Last week the threat of a doozy of a winter storm was at our doorsteps and I must admit that made me kinda giddy. The thoughts of a fireplace, hot cocoa, a good book and a cozy blanket all while watching the storm rage outside my window was very appealing. Conversations circulated about the much-anticipated storm. Comments of “how many inches do you think we’ll get?”, “guessing we may get snowed in,” “school cancelled yet?” were a very welcome break from some of the hatred and animosity we’ve recently seen in the media. While people often make fun of NW Iowa for how much we talk about the weather, we may just serve as a pretty good example of how to behave like adults when we disagree with each other. To use a quote from a recent Northwest Iowa Review editorial, "This isn’t to suggest that people should be hesitant to speak their minds, but would it be possible to speak with a little less animus, a little more understanding, a little more sense of humility?" How true this is. We aren’t all expected to agree with each other (and it’s a good thing we don’t), but we are called to respect each other, listen to each other and seek first to understand. I’m thankful that I live in a community where this is exemplified. We live in a place where we are ahead of the curve in realizing that working together, putting aside our own personal agendas and focusing on the greater good benefits our entire community. Discussion, brainstorming, pushing the envelope, and challenging each other’s thinking are all vital elements in coming up with successful solutions. And done with a spirit of mutual respect, great things can be accomplished. We see examples of this in our many joint-use projects, the recent Your Future @ Work event that served 545 sophomore students from all over Sioux County, schools collaborating in various projects, businesses joining together for a common mission and the list could go on and on. Thank you, Sioux Center, for being a place that focuses on the greater good rather than our own personal gains. Maybe others will start to follow our lead!
Last year, as a junior in high school, I walked into the Sioux Center Chamber office in high hopes that they would allow a young high schooler to intern with them for the fall of 2016. As I entered the office, they immediately welcomed me with a big smile and discussed the projects I could look forward to in the coming year. I left anticipating a semester of participating in fun events and getting to watch what goes on behind the scenes of Sioux Center. What I wasn’t anticipating was all of the extraordinary people I would get to meet, and experiences that would transform the way I thought of the town that I have grown up in since I was a kid.
Sioux Center is thriving with different businesses. With 258 Sioux Center Chamber Members, our town’s economy is really taking off. The Chamber’s job is to support business in every way, shape, and form. Let me just say, our chamber staff do an exceptional job at this. In every event they plan, and every business they sponsor, they put 110% into what they do. I have been so fortunate to get to tag along with them to multiple meetings, and participate in the Women’s Expo alongside them. I have learned about customer service, how to make a business thrive, and leadership in the community. These things that I have discovered have transformed the way I go through my everyday life, and will definitely carry into how I work in the future. Sioux Center is so extraordinary blessed! We have so many different people here that are working hard to make this a great place to live.
As I reflect on my internship I would like to not only give a big thanks to Barb, Heather and Amber, but also to the community. Thank you for giving youth opportunity to learn and grow here. Thank you for caring and seeking out the needs of all the people living here. Most of all, thank you for making Sioux Center a bright place to learn and grow.
Mikaela Van Soelen
Senior at Unity Christian High School
The Sioux Center Chamber of Commerce has launched a Shop Sioux Center campaign. Our local businesses give their customers a wonderful shopping experience, top notch customer service and make our community a great shopping destination. These are also the businesses that support our schools, donate to local charities and pay local taxes, so be sure to support them with all your shopping needs. Keeping your money local allows these stores to thrive!
We want to make shopping Sioux Center easy for you, so "like" our Shop Sioux Center Facebook page to see all the great events and shopping experiences that our local businesses are providing especially for you! Supporting local businesses is one of the fastest ways to build a strong local economy, so we encourage you to Shop Sioux Center for all your shopping needs...not only during the holidays, but all year long!
Live it. Love it. Support it!
We are only 18 days from the Sioux Center Women's Expo, but who's counting?! :) This is one of my favorite events that we do at the Chamber. It brings so many (around 500!) women together for a fun couple days of shopping, socializing and inspiration. We have moms, daughters and grandmas that come every year and spend the whole day together. We have groups of friends that come for the Shopping Premiere and head over to the Wine Tasting for a night out with the girls. We have ladies that come to soak in all they can during our Main Stage presentations. ALL of it is so much fun and I am so blessed to be able to witness everyone's different experiences throughout the two days!!
