Keeping Siouxland FULL-filled

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For many, the thought of your next meal is just that–a thought. But for hundreds of people in our community hunger is Food Bank of Siouxlandsomething mothers, brothers and children live with sometimes on a daily basis. I had a chance to sit down with Linda Scheid the Executive Director at the Siouxland Food Bank yesterday. Although I was familiar with what the food bank does(provides food to Agencies who then distribute), I didn’t realize the large area they serve–14 counties!

Linda also described to me the need for volunteers and financial supporters. This past year they took advantage of the Chamber mailing list (a perk available to Chamber members!) and sent out a request to help with their Backpack Program. From that mailing list alone they were able to generate over $10,000 toward feeding the hungry in Siouxland. As a Chamber dedicated to improving the community, that’s music to our ears:-)

-Beth Trejo

Director of Investor Relations, Siouxland Chamber of Commerce

Earth Day 2009

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Earth Day

Every little bit helps!
It’s Earth Day and everywhere around the world people are doing there part whether it be drive less, leave the lights off, clean up a part of town, or recycle.  The fight for a clean environment continues. We invite you to be a part of history and a part of Earth Day. Here are some easy steps you can take on Earth Day that we are doing here at the chamber.

At the Office:
• Recycle paper – do you have a separate “Recycle” waste basket at your desk just for office paper, envelopes, junk mail, magazines, etc?
• Recycle cardboard -do not throw cardboard boxes away! Flatten them and then recycle.
• Eliminate unnecessary photocopying
• Do you really need to print that e-mail? If not, save paper by saving the e-mail into a file on your computer for future reference.

At Home:
• Plant a tree
• Replace air conditioner/furnace filters as recommended.
• Keep your tires properly inflated, saves on rubber and roads
• Use a low-flow showerhead
• Use cold water to wash clothes.
• Keep your water heater insulated
• Turn off what you’re not using and unplug electronics you’re not using.
• Run your dishwasher only when it’s full

Now go out and do something about it!
The Intern
Zach-

Thanks for the Compliment

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An April 19 article in Sioux Falls’ newspaper, Argus Leader, generated some great reader comments. Sioux City, Sioux Falls might fight for Morrell had readers voicing opinions on whether Sioux City or Sioux Falls should be the potential site for a new John Morrell plant that would join together current Sioux City and Sioux Falls operations. Here’s a quote from sdagent777, a 40-year-old male from Sioux Falls:

It seems like the Sioux City area is getting everything. Like that new gas plant by Elk Point is so close to the Sioux City metro. And now this pork stuff possibly. And do you ever notice when you drive around down there and go through town, they are suppose to be half our population, but they have bigger buildings, like a city? How come we don’t have big tall buildings yet? And they have the Huge Tyson Events Center. That thing is huge. How come we don’t have one? Remember all our riches back in the 90’s and 2000’s? There is no reason at all every other town has all these things and we don’t. We should for a city our size, have a 17,000 seat, very nice events center complex, more development along rivers, boating, sand by rivers, tall buildings like Omaha and Sioux City, And a thru-way from SW part of town right through to downtown. Or tran system. Let’s get on the stick.

Thanks for the compliments, sdagent777! Sioux City IS a progressive town and there might be more big, tall buildings to come. However, Sioux City and Sioux Falls share more similarities than differences and both should be considered great places to live.

-Alicia the intern

 

April Business Roundtable-Human Factors

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Every month the Siouxland Chamber holds a Business Roundtable designed to educate and connect chamber members with other business professionals in the area. The business roundtable presentation is open to all chamber members and will be held on Monday, April 27th from 12:00-1:00 at the Siouxland Chamber. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to nthompson@siouxlandchamber.com.

It is our pleasure to have Tony Olson of D2 speak on the topic of Human Factors at the next business roundtable. Human Factors is defined as a methodology for evaluating and designing products and services to promote efficient and effective human interaction. What that means to our chamber members is simple– expert  and creative advice on making your business user-friendly. Take a look at a brief description of the presentation. Hope to you see you there!

Customers do the darndest things! We have all laughed at the case studies that showed some people used their desktop CD tray as a cup holder. Was the problem with the user, with the design or with the communication? Well, if you are concerned about increasing tech support calls, increased product returns, or dissatisfied customers badmouthing your company, you will want to own that problem and correct it. The way to do it is through a Human Factors approach called  “Voice of the Customer”.

This talk will disclose some classical mistakes and then talk about methodologies that can help you get to happy customers.

 

-Beth Trejo
Director of Investor Relations

 

Siouxland Chamber Joins Social Networking

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The Siouxland Chamber has recently been developing itself through Web 2.0 networking in order to reach out and engage with clients and other members of the community. The different types of networks started include: Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Utterli, Youtube, and a blog on WordPress. On these networks the Chamber is able to keep members and friends updated on recent news and events at the click of a button.

The Chamber is always attending meetings, open houses, ribbon cutting and after hours. Flickr allows us to upload pictures from these events and make them available with descriptions for those who were not able to attend. This way no one misses out on the happenings around the area.

Facebook is one of the most commonly used social networks on the internet today. It’s a way to keep in touch with friends and family from all over the world. Facebook contains instant messaging, photos, private messaging, and personal information that can be exchanged to anyone if wanted.

Another social network that has become popular is Twitter. The Chamber has been using this service because it enables its users to send and read other users’ updates. However, when using Twitter, posts can only be up to 140 characters in length. These posts are displayed on the user’s profile page.

