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Three Chamber directors to be elected

The nomination process has begun for the 2012 seating of three candidates for the Chamber Board of Directors.

Every year, three director positions become available as three members go off the board. Representatives of Chamber member businesses can apply to run for the board as part of a slate of six candidates.

The three elected members will serve on the board for three years.

There are several ways Chamber members can place their names on the nomination slate. Existing board members can nominate candidates based on business tenure, diversity and community involvement. Members at large are also encouraged to apply to be placed on the slate of candidates.

Application forms are available at the Chamber, and they will also be available online. Forms need to be turned in at the Chamber by the close of business Monday, Oct. 17.

A slate of six candidates will be placed before the Chamber membership, and three candidates will be selected to fill the vacancies. The voting will begin in January and run until the 2012 annual meeting scheduled for Jan. 21.

The Chamber strives to have a fair representation of the different businesses in our community on the board. This includes lodging, real estate, restaurants, small business owners, financial, home-based, retail and even individual or “friends” members. This mix of different businesses provides a unique overall perspective on the community to the board, with differences of opinion, differences in business practices and even differences in business volume. These differences bring to the Chamber Board a diverse snapshot of the community, with the directors seeking to assist the business community in the best possible ways. The members going off the board are President Kathy Keyes from Pagosa Baking Co.; Angel Preuit-Stahr, with Healing Waters Motel and Spa; and Doris Green, with Lantern Dancer Gallery.

If you are interested in running for the board of directors, fill out an application and return it. Questions about the Chamber board can be directed to any of the Chamber board members or to me. The remaining board members are: Bill Schwab, Piedra Automotive; Todd Stevens, Farrago/Alley House Grille; Madeline Lyon, Wild Spirit Gallery; Aurora Wright, Mud Shaver Car Wash; Paul Boyd, Wells Fargo Bank; and Pam Barsanti, Jim Smith Realty.

We look forward to receiving your nomination form.

Restaurant winners

Although the rain came down on Friday night, Sept. 9, at the Passport to Pagosa, attendees and restaurants were all protected under the “big top.”

A lively time was had, as some fabulous wines were served and the restaurants outdid themselves with the quality of their food.

We also had two special guests in attendance from Garret Estate Cellars, and they provided a wonderful selection of wines. Breckenridge Distillery did a great job with their fine bourbon and vodka.

Special thanks goes out to all who participated: Alley House Grille, Enchanted Valley, Farrago Market Cafe, Nello’s Bistro, Old Town Market, Pagosa Brewing, the Pines Restaurant, Plaza Grille and Squirrel’s Pub.

We gave some special awards and the winners were:

• Best Presentation/Most Colorful — Old Town Market. Winner for their spring rolls, avocado quiche and cranberry cashew curry turkey. The runner-up was Enchanted Valley, for their trio plate.

• Most Flavorful: Farrago Market Cafe for their mesquite smoked lamb gyro with cucumber yogurt sauce. There was a three-way tie for runner-up: The Pines Restaurant for their Chicken Athena, London Broil and Salmon; Alley House for their crab cakes; and Squirrel’s Pub for their smoked turkey.

• Most Original — The Pines Restaurant for their Chicken Athena, Salmon with a Florentine Bechamel sauce. Runner-up: Farrago Market Cafe for their gyro.

• Best Vegetarian — Enchanted Valley for their trio combination of a Brie du Provence with figs and pistachios, stuffed portabello mushroom, and a broccoli, red onion, olive, fig salad with Caesar dressing. Runner-up: Pagosa Brewing for their black bean and rice veggie burger with the jalapeno cream cheese sauce, Bavarian cheese or Beer-B-Que sauce.

• Best Sweet — Nello’s Bistro for their pannacotta.

• The Best Decorated Booth award went to Squirrel’s Pub and the People’s Choice Award, for the second year in a row, went to Nello’s for the Pannacotta with fresh raspberries. The runner-up was Plaza Grille for their diver scallops and duck confít.

If this lineup of food doesn’t make your mouth water, nothing will! We hope people are encouraged to go out and support our restaurants and try some of these scrumptious menu items.

On Saturday, Sept. 10, the Bands, Brews, Etc. Blowout also gave out some awards.

Many thanks to all our bands: Durango Orquesta de Salsa, Richard Martin, Lacey Black, Bixby and Elder Grown.

The winner of the competition was Pagosa’s own Bixby.

We would also like to thank all the breweries that participated, bringing some of their well-known brews and special blends. The breweries from Colorado were Carver’s, Durango Brewing, Steamworks, SKA Brewing, San Luis Valley, Silverton Brewery, Pagosa Brewing and Three Barrels. From New Mexico we had Turtle Mountain from Albuquerque, 3 Rivers from Farmington, and Santa Fe Brewing.

The winner of the People’s Choice award was our own Pagosa Brewing Co.

We can’t thank the attendees and sponsors enough for all they contributed to making this 2011 ColorFest weekend memorable.

We are already looking forward to next year expanding and shaking things up.

