Friday, August 30, 2013

Lewis-Clark State College and NIC Team Up

LEWISTON, Idaho – With the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon this summer in Sandpoint, Lewis-Clark State College embarked on a new cooperative initiative with North Idaho College (NIC).

In fall 2012, North Idaho College completed an extensive renovation of the old Sandpoint High School with the aim to accommodate a new administrative and classroom center for NIC.  The center, called NIC at Sandpoint, was completed in response to growing student enrollment from Boundary and Bonner counties and NIC’s commitment to offer a full associate’s degree in North Idaho by fall 2013.

“The next logical step was to offer bachelor’s degrees,” explained Rocky Owens, Director of LCSC-Coeur d’Alene.

Noting that LCSC maintains a historical tradition to serve outreach students with bachelor’s degrees, Sandpoint public officials, state legislators, and NIC administration encouraged LCSC to consider a presence in Idaho’s northernmost counties.  LCSC-CDA has been an active supporter and partner with NIC in offering degree opportunities in Coeur d’Alene for some 30 years and will continue to support efforts to increase transfer opportunities for Sandpoint students.  While the CDA Center continues to serve as the hub of operations for Region 1, LCSC-CDA officials believe that opportunities exist to expand LC’s presence in Sandpoint by maintaining a staff presence there, increasing institutional marketing, and facilitating course delivery technology to make LCSC courses more accessible.

As part of the initiative, during the fall 2013 semester LCSC-CDA will offer an on-site class in Sandpoint that fulfills an upper division core requirement for all LCSC bachelor’s degrees.  LCSC-CDA will also be offering instruction via video conferencing and sharing office and classroom space with NIC.  LCSC-CDA advisors will regularly be on-hand, making contact with current and future students.

At the dedication ceremony in Sandpoint, LCSC President J. Anthony (Tony) Fernández emphasized the importance of ties between North Idaho College and LCSC.

“This is just another example of the close relationship between NIC and LCSC,” said Fernández. “We value this relationship and look forward to doing more, along with NIC, for the citizens of Region 1.”

Fernández and Owens, along with Lori Stinson, LCSC Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Chet Herbst, LCSC Vice President for Finance and Administration, Kathy Martin, LCSC Dean for Community Programs and Governmental Relations, NIC President Joe Dunlap, NIC Vice President Ron Dorn, and members of the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee gathered at the Sandpoint center for the occasion.

Owens called the ceremony, “recognition of future things to come with regard to what we can build in Sandpoint.”  

Photo attached (left – right):  Ron Dorn, Joe Dunlap, J. Anthony (Tony) Fernández, Kathy Martin, and Chet Herbst

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Chamber Honors AmericanWest Bank as Business of the Month

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce is proud to recognize AmericanWest Bank as the Business of the Month. 

Watch them accept their award here>>

AmericanWest Bank is a business-focused community bank, committed to providing truly exceptional customer service.   Founded in Colville, Wash. in 1974 and now headquartered in Spokane, AmericanWest Bank has been part of the Sandpoint community since 2006 and has grown each year since opening its doors here.  It is one of the most well-capitalized banks in the country by bank regulatory standards and offers a full array of outstanding commercial and small business banking solutions, as well as personal banking products and services, including highly-competitive mortgage solutions. 

The Bank’s Sandpoint team is one of the best in the company’s 100+ branch footprint. Collectively, the local team of five has more than 50 years of combined financial experience and they leverage that expertise every day to help their customers achieve their personal and business goals.

“We take a hands-on approach for every client,” said Shelley Allen, Service & Solutions Manager.  “We don’t expect our clients to know every product and service available in banking–that is our job.  We focus on getting to know each client individually so we can tailor solutions to fit their banking needs.” 

The highly-skilled team is equally impressive in their commitment to the community.  For example, they take full advantage of the Bank’s unique community involvement program, Community Connections, which pays employees to volunteer with their favorite charities during normal work hours. Some of their favorite causes here include the Idaho Panhandle Habitat for Humanity, the Bonner Community Food Bank, Junior Achievement, Head Start, the Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce, Sandpoint Rotary Club, Kaleidoscope Art Program, Kinderhaven and the Sandpoint Senior Center.  The commitment doesn’t stop there.  The Bank also makes cash contributions to worthwhile causes like the student garden at Northside Elementary School and helping our local Headstart Center afford new playground equipment and repairing the fence that protects the kids when they’re playing outside.  

