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.
It’s member Monday and we typically take the time to feature one of our chamber businesses. But as I’m resting my weary feet (I should have chosen sneakers over my 2 ½ inch heels) after a very busy and successful weekend of the 6th annual Women’s Expo, I instead want to take this opportunity to recognize all the key partners who come together to make this event possible.
First of all, our vendors. New Life Reformed Church is filled to the brim with nearly 50 vendors who are determined to make this a fabulous experience for our guests. They bring product, showcase their business and most importantly bring a smile to all those that greet them. (Do you realize how many boxes, totes, and back-breaking trips it takes to fill a booth…and they still smile!)
Secondly, our sponsors who help make this event possible. We could not do it without their generous support. From helping provide entertainment, to donating absolutely droolable (yes, I just made up that word) door prizes, to supporting the pampering packages so we can bless two local women. Our sponsors are KEY in making this event happen.
Thirdly, our guests. You come with smiles. You tell us this is an annual tradition that you and your mom/daughter/grandma are sure to attend each year (and that makes us smile!). You bless our vendors. You attentively listen to the mainstage presentations (and if you are like me, wonder if your creative gene will ever show up so you can at least attempt to create some of those magnificent pieces). You shed some tears with us as we hear family members and co-workers share how two local women are servants in their work place and at home. And you celebrate with us as we gift these women with a much-deserved week of pampering and love.
And lastly…but definitely not least…our 15 person committee who is unrelenting in their willingness to do whatever is needed to make this event fly. This was the committee who dared to take a risk and make this a two day event and wow, it was evident that a Friday night out with the girls was a hit! This was the committee who said, “Barb, watch your son play football Friday night…we got this covered,” and helped erase (almost) all of my guilt as I dodged tornadoes on the way to the game. This was the committee who took time away from their work place and their families to serve in so many different ways. And this is the committee where each member is now considered a great friend. We did it girls…we did it!! And the true glue (aka foundation) that holds all of this together is Heather Rozeboom. Working with nearly 50 vendors, our sponsors, our door prize donations, one can only imagine how many phone calls, emails and details she took care of each day. And she does it with impeccable customer service and a forever smile on her face.
So on this member Monday, we recognize each of you. Whether you were indirectly or directly involved in the Women’s Expo, we thank you. Here’s to resting our weary feet!
Leadership Sioux Center is pleased to announce those accepted to participate in the Leadership Sioux Center program for 2015-2016. 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 had a very high level of interest in this year’s program and many qualified applicants. 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 on Tuesday, October 13. This session will focus on Sioux Center Land Development, Joint-Use, and how growth and development happens in the Sioux Center community. Class members will also take part in several team building and networking activities.
Congratulations to the following individuals and their sponsors:
Jared Ackerman Sioux Center Community Schools
Tiffany Armstrong Sioux Center Chiropractic and Wellness Clinic, PC
Becky Bilby Sioux Center Public Library
Dan Clousing Beaver Eye Care
Daren Dieleman Interstates Companies
Nick Doelman Doelman Financial Advisory and Wealth Management
Adam Fedders City of Sioux Center
Michael Gallagher Peoples Bank
Paul Hoogendoorn American Investment and Trust
Greg Hulstein Link Manufacturing, Ltd
Amber Jaworski Pella Corporation
Brady Kroeze Kroese and Kroese, PC
Jared Oldenkamp Ver Hoef Automotive
Chad Schuiteman Northwest Bank
Monica Sedelmeier Sioux Center Health
Joel Sikkema Dordt College
Karrie Van Ravenswaay The Ridge Golf Club
Kim Van Zee Sioux Automation Center
Derrick Vander Waal Promise Community Health Center
Jennifer Vermeer Zeutenhorst Financial, Inc
“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.”
We are excited to introduce you to our newest intern, Vanessa Blankespoor! Vanessa is a junior at Dordt College with a major in graphic design. We've already put her skills to use in designing our Women's Expo ad and she is now recreating some of our "touch pieces" so they better represent our Sioux Center Chamber brand. Graphic Design is a skill set that neither Heather nor I possess so you can imagine how invaluable Vanessa will be to us this fall!
Vanessa is the third intern that we've had the pleasure to get to know over the past few years and they have all been a tremendous resource to us. For businesses that have not actively partnered with interns, I encourage you to give it a try. The value that a student can bring into your office is often immeasurable. From their insights in how to engage the millennial generation, to sharing their social media savvy, to implementing into your workplace the creative and cutting-edge ideas that they just learned in the classroom, it's all information that us "seasoned" employees should grasp onto with vigor. Not only will you show them valuable aspects of your business, but they will bless you with a fresh, new perspective. I can guarantee that by the end of your partnership with them, you will find yourself incorporating a few of their ingenious ideas!
Please feel free introduce yourself to Vanessa. She's excited to meet our membership!
When I arrived for my first day on the job as intern for the Sioux Center Chamber, I admit I was a little apprehensive. This was the first time I would be taking the things I learned from my college classes and applying them to real life. Talk about intimidating. While I was nervous, I was also excited to learn about Sioux Center and specifically connecting with Chamber businesses. Over the past few months I have met so many people at events like Summer Celebration, Chamber meetings, and ribbon cuttings. This has been one of my favorite parts of my internship, connecting with people. (Even if I don’t remember everyone’s names J).
