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Chamber News

The Chamber Annual Dinner and Community Awards

By | Chamber News

Join us for our annual meeting and awards dinner Wednesday,  February 7, 2018 starting at 6:00 pm! Dinner will be provided by 7 Fuego.  Networking, chamber overview, and awards presentation.

Awards presentation include:
Community Improvement
Community Service of the Year
Customer Service of the Year
Non-Profit of the Year
Business of the Year

Register for The Annual Dinner HERE

Wood River Biking Trails Photo: Hailey Chamber

12 Way To Use Your Chamber Membership

By | Chamber News

At The Chamber, we mean business.  We are here to help you make the most out of your business.  Please take a moment to review the checklist and start taking advantage of your member benefits right away.

   Set-up info page on The Chamber’s website – ValleyChamber.org

The first and one of the most important things to do, is to set up your custom information page on The Chamber’s web- site, ValleyChamber.org. Every day, The Chamber’s website delivers information about members businesses, special events and news about our Valley to thousands of users interested in information about the Wood River Valley. Last year, The Chamber saw a significant increase in the number of visitors to our website with over 229,000 unique visitors searching for information on everything from where to eat and shop, or to learn more about the many events we host in the Valley. You should have received an email with log-in information. Please take a moment to develop your web page including logo, hours of operation, location and a brief description of your products or services.

□   Share your new member post on Facebook / Follow The Chamber / Ask your team to follow The Chamber

The Chamber’s social media channels are vital to the way we disseminate information about our members and events happening in the Valley. Please make sure you are following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The Chamber has over 10,000 followers across our social media channels and you now have access to share information to this significant group of engaged followers. We’re looking forward to showing you how to use this important member benefit. When we approved your application, we immediately created a Facebook post introducing you as The Chamber’s newest member. Please consider sharing this post to your Facebook followers as our first joint marketing of your business to the world of social media.

□   Send a copy of your high-resolution logo to Kristy@ValleyChamber.org

The Chamber would like to use your logo whenever we are able. Please send Kristy a copy of your high res logo (kristy@valleychamber.org) for our files. We will include your logo in our Members Slide Show that we share at many of our events.

   Send Kristy all of the email addresses in your organization that should receive our regular communications

The Chamber’s eNews Letter is sent to a list of over 1,800 subscribers every Wednesday. Please send Kristy all of the email addresses you would like added to this list to receive this informative newsletter. Additionally, important Members Only information will be occasionally sent to these addresses as well.

□   Let us know if you will redeem Valley Bucks

If you are a retailer or service provider, please let us know if you would like to participate in our popular Valley Bucks gift certificate program (formerly known as Chamber Bucks). As a member, you receive 100% of the face value of any Valley Bucks certificates you accept. Valley Bucks is yet another way The Chamber is encouraging our community to always think local first.

   Make arrangements to have your organization’s information in the Welcome Center

Your membership also gives you access to include information about your business at the Welcome Center next to the rodeo grounds in Hailey. Located at the exit to Freidman Memorial Airport, the Welcome Center is the first stop for many of our Valley visitors. Contact our offices today and we’ll help you include information about your business to this important group.

□   Set up a Hot Deal for website visitors or just a member to member offer

The Chamber’s website also includes a special feature known as Hot Deals. As a member you can use this exclusive service to offer specials or discounts to the general public or just to other members. Contact us for more information about this service.

Review The Chamber committees and their duties

Committees of three to six members are needed to implement the broad vision of The Chamber. The committees develop the operational strategies to implement our strategic plan. Committees develop recommendations which are then approved by the Board of Directors. The Committees are: Executive, Planning & Bylaws, Business Development, Membership, Events, Fund Raising, Marketing, Ambassador, Visitor Services, Government & Community Affairs, Retail, and Restaurant.

How to use the networking opportunities

The Chamber has different networking opportunities such as Business after Hours and our Wake Up events.  The Business After Hours are usually on the third Thursday of every month from 5-7 pm and held at a new location each month. Over 100 people attend and the hosting business either provides or collects raffle prizes which are given out at the event. The Chamber announces new members, upcoming events and members with important updates are given a few minutes to talk in front of this group.  Our Wake Up events are held on the second Tuesday of each month, from 9-10 am. These are similar to the Business After Hours but more of quick and casual coffee-based function.

