelt Funeral Service as May’s Business of the Month. Founded in 1922 as Moon Funeral Home, Dale Coffelt started to work for Bud Moon in 1967 and established Coffelt Funeral Service in 1970. Dale has also operated the Pinecrest Memorial Park cemetery since 1970, which was also established in 1923 by the Moon Family.

Dale’s background and experience is extensive. He grew up and graduated from Emmett High School in Emmett, Idaho, Boise Junior College before going on to San Francisco College of Mortuary Science. He continued education classes through the University of Washington and FBI Academy in many different specialty courses, including death investigation classes.

Dale was appointed County Coroner in 1972 and was elected and re-elected until finally resigning in 2003. Also, he was a past president of Sandpoint Rotary Club, which he is a 45 year member, Idaho State Funeral Directors Association and Idaho State Coroners Association. He was also the past secretary and treasurer of the National Selected Morticians.

Passing on the legacy and heading into a well-deserved retirement, Dale Coffelt is training his grandson, Dale McCall, to take over the business in the future.

“I have always appreciated Bonner County, Sandpoint and the area,” said Dale. He then added, “I feel very fortunate that I have been able to be a part of this community I have raised my family here and this is my home.”

Please join the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce in congratulating Coffelt Funeral Service for their success and thanking them for their commitment to our community. For more information, visit them at 109 N Division or call them at 208-263-3133.

In Photo: Dale Coffelt accepts the award with his wife and grandson at the Chamber’s May General Membership Luncheon.

Chamber Honors Carol Deaner

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce honors Carol Deaner as May’s Volunteer of the Month for her service to our community. Carol has been extremely supportive and engaged in our community, as well as being a tireless advocate for the arts in our community.

Carol has a long past of being engaged in one cause of another around our community. She is a past president of Pend Oreille Arts Council (POAC) and Board Member for over 10 years, Board Member for the Hope Community Center, instrumental in building of the Hope Fire Station and was the 2007 Woman of Wisdom. For POAC, she led the nonprofit through the growth of the Kaleidoscope program, which helps put art in the schools, expansion of the Visual Arts programs to include more artists and more venues to display the art and continue the excellence in the Performing Arts programs. Carol’s been an integral part of Hope Community Center for years and she coordinates the area-wide Christmas Giving Program for local families, awards college scholarships to local students, spotlights local artists through Art Presentations, runs a pre-school program and hosts various group meetings.

Currently, Carol is the chair of Sandpoint Arts Commission and is directly responsible for the Sandpoint arch, art in the roundabout on Boyer and soon-to-be installed 2nd Avenue public art pieces. She is also a Panhandle Alliance For Education Board Member where she chairs the annual PAFE Gala committee which raises money for grants programs. Also, Carol is a Trustee of the Bonner General Hospital Foundation (BGHF) and is instrumental in planning the annual Heart Ball, as well as co-chairs the BGHF Awareness and Fundraising Committee.

“She doesn’t just get involved or attend meetings, she takes on major roles,” said Kim Diercks who presented Carol with the award. She also added, “As with all of Carol’s commitments, the value she adds and her energy and creativity are impactful and unequaled. Her civic contributions continue to be an inspiration to, and motivator for, many people. She’s a rock disguised in the form of the Ever-Ready Bunny.”

Please join the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce in congratulating Carol in being honored as the Volunteer of the Month and thanking her for all of her contributions to our community. Her hard work has done a lot for so many causes in our community. Thank you Carol! 

View Video Here:

Photo: Carol Deaner is honored with the Volunteer of the Month award by Chamber Board Member Kim Diercks.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce Welcomes The Loading Dock

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed The Loading Dock to the Chamber. Located on the corner of Bridge St and 1st Ave, The Loading Dock is widely known for their wood fired pizza and seasonal deli. Owners Jeff and Tasha Walker wanted to fulfill the dream of owning their own business and moved back to Sandpoint to be closer to family and live out that dream.
With more than 20 years in the restaurant industry, Jeff and Tasha Walker have done every job in the restaurant industry and even met in a restaurant. After 17 years away, they decided to relocate to Sandpoint in 2008 so their child could be raised in a small town with their grandparents near. Since 2008, they have since opened up The Pita Pit and took over The Loading Dock.

The Loading Dock is a year-round restaurant with indoor seating, two 50” TVs and convenient store prices with a causal restaurant atmosphere. They offer a unique and great experience; get a 6 pack with the same price as Safeway but we offer a place where you can enjoy it. During the summer they open up the outdoor seating with picnic tables and umbrellas. The Loading Dock is a counter style establishment and you can see them make everything right in front of your eyes.