This year we have many exciting things planned, including the Shopping Premiere, Wine Tasting, Fall Fashion Show, a cooking demonstration by Chef Paul of Hy-Vee and of course our keynote speaker, Jennifer Dukes Lee!
Speaking of exciting things.....be on the lookout on social media. We will be having some contests and giveaways BEFORE the Expo! So keep checking our Facebook and Twitter accounts for some updates!
I hope you can join us at the 7th Annual Sioux Center Women's Expo on October 21 &22 and get a little taste of why I love this event!
For more information about the Women's Expo, click here.
Sioux Center Chamber to host 7th Annual Sioux Center Women’s Expo on October 21 & 22
Mark your calendars for the 7th annual Sioux Center Women’s Expo! This event is filled with many fun events that you won’t want to miss! Friday evening, October 21, begins with a Shopping Premiere from 6:30-8:30 pm at New Life Reformed Church, Sioux Center Iowa. Over 40 vendors will be on site with a great variety of clothing, jewelry, food, decorating, beauty, health, plus much more! Following the Shopping Premiere, stop by The Ridge Golf Club for free wine tasting and live music by AK Squared, a local college band. The first 200 women who attend will receive a free wine glass. Light appetizers will be served with a free will donation benefiting the Bridge.
On Saturday, October 22, the events resume at 9 am at New Life Reformed Church. Main stage events include a fall fashion show featuring B. Fierce Boutique, Maurice’s, and Simply Jade Boutique and also a cooking demonstration by Chef Paul, Hy-Vee Food Store. We are pleased to announce that Jennifer Dukes Lee, a nationally recognized speaker and author, will be our keynote speaker at 12:30 pm. We again have many fun giveaways, hourly door prizes and grand prizes to treat our guests! The events at New Life Reformed Church are FREE to women of all ages. Food will be available in the morning and again at noon with the proceeds benefiting the Family Crisis Center. Come and go as your schedule allows or plan to stay all day! For a complete listing of sponsors who help make this event free to all of our guests, vendors, and schedule of breakout sessions, please visit our website at www.siouxcenterchamber.com or our Facebook page: SC Chamber Commerce. So grab your girlfriends, your mom, your daughter, your grandma, and of course, your purse and make a weekend of the Sioux Center Women's Expo!
Leadership Sioux Center is pleased to announce those accepted to participate in the Leadership Sioux Center program for 2016-2017. Leadership Sioux Center is an educational program intended for Sioux Center area citizens who have an interest in their community, their leaders and institutions, their decision-making processes and specific leadership opportunities available in Sioux Center.
“We received a record number of applications for this year’s program. Due to the nature of the program, we limit the class size to 20 participants per year. This group of participants is diverse and each will bring their own unique perspective, skill sets and personal experience to the program,” states Barb Den Herder, Chamber Director. During the program, participants will learn and practice leadership skills for use in their professional and community service roles. Additionally, participants will build a leadership network among current and emerging leaders, learn about community issues, and become familiar with the rewards of community service work. “We believe in the importance of identifying the future leaders of our community, and we hope this program connects those future leaders and allows them to exchange ideas with the current and past leaders who have committed to making Sioux Center a great place to live,” added Cory Gotto with Peoples Bank.
Leadership Sioux Center will use the community as its classroom with the first session being held at The Ridge Golf Club. This session will focus on Sioux Center Land Development, Joint-Use, how growth and development happens in the Sioux Center community and also some personal leadership development. Class members will also take part in several team building and networking activities throughout the eight-month program.
