Monday, November 11, 2013

Chamber Brings on Kim Queen to Lead Sandpoint B.I.D.

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed Kim Queen who joined the Chamber as the new Business Improvement District (B.I.D.) Manager. Kim started in the position on October 16th after leaving Sandpoint’s oldest non-profit, the Pend Oreille Arts Council (POAC), as their Executive Director of seven years. Her non-profit expertise more than fifteen years deep and brings extensive management experience, as well as an insider’s look, to the B.I.D. Manager position.

“As a B.I.D. member with POAC, paying the assessment tax, I was never sure what the benefit was,” explained Kim. “Granted, I didn’t educate myself or take an active role in the process. I simply paid the bill and went on with business.”

Kim was born in Portland, OR and attended high school and college in Vancouver, WA. After college and before she moved to our community, she held the position of Fund Development Manager at the First Place School in Seattle for six and half years and worked at the Northwest AIDS Foundation for one and half years. She relocated to our area to become the Executive Director of POAC and has since fallen in love and made this her home.

“I want to work with B.I.D. folks and figure out what improvements can be made and how the new Sandpoint B.I.D. organization can benefit you and the community. It is my goal to get to know the concerns of all our B.I.D. members and I will have an open door policy.”

Since taking the B.I.D. Manager position, Kim and the Chamber Staff undertook a strategic planning process to help guide the newly formed Sandpoint B.I.D. organization under the Chamber’s umbrella. The first weeks on the job have included meetings with various groups including the City of Sandpoint, Tourism Sandpoint, SURA and Sandpoint Shopping District, as well as planning the Holiday’s celebration themed this year Home for the Holidays.

“If you see me out and about, please introduce yourself and I look forward to meeting you!”

For more information about the Sandpoint B.I.D., call 208-263-2161 or email Kim Queen at

Friday, November 8, 2013

Chamber Welcomes Sandpoint Optometry

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce recently celebrated Sandpoint Optometry’s Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Dr. Whitney Henker is excited to provide and keep up with Sandpoint Optometry’s tradition of friendly, excellent service and thorough eye care. After taking over the business from the respected optometric physician, Dr. Thomas Wiley who retired in 2012, she assures the community and patients they will experience the same attention to detail and thorough care they have come to expect from the office since 1991.

Dr. Henker is a graduate of Pacific University College of Optometry in Forest Grove, Oregon. She has been practicing optometry for over 18 years in Washington and British Columbia. Dr. Henker started practicing at Sandpoint Optometry in June of 2012. She joined the Chamber recently and is a member of the Chamber’s Women In Business, as well as a member of Ponderay Rotary Club.

Dr. Henker enjoys the medical aspect of the practice and can diagnose and manage ocular diseases. She has many years of experience treating dry eye conditions and is committed to getting each patient comfortable with various treatment options. She also has years of experience in co-managing cataract surgery as well as laser refractive surgery. One of the areas that she will be expanding the practice is for contact lens fittings. There are so many new options for contact lens patients to experience better comfort, including contact lenses that allow patients to read with their lenses as well as see clearly and comfortable in the distance. Dr. Henker also has many years of experience with new optical lens technology and she is excited to help her patients select a lens that will allows each patient to experience better vision.

With the enthusiastic aid of Nancy Clatworthy, Office Manager, Erin Wiley, Optometric Assistance, there are many exciting modern, stylish frames to choose from. Sandpoint Optometry is committed to providing eye care for every patient and Dr. Henker has expanded the number of insurance plans that are accepted to meet those needs.

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce wishes Dr. Whitney Henker and Sandpoint Optometry great success in our community. They are located across from Sandpoint Middle School, at 1333 Superior St, Suite A, and their hours are Monday-Thursday from 9am-5pm, and Friday 9am-noon. For more information, visit www., call them at 208-265-4140 or email them at  Like them on Facebook.

In Photo: Paralee Gates, Colleen Spickelmire, Clif Warren, Erin Wiley, Nancy Clatworthy, Dr. Whitney Henker, Peggy Shadel and Carol Warren. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sandpoint BID’s new era begins

SANDPOINT — This week marked a new era for the Sandpoint Business Improvement District.
With a BID manager selected in Kim Queen and an administrative council established to guide the fund forward, city and Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce officials hope to bring a new level of transparency and representation to the public funds.