Training Classes

The Chamber hosts a variety of training classes throughout the year to give you and your staff the tools to improve your business.  Check out the training classes on our website or through our eBlasts and be sure to RSVP for ones that you would like to attend.

Ambassador Program

The Chamber Ambassador program helps meet with new and existing members, and greets guests at the Welcome Table at networking events such as Business After Hours and our Wake Up events.

Events – volunteer / sponsor / host / prizes / information

The Chamber has several events that we plan, or help plan, such as Hailey’s Fourth of July festivities, the Skate Park Competition and the Turkey Trot and we are always looking for volunteers, sponsors and prizes. Also, if you are hosting an event we can help get the word out about your event.

 

Shop Local with Chamber’s Valley Bucks

By | Chamber News

Valley Bucks is the new way to give the gift of choice and keep local dollars in our local economy.

Formerly known as the ChamberBucks or Visit Sun Valley Gift Certificates, the new Valley Bucks program is good at participating retailers and service providers in the Wood River Valley and give residents and visitors the gift of choice from over 200 merchants from Galena to Picabo.

Treated just like cash, all participating member merchants, are reimbursed 100% of the value of all Valley Bucks accepted for products and services.

Participating Merchants

valley buck(1)

 

The Chamber Business and Community Awards Dinner

By | Chamber News | No Comments

It was a wonderful event at the beautiful Flight Archery space in Hailey as The Chamber celebrated the recipients of our annual Community Awards.  Judith McQueen Entertaining provided the amazing dinner at the unique space at Flight Archery in Hailey.  The Chamber would also like to thank Restaurant 103 and Rob Cronin for the cocktails, Sawtooth Brewery for the beer and wine as well as The BCRD for the tables and chairs.

Congratulations to all of the winners:

Business of the Year, Atkinson’s Markets

Non-Profit of the Year, The Hunger Coalition

Customer Service of the Year, Hailey Public Library

Community Service of the Year, R.L. Rowsey

Community Improvement, King’s Variety Store

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Chamber President, Richard Stahl and Leann Gelsky from the Hailey Public Library.339(1)

January 2017 Chamber Corner: Many Reasons To Join The Chamber in 2017

By | Chamber News

2016 was a banner year for The Chamber and 2017 is set to be one of the best for our members and the business community in the Valley.
In 2016, The Chamber successfully helped organize and/or promote many events throughout the Wood River Valley. These events bring visitors to our Valley and help create a larger market for our members.
In 2017, The Chamber will focus much of its regional advertising into the Treasure Valley to increase awareness of the many unique events held in our Valley and build on the successes from this past year.
The Chamber uses grant dollars from Idaho Commerce to advertise the Wood River Valley to a drive-time audience. For 2017, The Chamber was able to nearly double the dollars of this grant, which will allow us to reach an even greater audience of potential visitors.
Are you aware that as a member, you are eligible to have information in the Welcome Center located at the rodeo grounds in Hailey? The Welcome Center is a “first-stop” for many valley visitors arriving by car from the south or through Freidman Memorial Airport.
The Chamber is also a business partner for our members in many ways. Soon, The Chamber will publish a list of training classes available to members in 2017. By working closely with the U.S. Small Business Administration, some of the classes available this year will be; Customer Service 101, Marketing 101, Getting Found on Google, Properly Setting Up QuickBooks and many others. These trainings help our members by making it easier for them to get foundational information and resources for additional help.
The Chamber also helps our members with promotion of their products or services to a wide audience. At nearly 10,000 followers on our social media channels, The Chamber is able to quickly update Valley residents and visitors to the many fun events or special happenings each week. Members of The Chamber have access to these social media channels and are encouraged to use these to help promote their organizations.
Finally, next month The Chamber will hold its Annual Dinner and Community Awards event to celebrate our business community. Nominations for Best Customer Service, Best Community Service, Community Improvement of the Year, Non-Profit of the Year and Business of the Year have been submitted by our membership. Organizations that have been nominated will be on a ballot for a vote by our membership with the winner’s announced at the annual event on Tuesday, February 7th. Events like this are important because they celebrate the organizations in our Valley that are having the most impact on the overall health of our business environment.
Please consider joining our team for 2017. The Chamber is doing some great work for our Valley and we’d like you to be a part of it. Contact our offices at 208.788.3484 for more information.

