The Life of Siouxland- The First Bride


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To be able to truly appreciate anything, you have to appreciate where it came from and the heritage that surrounds it.  I enjoy looking at history and thinking about a time when the luxuries that we have today are stripped away.  Also to link an historical time line together and see something come from basically nothing, to a Siouxland that is thriving today.

Over the course, of the next six weeks we are going to look back at special and interesting events that many Siouxlanders may know nothing about.  I encourage you to interact with others and myself as we take a jog back in time…

Located at South Ravine Park there is a grave monument.  This monument pays tribute to the “First Bride.”  The first bride was Rosalie Menard Leonais and she Rosalie attained that title because she was believed to be the first bride to wed a non-native American in the area that would become Sioux City.

The Woodbury County Pioneer Club built The First Bride’s Grave Monument in 1938 and it has been located at the Park ever since.  It is located in a corner of the park and a small trail with a few steps lead to the grave.

Rosalie’s family moved to the Perry Creek & the Missouri River in the 1850’s.  She was the daughter of a French/Canadian fur trader Louis Menard and his wife, Native American, Klanhaywin.

Upon arrival, the family met a man name Joseph Leonais little did they know that their daughter would soon be wed to him.  He was also a French/Canadian fur trapper who settled down in the area.  Shortly, after them meeting they were married by a traveling priest and at the time Rosalie was just a teenager and Joseph in his late twenties.

They built a home where they had four children and the location if found today would be in the 2nd and Water Street neighborhood where they spent the newlywed years.  Later on, they moved to a farm along the Floyd River and as many mothers did back then, she died giving birth to a child at a young age.  Rosalie was only 27 years old when she gave birth to her son William.

Tune in next Friday as we will continue the series ‘The Life of Siouxland,’ and don’t even try to guess what historical event I am going to pick next, because it is kind of which ever way the wind blows…

Have a great weekend Siouxland!  Plus, you get Monday off  so go do something fun!


It’s a Birthday Party at the Chamber


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Chamber Birthday PartyAt the Siouxland Chamber things move fast. Whether its working to help promote a new business to the area, following up on correspondence from our legislators or working on ways to better the community, its likely when you step into our office, you’ll see people on the move. As hard as we work, we also find time to take a break for special occasions.

It’s a tradition in the office that on each of our employees’ birthdays, we “surprise” the lucky employee with treats or snacks and sing Happy Birthday. If the employee is really fortunate, they might even  have several chamber staff break out their birthday kazoos and hum alongside the singing.  This morning we celebrated our Intern, Ian’s birthday with donuts and bran muffins. Of course, what birthday is complete without the traditional birthday tablecloth. This tradition is just one way that staff can take a break and get to know each other. There are many ways businesses celebrate special events and these can be a great way to build staff relations and moral. Do you or your company have any traditions regularly celebrated? We’d love to hear from you,  post a comment below and share your office celebration stories.

Have a great holiday weekend,

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

Chamber Trivia, One Last Time


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As sad as it may seem, this is the last week of Chamber Trivia.  We appreciate everyone who has participated in our trivia contests over the last few weeks.

Now, let’s finish some unsettled business with revealing the answer to the last question…

Question for the Week: What anniversary is the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce celebrating this year?

Answer: 135 years!

Trivia Logo

Oh what a great 135 years it has been!  We have been privileged to serve the community and hopefully we can keep tacking on many more years in the future.

Once again, we appreciate everyone who participated and hope you had some fun and enjoyed the tickets to the Friday on the Promenade Concert Series.

Have a great Thursday Siouxland!


101 Ways to Take Advantage of the Chamber


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Round two of the special series we’re doing down at the Chamber takes center stage today.

This series, ‘101 Ways to Take Advantage of the Chamber has really put me to work.  I love it.  I love to see you taking advantage of the Chamber & checking into this blog site and using some of the resources we have to offer.  Continue to let me know what you think and tell your friends and family the benefits of the Chamber & the positive things we have going on in Siouxland.

Let’s dive right in

11) Commitment– Down at the Chamber we have an open phone, open mail, open door, open building policy.  Call us, shoot us an e-mail, send us a letter with your trained pigeon etc.  Have your business become a member and we will do everything we can to help you get it the exposure it needs.

12) Where to live–  Perhaps your strolling along this website and you’re considering moving to Siouxland, great!  We will do anything and everything in our power to tell you the lay and the land.

13) Business Roundtable- I love this one.  It’s what it is all about networking, getting informed and building relationships.  We bring in motivational speakers, business figure heads, and community leaders all to help you.

