Twenty individuals have been selected to comprise the 6th class of Leadership Sioux Center. Class participants, who represent a variety of businesses, industries and non-profit agencies, will spend the next eight months learning about our community and honing their personal leadership skills. The first session is slated for Tuesday, October 8.
A signature program of the Sioux Center Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Sioux Center uses the community as its classroom and is designed to meet the community's need for active participation of informed and dedicated community leaders. The goal of the program is to inform, challenge and motivate participants by providing information on community resources, discussing community concerns, interacting with community leaders and building a sense of community trusteeship.
Members of this year's Leadership Sioux Center class and their sponsors:
Michael Boone-American State Bank
Derek Buteyn-Dordt University
Gwen Crane-Brommer Sanitation
Ryan De Groot-Casey's Bakery
Jamie Dykstra-First Reformed Church
Luke Francois-Pella Corporation
Jordan Harmelink-Pizza Ranch
Wes Kamerman-Peoples Bank
Derek Kosters-Prairie Life Chiropractic
Trevor Kuiper-Sioux Center Dental
Maggie Landegent-City of Sioux Center
Gary McEldowney-Sioux Center Community School District
Cory Nelson-Sioux Center Health
Heidi Ouwinga-Sioux Center Public Library
Craig Schuiteman-Mouw Motor Company
Emily Tuschen-Promise Community Health Center
Seth Van Gorp-Kroese & Kroese, PC
Kelli Van Roekel-Sioux Center Christian School
Amy Westra-Dordt University
100 individuals have graduated from Leadership Sioux Center and gone on to serve the community and the region in a number of leadership positions.
For more information on Leadership Sioux Center, visit
Sioux Center’s first ever Classroom to Career program is scheduled to begin this September with sixteen educators enrolled from Sioux Center Public and Sioux Center Christian Schools. Classroom to Career is a program designed to help build a bridge between business and educators. Through attending sessions, hearing from keynote speakers, touring area business and industry partners, and working collaboratively, teachers will continue to develop their professional practice to increase student workplace readiness. The course will be grounded in the 21st century skills outlined in the Iowa Core, specifically employability skills. This 5-session program will also encourage and enhance business to education partnerships. The main goals of this program are for the participants to understand the skills needed and opportunities available in today’s workforce, to learn more about the community and its background, and to connect their classrooms with the community through meaningful student learning experiences.
Locally, regionally, and state-wide, workforce is an issue affecting almost every business and industry. Two main causes are that there are not enough people to fill available positions and we are graduating some students that don’t have the skills needed to meet the needs of our current workforce. The Classroom the Career program is designed specifically to address this skills gap and to build strong school to business partnerships. Educators are a very vital piece of workforce development, and we are excited about the new and renewed partnerships between business and industry that this program will foster.
“Be You.” written by Lauren Kleyer, guest author
What does that mean? What does it mean to have a women’s expo with a theme that, at first glance, seems to be rather selfish?
I attended the expo in a different capacity this year. I’ve been to the Sioux Center Women’s Expo in years past to try to win some door prizes or to visit a certain booth, but this year I went in looking for more. I went to see what drew these women to this event, and why it was so special.
There’s no doubt that the committee in charge of the expo put in many, many hours to plan this event. The hard-working women behind the weekend deserve a round of applause – for more reason than one.
Through bringing together over fifty different vendors, through setting up a cooking demonstration, through having a wine tasting that benefited The Bridge, these women reminded us what it can look like when you encourage many individuals to “be you” at the same time. They reminded us what a community looks like.
Though we’d often like to think that everyone everywhere should look, act, and think we like do, that’s just not reality. The reality is that every person on earth has something special that they can contribute to those around them – whether that be a truffle shop they just opened, their knowledge of Tupperware, or a faith-based jewelry company. Everyone has something unique that no one else has.
I believe that the “Be You” Sioux Center Women’s Expo was a wonderful reminder that we’re not all the same – and that’s a good thing. If God had called us all for the same purpose, how boring would that be? How mundane and drab would our town, our world, be?
I so enjoyed this event where women of all ages from all walks were not only asked, but encouraged to “be you.” Watching these women champion each other on in their varied pursuits brought tangible joy. What better way to praise our Father than to remind each other that it takes all kinds to make a community work, and that everyone is needed.
I’d encourage you to “be you” in your own unique way today. To remind yourself that God knew what He was doing when He created you with the gifts and talents that you possess. And then look around and remind yourself that each person you see has been given their own gifts. And just like an expo would be pointless if every vendor had the same booth, our community would be pointless without a little diversity.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Barb Den Herder is the Executive Director of the Sioux Center Chamber, an inexperienced blog writer, and an advocate for over 250 chamber businesses.