The Senior Connection Looks For Ways To Help All Valley Seniors

By | Chamber News

As a former CEO and executive director for Wood River YMCA, Teresa Beahen Lipman knows it takes a community to build a strong foundation. Currently the executive director for The Senior Connection in Hailey, Teresa is looking towards the challenges the Wood River Valley will soon face as it regards its senior population in the next decade. “Today there are 40 million people in the United States that are age 60 or above,” Teresa noted during a recent interview. “As the baby boomer generation reaches retirement, that number is going to sky-rocket to 92 million in the next 10 years and communities all over the country had better be ready.”

To help The Senior Connection stay ready for the Valley’s seniors, the organization created its Role and Relevance Committee this summer to look at the programs and services offered and develop a plan to stay up to date with what retired citizens are looking for today and in the future. “Many people in our community don’t know exactly what we do,” Teresa adds. “They’re aware of our lunch program and maybe the food deliveries we make but we have nine programs that all serve our senior population and nutrition is just one of those programs. The Senior Connection is a great resource for everyone in our community and one of our biggest challenges is getting past the preconceived ideas people have about what’s behind the front door.”

“The old saying is, once you’ve seen one senior center, you’ve seen one senior center,” Teresa notes. “And that means that if these organizations are doing it right, each facility will offer programs and services that meet the needs of their locals. We’re fortunate to have a very active senior population, so it makes sense that some of our programs are designed for an active senior population.”

And ‘active’ is a great term to use. Next year, The Senior Connection will begin a program to help local seniors prepare for The Senior Games in 2018. “We’re looking forward to offering opportunities for any senior that would like to compete in The National Senior Games,” Teresa adds. “Aging is not normally celebrated in western civilization. The Senior Games is not only a celebration but a validation of the fact we are surrounded by so much experience and wisdom and as a community we should be embracing our senior population.”

One of the misconceptions about The Senior Connection is that it gets its funding from the government. “In order to keep the doors open, we need to maintain fundraising,” Teresa notes. “This holiday season, a great way to help support the programs and services we offer is through our Holiday Bazaar. This year’s will happen on Thursday, December 15th at The Senior Connection from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm. All items at this year’s bazaar will be marked at $5 or less and there will be free gift wrapping.”

Chamber Corner, Beanie Manufacturer JYTTE Joins Turkey Trot for 2016

By | Chamber News

Jytte Mau (pronounced You-Tay) was born in Denmark and immigrated to North America with her family when she was a young girl. “My parents moved the family to Canada speaking only Danish and German and having very few possessions,” remembers Jytte. “In our family, learning to knit was a rite of passage, but my dad instilled a great sense of outdoor adventure in all of us so it wasn’t too surprising that as I got older my interests veered towards skiing, biking, and camping.

Internationally, the name Jytte is synonymous with high-quality beanies made from the highest grade Merino wool available. “I’ve been a part of the outdoor industry for over 30 years, working my way through the ranks of several large corporations,” Jytte notes. “As a clothing and fabric designer, I design all of the patterns for our beanies and we knit the fabric and build the beanies in-house.” And, in an effort to reduce the impact her production facility might have on the environment, Jytte has her team use every scrap of material to make cat beds and cat toys that are donated to animal shelters around the country.

Having spent many years designing outdoor clothing for others, Jytte made the leap in 1998 and opened the first JYTTE Hat manufacturing facility in south Bellevue. “I remember being very determined to make sure anything we made was of the highest quality,” Jytte notes. “The machines we bought were made in Germany. Most knit hats on the market today are being made in China on large sock-making machines. If you’ve ever had a hat the starts to scrunch up the side of your head, your hat was made on a sock machine.”

Today JYTTE beanies are being made in a production facility off Airport Way in Hailey. “We ship world-wide from our shop here in Hailey,” notes Jytte. “We create custom beanies for a great number of different events, microbreweries, sports teams, even the National Geographic Explorer ships.”