Mattitude with Matt Booth; A featured Business Roundtable Event

Mattitude with Matt Booth; A featured Business Roundtable Event

14) Annual Dinner– You know what?  It’s coming up, we offer a discount for members and we have a social hour, a keynote speaker and a dinner.  It harbors the right environment for businessmen and businesswomen alike to get together for a social night intertwined with business networking.

15) Golf- Not Tiger Woods?  Okay you can’t play…..No just kidding, but we do have a Chamber Golf Classic that brings together long ranking members with new members and allows us all to unwind and have a great time.

16) Community EnhancementsThis is really special, because it allows businesses to give back and be an integral part in building on the community that they live in.  Join with the Chamber and its members to develop quality-of-life projects around Siouxland.

17) Government Relations- We all know business & politics go hand in hand.  If you don’t here you go, I wrote about in the weeks past… .  This is where the Chamber can help the community lobby for pro-business legislation that will enhance the vitality of Siouxland and promote growth.

Business After Hours on Morningside College Campus

Business After Hours on Morningside College Campus

18) Business After Hours- Do you eat, breathe, sleep business?  Or do you just want to get to know the other Chamber members after work some day?  This is the ticket then, this a monthly opportunity hosted by a Chamber member.

19) Side-Kick– Let us be your side-kick, and don’t stand alone.  Studies by The Schapiro Group say that fifty-nine% of consumers think that being active in a local chamber of commerce is an effective business strategy.

20) Gain Favor- When the consumer is aware that a local small business is a member of a chamber they are sixty-three percent more likely to purchase goods from that company in the future.  (The Schapiro Group)

Positively Siouxland-State Champion!


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This week’s Positively Siouxland features Chris Mcgowan discussing local State Champion, Katie Bergdale.  Listen here how she trampled the competition in route to her first state championship at the State Fair!

siouxland chamber

A Place to LIVE


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“Youth is a circumstance you can’t do anything about. The trick is to grow up without getting old.”
~ Frank Lloyd Wright

As the Director of Investor Relations for the Siouxland Chamber I can truly say that this position has allowed me to see business and our community in a new way.  Its my role at the Chamber of Commerce to support and promote existing and new

Northern Hills Assited Living Resident Frances Lelchook shares family photographs of her late husband and herself

Northern Hills Assisted Living Resident Frances Lelchook shares family photographs of her late husband and herself

chamber members. This includes helping businesses celebrate milestones, expansions, new facilities and the like. Last week, I had the opportunity to head out to Northern Hills Assisted Living to help them celebrate their 10 year anniversary in Siouxland. My intent was to interview one of their residents who has lived at Northern Hills since they opened.

The visit turned out to be more than just a residents account of 10 years at Northern Hills. Her story and life experiences were an evident reminder that assisted living facilities are such a huge part of our community and allow people to truly live their lives.

Frances stands in front of a collage that recognizes her as North Hills first resident.

Frances stands in front of a collage that recognizes her as North Hills first resident.

It was obvious to me when I met Frances Lelchook that she is how I want to be when I’m 92; welcoming, kind and a little fiery.  She reminded me very much of my late grandmother, whom I was very close. Instantly, I felt like I had known Frances my entire life and we chatted comfortably about family (she has 52 great grandchildren from two daughters) and her experiences as a native Siouxlander and business owner. When I asked her of her favorite part about living at Northern Hills, her answer was short, yet frank. “I like everything about it,” she said without hesitation. “I don’t have to wash dishes, cook, clean, do the laundry, its really nice.”

As Frances sat visiting with me in her own vintage wing-back chair, I

Gary Troth, Executive Director of Northern Hills and Frances

Gary Troth, Executive Director of Northern Hills and Frances

couldn’t help but think of the many memories and life experiences that senior centers, assisted living facilities and the like are encapsulated with– not to mention our community as a whole! From wars and weddings to summer vacations and those ‘have to see it to believe it’ stories there is a wealth of history right here in Siouxland. Frances and her husband Ben owned Ben’s Thifty Mart (located on W3rd and Sioux) for 50 years. Northern Hills is celebrating 10 years in business and the Siouxland Chamber has been around  for 135 years. Throughout the years it has been, and will continue to be our goal to help business continue to move forward.  But, sometimes on a sunny Friday afternoon in August its nice to look back.