“The Bank’s commitment to community involvement is a key reason I enjoy being part of the AmericanWest team,” said Ken Wood, Branch Manager. “This is the first time I have been able to utilize my financial expertise to help so many folks here in Sandpoint and also pursue my passion to give back.  On a daily basis, I see the difference that our time and donations make in this community.”

Information: AmericanWest Bank, 605 Fifth Avenue; Phone: (208) 255-1700, e-mail:; or online at

In Photo: AmericanWest Bank shows off their award with Chamber Ambassador Clem Hackworthy. Left to right: Monte Drake, Patrice Genschorck, Liz Sumner, Jamie Hudson, Shelley Allen, Ken Wood, & Clem Hackworthy.

Chamber Honors Barb Schriber as Volunteer of the Month

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce honored Barb Schriber as August’s Volunteer of the Month. In addition to raising two young boys and running a family construction business with her husband, she commits an enormous amount of hours to the Chamber.

Click here to watch Barb accept her award>>

“Although she is not pink, our volunteer of the month bares a striking resemblance to the Energizer Bunny at times,” explained Chamber Board Member, Amy Whalen.

Barb’s role in the Chamber is large. Currently, she is the chair of the Business Development Committee, a board member and actively chairs the board’s fundraising committee. Through the Business Development Committee, she’s implemented a number of new and innovative programs that help our local business community both learn and grow so they can contribute and be strong prosperous businesses. Barb was the driving force behind the success of the Chamber’s Ultimate Raffle.

“Her force of will often time was the catalyst that kept us moving forward and to a successful conclusion,” enlightened Amy.

Barb brings a lot to any organization she involves herself with. She always has a positive attitude, never shies away from a challenge and is first to raise her hand when something needs to get done. The only flaw her peers can pin on her is the inability to say no, but no one plans to try to correct her inability to do so. Barb and Selle Valley Construction also support and contribute to Panhandle Building Contractors Association, Head Start, Kinderhaven, Angels over Sandpoint, Bonner County Rodeo and Bonner County Fair.

“She makes me want to work harder and contribute more,” commended Amy.

Upon receiving the award, Barb told the crowd at the luncheon that, “this is one of my favorite parts about Sandpoint, we’re big enough to have great events and organizations yet small enough anyone with a little time and inability to say no can be a part of our community and make a difference.” Barb then added, “I’m humbled and honored, thank you very much.”

Please join the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce in congratulating Barb Schriber for being honored as the Volunteer of the Month and thanking her for all of her contributions to our community and Chamber. From the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce, as well as the whole community, Thank You Barb! 

Photo: Barb Schriber accepts the award from Chamber President, Kate McAlister.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Restructuring Will Position POSC for Even Greater Opportunities

Pend Oreille Surgery Center, LLC has successfully completed a year-long reorganization. The reorganization was the result of collaborative efforts of POSC board members and management, accountants, attorneys and banking professionals.

POSC has provided high-quality, cost-effective outpatient surgical care to residents of Bonner County and surrounding areas since opening in 2009. Changes in the way health care is provided and reimbursed led POSC to consider what needed to be done in order to survive and thrive in a changing health care environment.  

The reorganization involved splitting POSC into two distinct entities. POSC, LLC will continue to provide quality, cost-effective outpatient surgical care. The center remains owned by local physicians who care for their patients at the center as well as the local hospital.

A new entity, POSC Holdings, LLC, now owns the building and land. Separating the real estate from the operations provides an opportunity for investors to become involved in a business that, prior to reorganization, could only involve physicians who intended to use the facility. Successfully executing these changes has positioned POSC for growth and success in an uncertain health care environment.

POSC would like to thank the following businesses for their assistance throughout the process:
·         Washington Trust Bank in Sandpoint (Allen McClelland)
·         Berg & McLaughlin Attorneys in Sandpoint (Bill Berg)
·         Christoffersen Accountancy in Salt Lake City (Mel Christoffersen)
·         Sandpoint Title Insurance in Sandpoint (Tom Williams)

The reorganization wouldn’t have been successful without their confidence in the center and commitment to POSC’s success.

Please contact Kris Sabo at the contacts below for more information.
Work:  208 265-8194

Monday, August 12, 2013

Chamber Welcomes Longleaf Wilderness Medicine

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce is excited to welcome Longleaf Wilderness Medicine (LWM). Initially founded due to the need for emergency medical training after Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast of the US, Jason Luthy, LWM’s owner, and Dr. Lynn Yonge collaborated to design LWM to provide usable medical education for the Gulf Coast in times of limited access to medical services. The initial LWM trainings taught a form of medicine called Wilderness Medicine.