“We’re going to make something brilliant happen, as well as continue the brilliant things that are already happening,” McAlister said.
Established with the dissolving of the Downtown Sandpoint Business Association into a council under the chamber’s wing, the newly-appointed members of the BID Council met for the first time Tuesday to go over their goals and ideas for future uses of the BID fund.
A monthly assessment paid by business owners within the district, the BID fund is used to promote mutually-beneficial events and marketing opportunities for the downtown core.
However, some downtown business owners have been perturbed at being asked to pay an assessment they felt didn’t benefit them, according to chamber president Kate McAlister. That’s why city and chamber authorities decided to restructure BID management under the chamber’s wing. The BID fund is managed separately from the chamber budget, with McAlister and other chamber staff providing office space, supplies and supervision for the council and BID manager.
One of the primary goals is to make all downtown business owners feel they get something out of the BID. That’s why the council is made up of representatives from several different downtown industries. Katie Stang of The Readery represents restaurants, Mark Browning of North Idaho College represents education, Ross Schoenig of Alliance Title represents real estate, Michelle Polhemus of Horizon Credit Union represents professional services, Kathy Hubbard of Bonner General Hospital represents health care, Kathy Friedman of Zero Point represents retail, Dyno Wahl of the Festival at Sandpoint represents arts and entertainment, Sheldon Packwood of the K2 Inn represents lodging and community volunteer Barney Ballard is the council member at large.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Grimm of the city of Sandpoint, Karl Dye of the Bonner County Economic Development Corporation, Eric Paull of the Sandpoint Urban Renewal Agency and Kim Diercks of Panhandle State Bank serve in an advisory, non-voting capacity.
“We want to bring people in to the idea that a vital downtown benefits everyone,” Wahl said. “I really believe that a rising tide floats all.”
Meanwhile, the chamber has hired Queen to serve as BID manager. Her role is to enact the decisions of the council through event planning and interfacing with downtown businesses.
An experienced nonprofit worker who has worked with the Pend Oreille Arts Council and more, Queen is eager to use her skills in a new responsibility.
“What were going to do (in the coming days) is break down what exactly the BID does and doesn’t do for you,” she said.

Chamber Honors Clif Warren as Volunteer of the Month

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce honored Clif Warren as October Volunteer of the Month. After moving here in 2003 to retire with his wife Carol, Clif is finally getting around to retired life after taking on a new life of service for many of our community organizations and non-profits. Clif’s expertise and willingness to jump right in has allowed many organizations, including the Chamber, to have prosperous growth now and in the future.

Clif got involved in the Rotary Club of Sandpoint right away after moving here. He sat on the Board for the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce for many years and held the Chairman role for two years. Clif played a vital role in bringing the Selkirk – Pend Oreille Transit (SPOT) Bus to life. He is an excellent volunteer and committee member for the WaCanId Bike Ride around the International Selkirk Loop, Chafe 150 and Scenic Half.

“He is the father of the SPOT Bus,” explained Chamber President Kate McAlister. “Clif is at everything and does so much to help out the community; shoveling snow at Sandpoint Ski Joring, selling tickets at the Summer Sampler, course attendance at the Scenic Half.”

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

Chamber Honors Perfection Tire as October's Business of the Month

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce is proud to recognize Perfection Tire as October’s Business of the Month. After opening in May of 1996, Perfection Tire has loved being a part of our community and give back in numerous ways.

They sponsor multiple baseball teams every year, a youth club basketball team for three years running. They also give donations to many community fundraisers for community events and non-profits including the Sandpoint Senior Center, Veterans organizations, Pend Oreille Bay Trail, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and more. In the past, they donated the wheels for the high school Chuck Wagon and donated a set of custom wheels for the all-night senior graduation party.

“We would rather spend our extra money on meaningful local causes than anywhere else,” explained Heath Okon, Manager. “We give customers a $10 discount if they donate a couple items of food to our year-round Bonner County Food Bank Donation Bin.”

Perfection Tire prides themselves on their high percentage of customer satisfaction. They love their customers and really enjoy their work environment. They are an AAA approved auto repair center and NAPA Auto Care Center. They’re your auto repair center for anything under your hood and on your car with people who can rebuild your engine and transmission. They offer a dozen or so tire brands including Cooper and Bridgestone and available for same day tire appointments most days.

Please join the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce in congratulating Perfection Tire for their success and thanking them for their commitment to our community. For more information, visit their location at 476927 US Hwy 95, call them at 208-265-8473, email them at or visit Like them on Facebook,

In picture: left to right Les Clark, Dan Baldwin, Heath Okon and Colleen Spickelmire.