Their pizzas are ready for takeout and delivery, so whether you want a dine-in experience or a nice night at home you can enjoy the finest wood fired pizza in Sandpoint. If you’re vegetarian or need to be gluten free, The Loading Dock has you covered! Their seasonal deli includes everything you need for a picnic.

Visit them every Thursday evening for FREE bingo, prizes and beer specials! Anyone can play and it’s entirely FREE plus lots of fun and entertainment. They will be offering specials for Bike Week and will have an outdoor beer garden on their patio ready for Lost in the 50’s weekend. Also, their two big screen TVs are always tuned to sports and their open every Sunday and Monday of the football season for your viewing pleasure.

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce wishes The Loading Dock continued success in our community. For more information, visit, call (208) 265-8080 or head to the corner of Bridge St and 1st Ave. Like them on Facebook!

In Photo: Jeff and Tasha Walker cut the ribbon with the Chamber Ambassadors.

Chamber Honors The Home Depot as Business of the Month

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce is proud to recognize The Home Depot of Ponderay as the April Business of the Month. Founded in 1978 and with two stores built in 1979, the company has seen its growth get up to more than 2,000 stores. The Home Depot of Ponderay opened their doors in January of 2005 with their 103,000 square foot building with more than 35,000 different types of products they are open all but two days a year, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The Ponderay Home Depot is all about building relationships in the community. Employing 100 local folks, Ponderay Home Depot is thrilled to give back to organizations and events in and around Sandpoint.  One step further, associates donate their time to help out folks through a program called Team Depot who in conjunction with Kootenai Elementary Volunteers built community raised gardens at Kootenai Elementary School. Other meaningful donations of time included Ponderay Home Depot associates volunteering their time to help a Veteran fulfill his promise to his wife by painting his large living room which he could not do due to long term illness.  Also, a few projects at Transitions in Progress Women's Shelter beginning with replacing over 80 feet of wood fencing, then, more recently, redoing the community kitchen and bath for Transitions in progress as well as the kitchen and bath in one of their private units.

The Ponderay Home Depot has donated to hundreds of local organizations since opening in 2005.  Selkirk School, Northside Elementary, Southside Elementary, Farmin/Stidwell Elementary, Sagle Elementary, Kootenai Elementary, Washington Elementary, Sandpoint Christian School and Waldorf School have all received gift card donations and/or grants with The Home Depot volunteers donating their time.  A few of the nonprofit organizations donated to just over the past couple of years include: Bonner County Search and Rescue, Sandpoint Elks Lodge, Bonner Community Food Bank, Lake Pend Oreille Conservatory, many local Boy Scout Troops, Bonner County 4-H Horse Camp, Department of Veterans Affairs, Alzheimers Association, Head Start, Bonners County Gardeners Association, Distinguished Young Women (formerly known as Sandpoint Jr. Miss), Back Country Horsemen of Idaho, Second Chance Animal Adoption, Spring Duck Derby/Rotary Club.

Please join the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce in congratulating The Home Depot for their success and thanking them for their commitment to our community. For more information, visit them in Ponderay or call them at 208-263-2373.

In Photo: The Home Depot Manager Nickie Wernecke and a store associate accept the award from Chamber Ambassador Carol Warren.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Chamber honors Barb Merritt as Volunteer of the Month

 The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce honors Barb Merritt as April’s Volunteer of the Month for her service to our community. Barb is a full-time volunteer with a passion for making a difference which runs through every vein in her body. 

Barb was born in Pocatello, Idaho, lived in Sandpoint as a child, and relocated back to Sandpoint in 1996 after spending much of her life in California working in the Title Insurance industry. Since moving back to Sandpoint, she has found a calling in doing more than Title Insurance work by volunteering a majority of her time with many local organizations. From the Chamber Ambassador program to the Special Winter Olympics, she’s touched a lot of people.

The many nonprofits she is a longtime volunteer for includes, but is not exclusive to: Kinderhaven, Habitat For Humanity, Bird Aviation Museum, Women Honoring Women, Pandhandle Animal Shelter, Lost In The ’50s, Special Winter Olympics, Friends of Memorial Field and Children’s Healing Hospital.

In October of 2011, Barb was given the Community Star award from Panhandle State Bank because she is an outstanding Bonner County resident. Current Mayor Marsha Ogilvie has this to say of Barb after the Community Star was awarded, “Barb has touch so many lives and has made an incredible difference. I can’t think of anyone who deserves this honor more than she.”

Please join the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce in congratulating Barb Merritt in being honored as the Volunteer of the Month and thanking her for all of her contributions to our community. Her hard work has done a lot for so many causes in our community. Thank you Barb!

Photo: Barb Merritt is honored with the Volunteer of the Month award by Chamber Board Member Barb Schriber.