Jytte is happy that her love of skiing led her to find the Wood River Valley. “I love this Valley,” Jytte enthused. “When I wanted to open a manufacturing facility, the decision on where to put it was an easy one. Amazing people in a beautiful Valley is hard to beat.”

JYTTE will be starting a new tradition this Thanksgiving as they have agreed to produce the beanies for Hailey’s venerable Turkey Trot. “We’re so excited to be able to be a part of Turkey Trot,” Jytte notes. “It’s such a great family tradition for many people in our Valley and now to have a custom-made JYTTE beanie be included each year is really pretty special.”

The first 400 registered runners or walkers will receive a Turkey Trot inspired JYTTE Beanie in their race packets. Register at HaileyIdaho.com.

The Chamber Announces New Executive Director

By | Chamber News

The Chamber – Hailey,   The Wood River Valley has announced its decision to hire Jeff Bacon as its new executive director, effective immediately. After three years with The Chamber, operations director, Pat Bowton has resigned her position, to work with a local CPA firm. “We felt this was a good time for The Chamber to reevaluate the structure of our organization and make sure our staffing reflects the goals we have set out in our strategic planning,” explains Chamber board president, Richard Stahl. “In addition to promoting Jeff to executive director, The Chamber will hire additional office support to manage our grant dollars and assist with staffing the Visitor’s Center.”

Previously the membership director for The Chamber, Jeff has spent the past year working directly with Chamber members developing networking opportunities, creating advertising and marketing opportunities for Valley events and promoting Hailey and The Wood River Valley as a visitor destination. “I’m excited and very happy to work with The Chamber, its membership and board to continue the great work we’ve started in developing this organization into a resource for businesses throughout the Valley,” Jeff notes. “The Chamber wears several important hats and I’m eager to increase our effectiveness in regards to our resources for local business, our ability to promote the Valley as a visitor destination and our work in promoting Valley events.”

An Idaho native, Jeff was born in northern Idaho, but raised in Boise. “My father moved the family to California while I was in high school, so I spent most of my career in San Francisco and Los Angeles,” Jeff explains. “Six years ago the pull of my home state finally became too great to ignore and I moved back to the prettiest spot I remembered. It’s been a great move.”

“The board feels very fortunate to have had a chance to work with Jeff for nearly a year before making this move,” said Richard. “Our top priorities in choosing an executive director came down to the following: a team oriented leader with a proven ability to work well with all sectors of the business community as well as volunteers and staff, a candidate with a chamber background and experience in strategic planning, budget management and traditional as well as non-traditional marketing and e-marketing trends and finally, a thoughtful communicator and presenter who has worked within a tourism setting and understands the importance of advocacy and promoting programs through the chamber year-round.”

Jeff’s corporate background includes director of marketing with Hyatt Hotels and the largest importer of premium teas in the U.S. He has also owned his own marketing services company developing marketing plans and programs for small to mid-sized companies. “I’ve done considerable work in overseas markets including Japan, Ireland, Korea, UK and China,” Jeff notes. “It’s ironic that after all this time working on programs abroad, I’m back in my home state. I’m confident that my background in marketing will help The Chamber continue to build upon the great programs we’ve been developing.”

Chamber Corner: Q&A Harry Griffith, Sun Valley Economic Development

By | Chamber News

 

Formed in 2010 with the mission of creating a thriving, diversified economy for the Sun Valley region, Sun Valley Economic Development has been spearheading projects designed to attract new businesses, educate the community about critical business issues and enhance the economic impact of existing assets. Sounds like a tall order.

Last week, The Chamber sat down with executive director, Harry Griffith to learn more about some of the projects he and his team are working on and what are the challenges facing the business community in the Wood River Valley.

TC: Economic Development organizations exist in many regions in the U.S., to facilitate recruitment of new businesses to an area. What do you say to convince companies looking to relocate or entrepreneurs looking to start a business, that this area is the best place to move?

HG: Our area is unique in many ways. The companies we’ll have the most success with recruiting tend to be more technology based, location neutral industries and not necessarily manufacturing oriented. We developed a term several years ago and we like to say we have Quality of Place. Quality of Life can mean different things to different people, but it all starts with Quality of Place. For us, Quality of Place is the nexus of having enough office space or sufficient utilities or broadband along with the social and cultural opportunities to broaden your mind or participate in things that are of interest to you on a personal level.