LinkedIn is another newly developed social network that focuses more on professional networking. LinkedIn is more business-oriented and centers on maintaining a list of contact details of people they know and trust in business.

The Chamber has been using Utterli, which is used to upload audio messages and files. These audio files include interviews and speeches. A person is able to listen or share these files just by logging on to Utterli.

Youtube is a great site where users can upload, view, and share different video clips. Different videos that are posted consist of movie clips, TV clips, music videos, and user-generated videos. The users are also able to blog and make comments about the videos they watch.

WordPress is a network where users are able to search any blog topic or create their own. What the Chamber has done is created a blog that employees and members are able to learn or talk about any information going on in the Siouxland area.

All of these social networks are helpful and useful in today’s society. The Chamber is excited to join these networks and share them with the public. The Chamber has two interns, myself Zach Andersen, and Alicia Pretwett who are here to answer any questions or inform you of any upcoming events.

 

Check out our profiles!

The Intern,

Zach

Unmasking the Interns

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Zach and Alicia are the interns.

Zach and Alicia are the interns.

Working Hard to Better the Community

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Many of my friends and family ask me “What exactly do you do at the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce?” My short answer is typically that I work with Chamber members to help grow their businesses. The long answer is much more complicated than that. When I go out meeting with businesses, I try to find ways the Chamber can help  promote or gain awareness for their business. Today I met with one of our members and when I asked how we could help, it was clear. The Crittenton Center does a huge amount of good for the community and with all the programs and services offered there, it is important the Chamber gets the word out about why they are so important to the community.

Stella Sandford Child Center

I had a chance to take a tour  of several of the facilities operated by the Crittenton Center. One of which was the Stella Sandford Child Development Center. This center is a collaboration of several  programs committed to increasing access to early childhood education. They offer programs such as the West High Infant Center, preschool & childcare. However to me one of the most significant things they do is offer a place for children of all socio-economic backgrounds, race and cultures to interact, learn and develop together.

I also toured the Westside Resource Center which offers a multitude of  community resources from car seat safety to parenting classes. After speaking to their director, I learned that 92% of those that utilize the resource center make less than $20,000 a year with 76% of those making less than $10,000 annually. Trying to visualize living on $10,000 a year seems personally overwhelming. However, its comforting to know that like so many nonprofits in our community,  people are out there working hard to better Siouxland.

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

Low Unemployment in Sioux City is Great Timing for Graduating Students

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this time last year unemployment rates were higher for the month of February than this past February. Now I know that low unemployment rates are always good, but Sioux City’s low rates are amongst the top for the nation. Out of 372 metropolitan areas, only twenty cities have less unemployment than Sioux City. Sioux City has a low rate of 5.0 percent unemployment where as fourteen areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent.

This article may not touch home for everyone, but from my personal opinion low unemployment rates are very important to me. I’m currently a senior at Morningside College patiently waiting to graduate this May. With all the talk of people being laid off, or the job market narrowing by the day, statistics like this can make a “kid” feel a little bit better about where he is at. Every college student dreams of landing a job right after graduation, and with lower unemployment numbers that dream could be a little easier. Because of Sioux City’s  job market, students who are looking to find a job have numerous options after graduation. Also, Sioux City has been focusing on turning the historical area downtown into more living and work space which increases the amount of jobs within the city as well as makes it a great place for a new graduate to live.  This is also helping lower the unemployment rates, which is encouraging to college students, as well as everyone.  Sioux City is making efforts to ensure that there are employment options for its citizens.

Entire Article

 

-Zach the Intern

Golf Classic Commercial Shoot

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It’s a good thing goosebumps don’t show on camera..

We picked today to film the commercial for the 17th Annual Golf Classic thinking it would be a bright sunny day, perfect for an outdoor commercial. We were wrong about the sunny weather, but right about the television personalities. Both Larry and Cindy our 2009 Golf Classic Chairs did a great job with the commercial despite the chilly weather.

A special thanks to KCAU for taping the commercial and guiding us along the way. Can’t wait to see everyone on the course, Monday June 22nd at the Chamber Golf Classic!

Siouxland Chamber Golf Classic Commercial Shoot 4.9.09.jpgSiouxland Chamber Golf Classic Commercial Shoot 4.9.09.jpgSiouxland Chamber Golf Classic Commercial Shoot 4.9.09.jpg

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GH0ZxCctzx0&feature=channel_page]

Beth Trejo

Director of Investor Relations, Siouxland Chamber

We’re Happier than You :)

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According to the new Happiness Index, from mainstreet.com, Nebraskans are the most cheery of us all. Why did the Cornhusker State rank the highest on the national happiness scale? Overall, it ranked 2nd in lowest number foreclusures, 2nd in lowest unemployment rates and 5th in lowest percentage of non-mortgage debt by income. The Happiness Index factors in these variables to determine which states are doing the best in this time of economic distress. The midwest came out on top. Locally, Nebraska was number 1 while Iowa ranked 2nd and South Dakota ranked 8th overall.

Mainstreet.com is a business and financial news and advice website. They plan on updating the Happiness Index monthy. Can Nebraska stay on top with its corn production economy or will the ill-fated talk of ethanol play out and effect the state? In the meantime, rejoice with the midwest and check out the Happiness Index for yourself at http://tiny.cc/zOscV

-Alicia the intern