Lead’um Cowboy

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It’s Nomination Round-Up Time for Leadership Siouxland

Cowboy

Want to make a difference in Siouxland? Tired of all the nay-sayers? Why not get out there and be part of that change with Leadership Siouxland. This leadership program is designed to help you become a great role-model, citizen and community member.  One of our Chamber staff had a chance to go through the program last year and here is what she had to say: 

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of  last year’s Leadership Siouxland class and would recommend the experience. Being involved and being from the area, I really thought that I knew a lot about the community and our needs and opportunities. I was wrong. From learning about economic development to our nonprofits and law enforcement, Leadership Siouxland opened my eyes to what was really going on in the tri-state region. After meeting with your class every month you really get to know and form friendships with your classmates (and even have some fun in the process).  

-Beth Trejo, Director of Investor Relations, Siouxland Chamber of Commerce

This program is now accepting applicants that will be willing to enrich themselves throughout this school year to help students become leaders & role models in our growing community.  This eight month journey for the “future of Siouxland,” will aid students in developing networking skills, and to place emphasis on the importance of positive leadership as it correlates to their careers and involvement with the community.

Course Objectives:

  • Developing leadership skills
  • Networking
  • Understanding and appreciating the personality of Siouxland
  • How to identify and mobilize resources within the region

Students will be given a short reading assignment each month that will help them gain knowledge and tap into their critical thinking attributes already developed in our area schools.  Orientation will begin Saturday, September 26th with a banquet and the end of the program on May 6, 2010.

Classes will meet the first Thursday of each month from September to May.  These class sessions will focus on economic development, education, politics & government, arts, non-profit organizations, diversity, law enforcement etc.

This program will have a tuition fee of $675, but scholarships will be provided.  Applications will be reviewed beginning August 10, 2009.

If you have any questions or want an application please contact:

http://www.leadershipsiouxland.org/

Executive Director: Amanda Beller 712.253.8522 Amanda@windowsamerica.com

And the Winner Is…

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Last week the question was asked: Can you name the 2009 Sioux City River-Cade Port Admiral and Commodore?

 and the answer is… 2009 River-Cade Port Admiral – Tom Padgett and 2009 River-Cade Commodore – Jeff Wooldridge

Congratulations to this week’s winner Jason. Everyone that answered correctly was entered in a drawing for this weeks prize, 4 tickets to Friday’s on the Promenade! Be sure to check back tomorrow for the next Chamber Trivia Question.

Would your business like to sponsor a Trivia Question? Contact intern@siouxlandchamber.com Donate a prize and be featured on our blog.

Positively Siouxland

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This week’s Positively Siouxland radio spots from Chris McGowan let you know about current legislation being debated in Congress, and more about the Chamber Annual Dinner guest speaker, James Bradley.

Legislation

Chamber Annual Dinner

2010 River-Cade Royalty

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This past Saturday was biter sweet. My reign as 2009 River-Cade Princess 6528_1109611858778_1181280540_30448341_2495833_ncame to an end, but three new Siouxland young women were crowned. I placed the tiara on Miss Erin Kiel, a 2009 graduate of East High School. Erin will be attending Northwestern College in Orange City this fall. Mary Horton was the other Princess crowned. Mary is a 2009 graduate of North High School and will be a freshman at Morningside College.

6494_1122855109841_1180980077_30370181_4148902_nAnd the new Queen of the River…Haleigh Zyzda. Haleigh will be a senior at Iowa State University this fall where she is majoring in pre-med. The Queen and her Princesses officially began Monday of this week, and will reign over the 2010 River-Cade festival. Haleigh received a $4,000 scholarship and each princess received $3,000.

Now that my year is over I’m back to just a student and intern…but I’ll never forget my time as River-Cade Princess. And as I like to say, once SarahSignature copya princess, always a princess.

Weekly Update 7.22.09

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This weeks Chamber update includes the press conference held at the Siouxland Chamber for its annual dinner.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e91Al7TwkNs]

Speaker for Annual Dinner Released

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Around 2:00 p.m. today, the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce announced this year’s keynote speaker James Bradley, a New York Times bestselling author.  His most notable and current works include Flags of our Fathers and Flyboys.

More information about the dinner is listed below…

What: Siouxland Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner

Who: Keynote speaker James Bradley

When: September 16, social time at 5:30 & dinner at 7:00

Where: Sioux City Convention Center

Cost: $70.00 for Chamber of Commerce members (per person) and $85.00 for non-members. To purchase, please visit www.siouxlandchamber.com/chamber-annual-dinner.html.

Questions or Comments contact:

nthompson@siouxlandchamber.com

712-255-7903


Siouxland Community Foundation Announces United Airlines Trust Fund Award Recipients

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In November of 1989, United Airlines donated $600,000 to the Siouxland Community Foundation to establish a trust fund for community grants and scholarships. The trust fund was in appreciation of Siouxland’s valiant rescue and recovery efforts during the aftermath of the July 19, 1989, United Airlines Flight 232 crash at Sioux Gateway Airport

Each year, two-thirds of the income generated from this endowed fund is distributed in equal amounts to Briar Cliff University, Morningside College, and Western Iowa Tech Community College to assist students pursuing an education in emergency rescue, nursing, medical care, counseling, social work, clergy, or law enforcement.  The remaining one-third is awarded in grants to nonprofit organizations to enhance the ability of Siouxland communities to respond in emergency and disaster situations.