Congratulations to the following individuals and their sponsors:
Miriam Buss-Center for Financial Education
Melanie Cleveringa-Sioux Center Community Schools
Michael De Jong- AdvoCare
Brent De Jong-Ground Effects Landscaping
Aleisa Dornbierer-Schat-Dordt College
Lisa Dykstra-Peoples Insurance
Joe Heitritter-Sioux Center Health
David McAlpine-Peoples Bank
Karlowe Moerman-Ver Hoef Automotive
Jessica Mulder-Perspective Insurance
Erin Reichle-American State Bank
Andrew Roelfs-Harbor Group
Heather Rozeboom-Sioux Center Chamber of Commerce
Brad Van Berkel-Pella Corporation
Kyle Van De Berg-Rent-All, Inc
Bret Van Wyk- Interstates Companies
Dan Walstra- Walstra Plumbing and Heating
Kelli Willet- Sioux Center Police Department
Scott Wynja-City of Sioux Center
“We hope this group can find their place as the next generation of energetic and engaged leaders that can point to many ways they plan to make their community even better,” adds Erica Vonk. “We have some incredible individuals who as a whole are already very involved with the community, but are wanting to step it up to the next level. Leadership Sioux Center desires to become a continuing legacy for our community.”
In conjunction with their monthly chamber meeting, the Sioux Center Chamber, along with Premier Communications, is pleased to host a customer service seminar with nationally known motivational speaker David K. Aaker, IOM. “Gaining a Competitive Advantage through Customer Service” will be held on Wednesday, October 12 from 11:30-1:00 pm at the Terrace View Event Center.
Sponsored by Premier Communications, this seminar is designed to inspire employees from all types of businesses with tested methods to improve customer service in order to make positive changes that will stimulate growth and help them gain a competitive advantage over their competition.
Tickets, which include the seminar and catered lunch, are $25 with a discounted price of $20 for chamber members and their employees. Advance reservations are required and are preferred by Thursday, October 6. RSVP’s are accepted by calling the Chamber Office at 712-722-3457 or emailing email@example.com.
David K. Aaker is an interactive and enthusiastic national speaker that offers dozens of ideas for better customer service. Recently named “Among America’s Best Speakers” by Sky Radio, Aaker has reached many clients including small businesses, large corporations and non-profits. As a published author in “Success Simplified,” by Insight Publishing, there will be a book signing with Mr. Aaker immediately following the event.
“Q and A with the Candidates”
Tuesday, May 3 7:00 pm
Terrace View Event Center
On Tuesday, June 7 the primary elections will take place in Iowa. We hope many of you will head to the polls and stand up for what matters most to our families and businesses by casting your vote. The Sioux Center Chamber encourages everyone to be as educated as possible before going to cast your vote. In an effort to help our community prepare prior to the primary, we are sponsoring an educational forum at Terrace View Event Center on Tuesday, May 3 at 7 pm. The three candidates for the District 4 house seat are Jeff VanDerWerff, Kevin Van Otterloo and Skyler Wheeler. John Slegers will act as our moderator and will be introducing the candidates and asking them questions submitted by the community.
Please submit your questions for the representatives via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employment--Professor of American Government and Public Policy
Northwestern College (1999-present)
Family--Kara, wife/married 23 years
Jake, 15/freshman at MOC-Floyd Valley high school
Kate, 12/sixth grader at middle school in Alton
Ian and Elin, 10/twin third graders at OC elementary
Harley, black curly-haired Schnoodle
Education--BA 1983, Northwestern College/Political Science and Economics
MA 1995, University of Missouri-Kansas City/Political Science
PhD 2002, University of Kansas/American Government and Public Policy
Experience--Co-chair of Reaccreditation Work Group (appointed, 2014—present)
Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees (elected by peers, 2006-14)
Co-director of Franken Leadership Institute (appointed, 2009-13)
Faculty President (elected by peers, 2008-11)
Interests--Playing noon hour and driveway basketball; swimming, running and biking—have completed several triathlons over the years, including the Siouxperman; member of Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City; active in Sioux County Republican Party politics; family outings and activities, especially trips to the Pacific Northwest
Website : https://jvdw4iowa.com/
Kevin Van Otterloo
Kevin grew up in Rock Valley, raised his family in Rock Valley, and has been active in the community, including serving on the City Council for 10 years before being elected Mayor. Kevin has been no stranger to business. For 60 years, his family has been in the grocery business. Kevin and his brother continue to carry the family business forward as the current owners and operators of Vans Market Place Foods, in Rock Valley. Kevin and his wife, Letti, have been married for 39 years and enjoy spending time with their three kids and nine grandkids, all who live nearby. Kevin has been a proud Christian Conservative his entire life. He’s passionate about fiscal responsibility and economic development and believes the key to forward progress in our state comes from local innovation and cooperation in order to stimulate our economy and job creation. Learn more about Kevin and his stance on issues at http://kevin4iowa.com/
Skyler Wheeler, 23, lives, works and attends church in Orange City with his wife, Jess. He is a Northwestern College graduate and former Red Raider baseball player.
