Sparta Area Chamber of Commerce Newsletter April 2017 - Page 2

From the Chief Executive Officer I’ve seen the robins, so spring must have sprung. I’m looking forward to getting our garden going and watching the flowers bloom. We brought aboard new staff, and welcome Wendy Markgren and Holly Carlson who hit the ground running. I want to thank Kathy Kuderer for her contributions over the last 7 months. Some good news, Jackie Page will be returning this summer to help with programs, and the summer staff is on board to handle the tourist season. March was a busy one here at the chamber. We had our career fair on the 1st, and it was well attended. The feedback was very positive, other than the public portion not being well beneficial to organizations hiring. We also attended the last SET meeting (Stronger Economies Together) and the strategic plan should be available for the three county area soon. We had a presence at the Madison Bike Expo and attended the Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism. We provided two business education opportunities in March. The first was a webinar on using logos and slogans. The second was on using social media for business. The board also conducted a strategic planning session and developed some goals for the direction of the chamber. We also held our bi-monthly Legislative Breakfast on March 28th. Lastly, the Sparta Transitions group met and finalized the development for moving forward as a nonprofit organization. As many of you have already heard, I plan to retire this year, so we are seeking candidates to fill the CEO position at the Chamber. I want to thank the Board of Directors past and present for the opportunity to work with our membership and community. I believe the programming we build over the last five years has made Sparta a better place to work, live and play. I’m hoping it will be a smooth transition and the same quality of programs will continue. In April, we have another branding seminar planned for business education on April 12th. We will be in Milwaukee for the Wheel & Sprocket expo, which generates a lot of interest for visitors coming to Sparta. Wendy is working on updating membership material and I’ve asked her to revamp the “Chamber 101” class we did a couple years ago and offer it to you. With new staff, fresh ideas come out and will ultimately benefit our association. Our April Business after 5 will be at the Century Foods on April 20th. During the March BA5, Sparta Festivals was drawn for the $550 prize, but they were not present to win. Every member is in the drawing, but need to be present to win the cash. Also, individuals have the opportunity to win also. Every Chamber Member in good standing is eligible to win, as well as anyone that attended in earlier BA5s and filled the form out (The more you attend, the better your chances). We will continue to run this throughout the year. If you haven’t renewed your membership by now, please understand that you may be dropped from the membership. The membership committee decided to move to an annual year vs a calendar year. What this means is your membership is good for one year from renewal or joining. So, if you missed the 1 April deadline, get your payment in and start off now for a full year. I’m looking forward to seeing the community continue through 2017 embracing the challenges and opportunities. Thanks for your continued support to the Sparta Area Chamber of Commerce. Please give us a shout if we can help in any way. Tim Hyma, Chief Executive Officer