Wilderness medicine is the practice of providing medical care first aid in environments with limited resources and access to emergency medical services. The wilderness medicine curriculums taught by LWM provide detailed information about the prevention, assessment, and treatment of injuries and illnesses. All courses teach up to date current evidence-based treatment practices.

Whether you’re an individual who travels or lives in remote environments or a governmental agency, non-profit organizations, medical professionals, humanitarian workers, guiding businesses and schools that provide hikes for their students and scouts. Their courses are all encompassing.

Courses provided include Wilderness First Aid, a two day (16-hour) certification course for individuals who take short trips into remote environments or individuals who are responsible for providing initial medical care for individuals or groups. Wilderness First Responder, nine day (76-hour) certification course, is the standard for individuals working in remote environments like backcountry guides/instructors, governmental agents working in remote environments and individuals traveling long distances from emergency medical services. Medical Electives for Medical School Students,  a four week elective for senior medical school students interested in remote medicine. LWM also offers custom courses ranging from 45 minutes to multiple days designed to meet the specific needs of individuals or organizations.

The goal of LWM from the beginning has been to provide accessible, quality, education to communities and business to better prepare people to respond to emergencies. Jason Luthy studied education and began working in the outdoor education industry.  He’s worked throughout the US teaching individuals aged from young to old for populations from at-risk youth, college students, to veterans. For the past 7 years, he’s worked with Outward Bound throughout the US as a field instructor, course director, trainer, and program developer.

‘I’ve focused my professional interest on providing adult education, and went to graduate school to earn a M.S. in Experiential Education,’ explained Jason. ‘The degree provided me an intimate understanding of how to design educational environments to be highly productive and beneficial for the learner. Throughout my experience leading wilderness expeditions I built my knowledge and skill in providing remote medicine to be prepared to treat injuries and illnesses.’

Jason holds certificates as a WEMT (Wilderness certificate plus the National Registry EMT certificate), Advanced Wilderness Life Support (AWLS), and he is a candidate for the Fellowship of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM) from the Wilderness Medicine Society. In addition to running LWM Jason has used his experience and training to work and volunteer with ambulance services, in emergency rooms, and as a volunteer with the local search and rescue.

Please help the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce welcome Longleaf Wilderness Medicine to the Chamber and wish them continued success. Mention this article and receive 20% off of the September 7-8 Wilderness First Aid course. For more information, call 208-274-3596, visit, email, or connect with them at

Monday, August 5, 2013

Chamber Welcomes Northridge Property Management

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce is excited to welcome Northridge Property Management. This Sandpoint family owned and operated business started in 2003 by two lifetime and third generation Sandpoint locals, Mike Robinson and Jeremy Brown. They offer vacation and long-term rental management, HOA (Home Owners Association) management and vacation home watch and property protection services, serving all of Bonner County including Schweitzer, Dover, Sagle and Hope.

‘We offer a high level of personal service and go above and beyond to make sure our homeowners real estate investments are well cared for,’ explained Jeremy. ‘We are available 24/7 for emergencies from our home owners and vacation guests.’

Northridge Property Management offers a wide range of services for vacation home and investment home owners that can be customized to fit every need at a fair price (rental management fees are 100% performance based). They are dedicated to protecting their client’s real estate investments.  Proudly, they stand as Sandpoint's only VRMA - Vacation Rental Managers Association affiliated professional vacation rental management company.

“What we always try to think of is if we owned the property, how would we want it managed,” said Jeremy. “We manage several homeowners associations that we also manage vacation rentals within so, we obviously have to do a great job to keep the owner of the vacation rental property happy, and we also have to make sure that all the other home owners in the HOA are happy and not disturbed by the rental.  We definitely have a lot to lose if we did a poor job.”

Currently, they are offering commission discounts for the 1st year for any new vacation rental and 1 free Month of Home watch inspections with a 12 month service agreement.

Please help the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce welcome Northridge Property Management to the Chamber and wish them continued success. For more information, call Jeremy at 208-290-6847 or Mike at 208-290-6531, email, visit or connect

In photo, left to right: Carol Warren, Jeremy Brown, Representative George Eskridge, Kate McAlister, Mike Robinson, Tyler Tennison and Peggy Shadel.