Skyler is a strong Christian conservative who grew up defending these beliefs on a daily basis. He studied political science in college and has worked on various campaigns, including one presidential candidate’s campaign recently in Iowa.
Skyler has earned the support of Representative John Kooiker and Clarice Alons, widow to former Representative Dwayne Alons. He has knocked on more than 1,600 doors in Sioux County, as well as attended a number of events (both political and non-political) and manages to do this while working 45 hours a week.
Skyler will fight for our values in Des Moines like Dwayne did. He knows the necessity of outlawing abortion, demolishing common core, protecting our Second Amendment rights and lifting the burdens on our farmers and small business owners.
March was a flurry of activity from hosting the Chamber Ag Breakfast during the Global Ag Summit, to the Indoor Fair to many exciting meetings for the 125th. But some of the most exciting things happened right within our Chamber walls.
First of all, we learned quickly that having a construction truck right outside your office generates many questions. For those of you who are curious (and haven’t had a chance to peek your head in), we are adding an enclosed office on the main floor of the chamber building. Construction should be completed soon and we welcome you to stop in and see the progress!
Some other exciting news is that Heather Rozeboom has been promoted within our office to Event Coordinator and she will now be the main contact for most of our Chamber sponsored events.
And we are happy to announce that we have hired Amber Van Der Vliet as our part time Administrative Assistant. Here are a few words from Amber “I am excited to be starting my new position with the Sioux Center Chamber of Commerce. I grew up near Bozeman MT and came to Sioux Center to attend Dordt College. I met my husband Andrew while I was at Dordt and we were married in 2005. We have a 7 year old son, Willem, and a 4 year old son, Logan. I enjoy baking and spending time outdoors with my family. Most of our vacations are spent in Montana visiting family where we get to ski, hike and camp in the mountains. Sioux Center is a fabulous place to raise a family, and I am looking forward to becoming more involved!” Amber also has a side businesses called “A Little Something Sweet” and makes delicious cupcakes. We are secretly hoping that she messes up her cupcake batches regularly so we can sample her “mistakes.” Amber will be a great addition to our team!
Submitted by Jacquelyn Jacobsma, Dordt College Student and Chamber Intern Extraordinaire
I don’t know about you, but I’m a little over the days of frigid cold, 30 mph winds, and snow that never seems to leave. While winter seems like it will never end, it’s only a matter of time until the sunshine breaks through the clouds and spring will arrive with all of its glory. Here in the Chamber office, we can’t wait for spring to arrive. Not just for the warmer temperatures (although I’m looking forward to the day when I don’t need to defrost my car windshield every morning), but because two HUGE events are set to take place! The month of March will bring with it the Global Ag Summit (March 2-4) and the Indoor Fair (March 16-17).
The Global Ag Summit event will take place on the campus of Dordt College and feature hundreds of participants from around the United States and the world, with more than 50 workshops and seminars. Having this event in Sioux Center is a great way for those involved in the Agriculture industry to further their knowledge and gain valuable connections. There is still time to register for this great event, visit www.agrisumit.org for more info!
The Indoor Fair, also known as “The Show of ALL Home Shows,” is an opportunity for exhibitors to promote their services, interact with current and potential clients, or sell their products. The great part about this event is that it allows community members to meet local businesses and learn more about their products or services. This event has taken place for over 50 years and we work hard to keep it a great success. You definitely won’t want to miss heading over to the All Seasons Center for this awesome and FREE event!
Even though winter isn’t over just yet, we are excited to kick off another fun year filled with great events. Stay tuned for future posts and as always, check out the Chamber website or contact us for more information regarding any of these events. For now, try to stay warm.
Barb Den Herder is the Executive Director of the Sioux Center Chamber, an inexperienced blog writer, and an advocate for over 250 chamber businesses.