I don’t need to tell you that Sioux Center is growing with business, the Chamber membership speaks for itself. With 240 current members, business is booming! Whether its retail, dining, agriculture, finance or other avenues, Sioux Center is a great place to do business. According to the Iowa Workforce Development, the unemployment rate for Sioux County for the month of June was 2.6%. This is a great number, making Sioux County tied for second in the state of Iowa with the lowest unemployment rate. This is especially great news for young college graduates (like me) looking for work opportunities. The Chamber is here to help foster the healthy economic growth of our community. We provide service and support to membership and the community through promotional activities, cooperative action, information, education, and visionary leadership. In other words, our Chamber exists to serve the needs of its members, it’s all about you! Contact us and let us know how the Chamber can help your business!
As my internship nears its final days, I want to say a special Thank You to Barb and Heather. These women are passionate about their jobs, and it shows. I am excited to see what the future has in store for the Chamber and the city of Sioux Center. No doubt this town is going places.
Jacquelyn Jacobsma, Chamber Summer Intern
We are pleased to introduce you to Jacquelyn Jacobsma who will be working in the Chamber Office as a summer intern. She is entering her final year as a student at Dordt College where she enjoys studying Business Administration, Marketing and Spanish. Jacquelyn states that she is excited for an opportunity to learn more about the Chamber and the city of Sioux Center while also developing her organizational, professional and promotional skills. We are excited to have her be a part of our team and already appreciate the skills and ideas she has brought to the office. Please feel free to introduce yourself and make her feel welcome!
The 2015 Sioux Center Bridal Showcase was again a great success! We had over 80 brides (from Sioux Center & 23 surrounding towns) and their guests come through, planning their weddings with our fabulous exhibitors and taking in a great style show. It is always so much fun to watch the excitement on the brides’ faces as they come in the door and plan their big day...just another added perk to my job!
As I look back at all the work, time and thought that goes into this event, I can’t help but think of all our other events and how we are able to accomplish each of them. We do a good portion of the leg work here in the office, but a majority of it is done by the committee.
Each of our events has a committee made up of business men and women who volunteer their time. From Indoor Fair, Ag, Summer Celebration, Golf Appreciation to Women’s Expo, 73 people take time out of their busy schedules to attend meetings, prepare and help execute each event. What a great, serving community we live in!
We simply could not do these events without these people. So I would like to thank each and every one of you who is, or has ever served, on one of our committees. Whether you had a big or small part, your work and time are greatly appreciated!
Whew! I don’t know about you but before I knew it, Christmas had come and gone! All the hustle and bustle, shopping, baking, planning meals and get-togethers, and wrapping presents at midnight (so the kiddos don’t catch you) can zap the joy and celebration right out of the holiday. This year I had made a conscious effort to wake up each morning and focus on the real meaning of Christmas and have to admit that I was successful only 50% of the time. How quickly “life” got in the way and my focus strayed from the birth of Christ. But the reassuring news is that Christmas has NOT come and gone! Now that the busyness of the season is winding down, we aren’t as easily distracted and can focus more intimately on the one true Gift...the one gift that will never be the wrong size, we won’t out grow and will never need to be returned.
This is also a wonderful time to reflect upon the past year. We have had a year filled with ribbon cutting, anniversaries, new businesses joining our community, and many other celebrations. And how we love celebrating these things with you! We consider it a privilege and are blessed that we can play a part in your events.
We have many great things planned for the new year and look forward to partnering in them with you. Wishing you all a blessed New Year!
What a fun job we have working with our community! This week we recovered from the Women’s Expo, reflecting on the many ways we were blessed by this event.
Watching vendors working hours to prepare their booths and displays, seeing love and compassion in those who worked with our makeover gals, being truly inspired by these two women’s stories of survival and love for this community, being thankful for people who step-up and say “sure, I can help!” (this is a shout-out to our phenomenal expo committee….we couldn't do it without you!), seeing super-happy faces of our door prize winners, feeling grateful for the generosity of our many sponsors who, without you, this event wouldn't be possible. But best of all, looking over the crowd and seeing women from age 1 to age 87 thoroughly enjoying themselves shopping, learning things at our breakout sessions, enjoying a style show, and being blessed by Bep’s message. That is what this event is all about.
A heart felt thank you to each of you who attended or helped in some way to make this event possible. We are humbly grateful.
Soon you will begin hearing radio ads and seeing print ads with a “Shop Here First” advertising campaign.
The main goal of this campaign is to encourage people to shop locally this holiday season and to think about all the ways that you….our local businesses...support our community. From donating to after prom parties, to helping local charities, to sponsoring tailgates, to helping fund team trips to state....our community would be lost without businesses like you.
I also extend a personal challenge to you that when you are looking for basic supplies and necessities, or a gift to surprise that someone special, before you get online or hop in your car to go to a larger city, check out what our excellent local businesses have to offer. Not only will you find what you need and that perfect gift that your loved one will enjoy, but you will also be putting a smile on the face of a local business person while supporting a business that helps support our great community!
This is our chance to boost our local economy by choosing to spend our money on local business. We have so many great businesses in this area that welcome our business and what better way to show them your support than by Shopping Here First!
Barb Den Herder is the Executive Director of the Sioux Center Chamber, an inexperienced blog writer, and an advocate for over 250 chamber businesses.