Since the first grants were awarded in 1990, a total of $695,020 has supported Siouxland nonprofit organizations and the three local colleges (for scholarships). This year’s award recipients along with $8,500 for each local college include:

  • City of Anthon:  $2,500 – Funding to install a new rotating warning siren system with battery backup and pagers so storm spotters and emergency services can activate the siren in an emergency.  Currently have a very old siren on the roof of City Hall (a one story building) that does not provide city wide coverage in case of an emergency.  New system can still operate if electricity goes out.   
  • Hawarden Volunteer Fire Department:  $1,681 – Funds to purchase a rescue saw (to replace current 20 year old one) used to cut holes in roofs for ventilation and holes in walls/floors for access to trapped people.  New saw will improve entry and extrication times of those in an emergency situation in Hawarden and surrounding communities. 
  • Mapleton Fire Department:  $1,200 – Support toward equipping two new firemen with personal protective bunker gear when responding to a fire.  Gear to include a coat, pants, suspenders, boots, helmet, gloves, and Nomex hood.   
  • Onawa Volunteer Fire Department:  $1,800 – Funding for headsets and necessary accessories to tie into the current communication system on the truck.  Department currently has only two headsets in the first responding engine, enabling only two firefighters to communicate effectively.  The engine carries seven people, so five firefighters are unable to communicate with the officer in charge and are not able to hear instructions of an incident’s plan of attack.  Funding will also help purchase a new nozzle for the brush truck.  
  • Sioux City Fire and Rescue:  $2,500 – Support toward the purchase of a Stryker Stair‑Pro Chair with accessories to assist in patient transport in a narrow/confined area.  Chair will reduce firefighter injuries and improve efficiency in rescue and evacuation operations as chair has front and rear handles, caster wheels, etc.  
  • Siouxland Paramedics, Inc.:  $1,600 – Funding toward a 24-Hour Refresher Course for EMT’s and nurses in the tri-state area.  Project is a collaborative effort between Siouxland Paramedics, St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center, and Western Iowa Tech Community College.  Course will be conducted over three days and will allow participants to train together, develop and reinforce their knowledge base, and obtain the necessary CEU’s for recertification.  
  • Siouxland Underwater Search & Recovery:  $1,900 – Volunteer underwater search & recovery group provides 24-hour a day assistance to all emergency service agencies in tri‑state area (11 counties) in the event of accidents, drownings, or searches for evidence in criminal investigations.  Funding toward the purchase of 19 cu. ft. pony tanks with gas switching block hoses and gauges.  The extra tanks will supply air to the primary diver until the backup diver can reach him/her and help get them to the surface.           

 TOTAL AWARDED:  $38,681 

The dollars from this trust fund are truly making a difference as stated in a thank you note from Chuck Hirsch, Fire Marshall, with the Sioux City Fire Department, “Thank you for the grant we received a few years back to purchase the ‘Rescue Alive’ ice sled. We used this sled to make a successful rescue of an individual that had gone into the Big Sioux River earlier this year. Without the ice sled, this outcome may have been different.”

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The Chamber’s Executive Vice President, Chris McGowan, wrote an article (below) that was printed in the Sunday, July 19 Business section of the Sioux City Journal.

Tragedy and Triumph: The Aftermath of 232 

Occasionally, a single incident defines a person’s reputation or legacy.  For example, Rosa Park’s refusal to surrender her seat on a bus in 1955 or Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon in 1969. 

Likewise, communities are sometimes similarly recognized and draw their primary identity from a single incident or event.  Such is the case with Woodstock, New York which will be forever tied to the music festival of the same name. 

From time to time, I am asked if Sioux City enjoys a comparable distinction.  In one respect, I think we do.  I believe our community is inextricably linked to the tragedy and aftermath of the events of twenty years ago today. 

As an employee of The Siouxland Initiative, I work closely with local economic development professionals who are committed to creating additional and enhanced employment opportunities for our tri-state region.  My position has taken me from coast to coast and, on one occasion, overseas to recruit new employers to Siouxland.  In this capacity, I work to promote the region and educate people who generally possess limited knowledge of where “Siouxland” is on the map, what our core industries are, how productive are employees are, etc. 

In a nutshell, I have the privilege and responsibility to introduce my hometown to others. 

In so doing, I regularly explain that I am from Sioux City, Iowa and represent the tri-state area of Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota.  Frequently and recurrently, I am asked, “Isn’t that where that terrible plane crash occurred?”  After an affirmative response, a typical follow-up conversation might go something like this. 

“That was the crash where they were able to videotape the airplane as it cart-wheeled down the runway in a fireball, right?” 

“Yes, United Flight 232 on July 19, 1989,” I’d reply. 

“And didn’t the pilot and air crew do an amazing job flying without any flight controls?” 