Chance to win $1,000 in Pagosa Perks

The Chamber of Commerce announces our first Pagosa Perks Raffle by offering $1,000 in Perk dollars to the first-place winner. The second-place winner gets $500 in Perks, and $250 in Perks dollars goes to the third-place winner. The drawing will take place Nov. 16 at the Plaza Grille, the host for the November SunDowner. Tickets for the raffle are only $5 per ticket or five tickets for $20.

This raffle will assist the community on several different levels. Participants will be able to use their Perks just in time for the Parade of Stores Shopping Extravaganza Dec. 1-3. Parade of Stores this year has been expanded to include three shopping days instead of two, by adding Thursday, Dec. 1.

If you don’t want to use your Perks over the Parade of Stores weekend, just think how you could keep your dollars local over the next couple of months. Perhaps you can purchase that snowblower just in time for winter, get your car winterized or get some new tires. You can purchase school items, clothing, or treat the family to a night out on the town. Any way you use your Perks, the idea is you keep your dollars local.

Our merchants more than ever need to make sure all staff members are educated about Pagosa Perks. These dollars, while they look like checks, spend just like cash or a traveler’s check. The Perk is guaranteed, so it doesn’t bounce! All a business has to do is accept the check, list the check on a deposit slip just as you would a regular check, then deposit the money. That’s it!

If the amount spent is less than the Pagosa Perk, then change can be given. Again, the certificate is guaranteed and is just like money. Consider it local currency. If you turn away Pagosa Perks, you are turning away business and sales and creating ill will. None of us can afford to turn away business these days. Perks are also great because this is money coming into your establishment. We promote the concept that Pagosa Perks can be used at any Chamber business. In fact, any local business can accept Pagosa Perks, Chamber member or not.

Chances for the raffle can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce, from any staff member or from any Chamber director. We will also be selling the Perks at various upcoming functions. We want to encourage people to keep their dollars in Pagosa while raising funds for the Chamber to continue the work we do and enhance our efforts for the membership. Stop by the Chamber to pick up your raffle tickets or give us a call if you have any questions regarding the raffle. We look forward to awarding these Pagosa Perks and making an individual’s or family’s shopping time more productive this upcoming season.

Rural Entrepreneurship Marketplace

The fourth annual Colorado Rural Entrepreneurship Marketplace will be held Friday and Saturday, Oct. 7-8 — only two weeks away.

There will be than 70 educational tracks, receptions and exhibitors, the Colorado Corners Market, and an amazing amount of time to network with other Colorado businesses. We have two days packed with activities. Starting the day off with a keynote speaker, this year’s speakers include Greg Lopez, director of the Colorado Small Business Administration, and Mikal Belicove, writer and speaker for Entrepreneurial Magazine, entrepreneur and business owner. We will tour two of Pagosa’s businesses: Parelli Horsemanship Inc. headquarters on Friday, and Growing Spaces on Saturday. There will be a reception on Friday at Pagosa Brewing Co. and on Saturday at SHY RABBIT. Every day, there will be an iPad giveaway, sponsored by Parelli Horsemanship Inc.

Also on Friday, Oct. 7, there will be a special youth track with young business owners visiting from Blanding, Utah — former Young Entrepreneurs of the Year — as well as other special speakers. The youth will also have the opportunity to win an iPad, thanks to the generous donation from Devansoy.

Colorado-made products will be on display and for sale at the Colorado Corners Market.

Pagosa business owners are encouraged to attend as a vendor, which also includes entrance to the whole conference. Registration for the Marketplace is available online as is the schedule.

Interested parties can go to www.ruralcolorado.org to register and find out about exhibitor booth space or vendor space. Parties interested in volunteering for the Marketplace to assist with directions, information area, food service or the evening receptions can contact me at 264-2360.

We look forward to hosting this event and seeing a number of local business owners in attendance. The value of this conference is amazing, thanks to our generous sponsors. A one-day ticket is only $30 and a two-day ticket $50. This price includes all the educational tracks, lunches, tours and receptions.

For more information, visit the website or call the Chamber.

Membership

Congratulations to Terry’s Ace for their success story listed in the Region 9 newsletter this quarter. A wonderful quote to live by is, “Imagine, and then make it happen.” This article describes how Terry Smith worked with Region 9 to obtain a Community Development Block Grant and their “gap” financing, and Mr. Smith’s effort to succeed and work with the community. You can view the article in its entirety at www.scan.org.

Our renewing members include USA Communications; Summer Phillips Goldsmith and Arborilogical West with tree expert Chris Pierce; The Rose Restaurant; Pagosa Insurance Agency; Exit Realty; Made in Colorado; and Pope John Paul II Catholic Church/Immaculate Heart of Mary Mission Church.

Things to do on your schedule this week: register for the Entrepreneurship Conference, purchase Pagosa Perks raffle tickets, purchase a Pagosa calendar while down at the Chamber picking up raffle tickets, and select your month to host a Chamber SunDowner in 2012. Sign-up day is Monday, Oct. 3.

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