TC: Are there other communities that you can show as a model of having created the environment you’re hoping to achieve here?

HG: Five years ago, I would have said yes. Unfortunately, some of these early models didn’t address some of the issues we’re seeing now and the result has been the creation of exclusive communities. Boulder Colorado is a great example. Their median home price has nearly doubled in the last five years and that leads to a loss of diversity and a loss of youth. In this type of environment, your workforce tends to live outside the area which means the paychecks leave the area. Our school system is not at capacity, our hospital is not at capacity and our workforce is being forced to move to communities outside the valley. If this continues, we’ll find ourselves in a similar situation.

TC: Middle Income Housing is a hot topic right now. What’s the answer to helping solve this issue?

HG: The reality is that there’s no single answer. Whether it’s creative mixed-use projects or fast-tracking the approvals, one of the key factors will be the need for municipalities to work with developers to make it make sense for everyone. On the zoning side, cities will need to take a look at their densities and height restrictions and find creative ways to help developers build projects that are win-win.  One of the emerging trends is smaller, so-called “tiny houses.”  We’re not suggesting that yet, but zoning changes to allow starter-sized single-family or duplex units would provide reduced housing costs at lower densities.

TC: As a “back-bone” organization you work with many different groups by helping them all see the big picture. What piece of the overall puzzle is not being addressed?

HG: We have a great group of organizations that are coming together on a regular basis to address many of the issues, but event incubation and support is needed. Events bring visitors to town to support our tourist-based economy and add a much-needed vibrancy. I would like to see The Chamber expand its role in helping the many events in our valley attract even more visitors and to also assist fledgling events develop into some of the Valley’s next annual traditions.

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Chamber Corner: daVinci’s Celebrates 20 Years of Home-Style Italian Food in Hailey

By | Chamber News

The Rolling Stones may have said it best for Jennifer and Larry Schwartz when they were opening their new restaurant in Hailey 20 years ago, “You can’t always get what you want. . . you get what you need.” “At the time, we were convinced the name for our new Italian restaurant should be Spaghetti Western in homage to the area’s connection to movies, cowboys, and the wild west,” Jennifer recalls. “There were reasons beyond our control that kept us from using that name and now we’re very glad they did.”

July marks the 20th Anniversary for daVinci’s Restaurant in Hailey. “Larry and I met when we both attended Cornell University’s School of Hospitality Administration,” Jennifer adds. “When we moved to the area in 1992 we knew we wanted to open an Italian-style restaurant like the ones we had grown up with back east. The little restaurant on the corner that always has consistently great Italian food in a comfortable atmosphere is the model we had in mind when we created daVinci’s. After 20 years in business, I think we can safely say we’ve succeeded.”

When asked why she thinks they’ve managed to stay successful long enough to be one of the oldest, single-owner restaurants in the valley, Jennifer says confidently, “consistency. We have long-term customers that come to daVinci’s because they know they will have the same great chicken parmigiana every time they’re here.” And what are some of the dishes they’re most known for? “We have many people that come back every time for our Rotolo, a rolled pasta with filling that’s sliced and baked and served in a pink tomato sauce,” Jennifer notes. “Also, everything on our menu is available for group take-out food.  Lasagnas, salads, sauces, chicken, veal or eggplant parmigiana can all be ordered to go for small or large groups. We also have one of the best outdoor dining spots in town.  With our beautiful summers, it is a wonderful place to wind down after enjoying the day.”

Jennifer is quick to note that another big part of daVinci’s success has been the fact they’ve been blessed with consistent staffing. “I know it sounds a bit cliché, but the old adage is true,” Jennifer adds. “You can have the best location, facility, and product, but if your staff doesn’t give a top quality experience to your customers, you’ll never survive. We’re very fortunate to have the amazing staff we do, especially the long term staff of Doug, Charles, Andrew, and Dave. They’ve all been with us for at least 10 years with Doug and Charles at 19 and 18 years respectively.”

To celebrate their 20th Anniversary, daVinci’s will offer specials and weekly give-aways of gift certificates and other items now through the end of the year. daVinci’s is open Wednesday thru Sunday at 5:00 pm.  Reservations are encouraged (208) 788-7699.