“Yes, Captain Al Haynes and his crew miraculously maintained rudimentary control of the aircraft after all three hydraulic systems were severed by the metal fragments of a disintegrating jet engine.” 

“Oh yeah, and after the plane crashed into that cornfield, weren’t there an amazing number of survivors?” 

“Yes, there were 296 souls on board and tragically 112 lost their lives, but 184 survived in large part due to the skill of the flight crew and the competence of the thousands of trained personnel who responded to the crash on the ground.” 

“Of course, of course.  I remember that famous photograph of the pilot carrying that little boy out of the cornfield.” 

“That was Col. Denny Nielsen and the famous photograph by Gary Anderson of the Sioux City Journal appeared on front pages and magazine covers all over the world.  At the time, Col. Nielsen was an A-7 fighter pilot with the 185th Tactical Fighter Wing of the Iowa Air National Guard.  You may remember his famous response upon being asked what it felt like to save the boy’s life, ‘God saved that boy, I just carried him,’ Nielsen explained.” 

“Wow, now that’s humility.  Didn’t they make a film about this starring Charlton Heston, James Coburn and John-Boy from the Walton’s.” 

“Yes, they initially called the made for television movie “Crash Landing: The Rescue of Flight 232,” but later they simply titled it “A Thousand Heroes.” 

“A Thousand Heroes is absolutely right.  I remember the movie’s depiction of the incredible response from the community; the military, the firefighters, hospitals, doctors and nurses, disaster response personnel, volunteers, and blood donors.  Everyone was simply amazing!” 

“I was out of town when the crash occurred, but I cannot tell you how proud I am to call Sioux City home and to know that people around the country, like you, still recognize and remember our community’s response to that tragic crash.” 

Two decades removed from that day, Sioux City is certainly known for other things as well, but after traveling extensively to promote our community, I have found that many people still associate Sioux City with our response to United Flight 232.  As one reporter recently wrote… “the tragedy, along with the community’s heroic rescue effort, is anything but forgotten.”  People from Sioux City and all of the surrounding communities who responded to that disaster should know that their actions defined Siouxland, for many, as a community of decent and caring people who possess a cooperative and “can-do” spirit. 

Twenty years ago, the United Flight 232 tragedy revealed the true character of the citizens of our Siouxland communities.  Long known as humble, hardworking, and honest, on July 19, 1989, the world witnessed compassion, courage, and competence from countless individuals and organizations who instinctively understood the importance of selflessly serving others in their hour of greatest need.

As Captain Al Haynes, portrayed by the late Charlton Heston, states in the movie, “Of all the places in America we could have landed, I thank God it was here.”

Marketing Monday

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Today’s marketing tip is a reminder to listen. Are you listening while using social media, or just yelling your message? Knowing what people are saying about you is just as important as what you have to say to them.

Here are a few tips for learning how to listen on the web:

  • Monitor your reputation. Reputation management programs allow you to see what is being said about you and your company. Programs vary, but the majority allow you to mark content where you are mentioned as either positive, negative, neutral, or your own content.
  • Answer questions. For those using Twitter this is essential. Use @ replies to answer questions about topics your business specializes in. This builds your social media credibility and could possibly get you a sale. Not using Twitter? http://labs.wordtracker.com/ allows you to find what phrases are searched for key words relevant to your organization. (i.e. Here at the Chamber we search for phrases that include Siouxland Chamber)
  • Look for ways to help. Google has a feature that allows you to search blog content. This is allows you to find people who are talking about a topic relevant to your business. A few examples, search for people moving to the area, looking for places to eat, day care available, local events, etc. Once you find what you’re looking for comment on the blog to start a conversation.

Remembering United 232: The Nation’s Response

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Yesterday you saw how Siouxland responded to the United 232 crash, today we’re looking at how the nation responded to Siouxland. Following the crash letters started to flood city hall.

  • The city of Midland, Texas, picked Sioux City as the recipient of its Community Spirit Award for 1989. The award was presented by President George Bush, a former Midland resident, in the Oval Office.
  • United 232 survivor David Landsberger “The openness, hospitality, warmth and simple caring that each and every person I met showed me, was more restoring than anything else that I could have had. Each of us survivors needed our faith in life given back to us, and the citizens of Sioux City were the ones who gave it to us.”
  • President George Bush “I am sure I speak for many when I commend the extraordinary efforts of the airport personnel, rescue teams, National Guardsmen, and local citizens who rushed to the crash scene to offer aid. The compassion and generosity demonstrated by the entire Sioux City community in the wake of this catastrophe has been overwhelming.”
  • Former Secretary of Transportation, Samuel K. Skinner “From helping victims at the scene, to donating blood and food, to just being there to hold someone’s hand and provide support your response to this tragic situation typified what America is all about. You did all of this not for the money or for headlines; you did it because it typified the spirit of the heartland of America. You did it because it was the right thing to do.”

Countless letters from mayors across the country, and average citizens were sent to the people of Sioux City. Several newspapers, including the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times, praised Siouxland. No matter how many years pass since this tragedy, Siouxland’s response will not be forgotten.