-Beth Trejo, Siouxland Chamber of Commerce

Marketing Monday


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“We cherish our customers so much we have not just a good deal, but a great deal…”

“Did anyone see the Govt. is starting a Cash for Clunkers program, what does that mean for you…

“What a great day! Once again down here at (company name) we appreciate your business”

“Answer (company name) trivia question and receive the chance to get 50% off your next purchase…”

What are these examples of?  Yes, you guessed they are TWEETS!

Last week we tackled the importance of using Facebook for your business and this week Twitter gets its time to shine on Marketing Monday.

Twitter and Facebook are two of the most important social media tools you can use to gain recognition, build reputation and attract customers.  Twitter, compared to Facebook, is really a whole different animal in itself and can be used in a lot of different ways.twitter-bird

One thing that I really admire and have noticed in a lot of successful people is that they are always connected.  Whether it be through personal interaction, on the phone, through email etc., they always have a way of always having enough time to respond to people.  That is how I view Twitter; a social community where people are always connecting and sharing ideas and spreading news.

So, how do you use it?

Well, Twitter is a lot easier to get started as opposed to Facebook and a lot easier to ‘get connected.’  When you log onto you will be requested to enter your name, username, set up a password and give an email where updates can be sent (you can opt out of these).  Then it will ask for your e-mail password and if you have an address book with a lot of e-mails stored it will load all the names and search for them on Twitter.  This will build the base almost instantly, because Twitter will automatically follow them.  Next, Twitter will throw together some random people you could follow that are either some celebrity or some high-traffic businesses that a lot of other fellow “tweeters” like.

twitter-128x128Okay, your ready to roll and the page is set up, now ‘how the heck do I  tweet?’ You can go to your profile and  provide a picture if you would like or in the info section under setting you can put in a small, concise statement about you or the company. Then, in the “What are you doing?” section you can say something like (i.e.), “just setting out our fabulous product and getting ready for a great Monday.”  Right after that statement provide a link to click on that will drive to your company’s website.

Providing a link to something is vital. Whether it be to your blog, to the Facebook page or the website using this key component is necessary for recognition of your product.

What does follow and following mean?

Good question.  Basically, it means the same things as having friends on Faceboook, but on Twitter friends can be a one-way or two-way street.  Someone could click on your name and follow you, but if you didn’t know them or think that their name was appropriate just don’t “follow” them or “block” them.  The whole idea of Twitter is to get the most followers and follow a bunch of people.  It’s social networking on steroids.

The next step, is to go into your settings and enter your mobile device to receive updates via text message.  This way, you can see who is following you instantly and update your Twitter page while your away from your computer; once again, staying connected.

I obviously didn’t tap into absolutely everything you can do with Twitter, but I did get most of the basics.  Remember if anyone needs any help setting up their account on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media tool don’t hesitate to contact the Chamber and we will get you set up.  Once again, have a great week Siouxland!


Chamber Trivia


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Great job last week on the Trivia question. Either people are really smart in the Sioux City Metro..or just know how to research the internet. I’d like to think a little of both 🙂

What anniversary is the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce celebrating this year?Trivia Logo Siouxland

Reveal the Answer!


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Question for the Week:

Sioux City, Iowa was the first FICTIONAL home office for what late show comedian?

Answer: David Letterman!david-letterman

Congratulations to this week’s winner Nick Buth! 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.comDonate a prize and be featured on our blog.

101 Ways to Take Advantage of the Chamber


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In the upcoming weeks, we will be doing a series on 101 Ways we are at your service.  You could be a new member of the Chamber, a long-standing member or a business who just doesn’t know if they want to get involved, because you don’t know the benefits.

Here at the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce we are all about service.  It is our job to help your business grow and thrive in this community.  Let us help you and over the course of this series if you see some ways that you could benefit from the Chamber, don’t hesitate to take advantage of these opportunities.

1) Get on the list! The Business Directory list that is, this list will include your business info and website link.  This online directorychamber_site receives over 500 hits per month.

2) Take advantage of me!!! Take advantage of my job, send us a blog and we will title it as “a guest article.”  We want to help promote your business and if you have an interesting or entertaining story to tell, let us (and everyone) know!

3) Displays–  Take advantage of our display in our high traffic lobby, which is exclusive to all members.

4) Recognition–  Gain recognition in the Siouxland Business Journal during a Ribbon Cutting, chamber anniversary, or when you become a new investor.

5) Get included in our newsletter “e-blast” that reaches all 2,000 member investors and representatives.

6) Free Advertising–  As a thank you for your first year of membership, receive $200 worth of free advertising on Powell Broadcasting stations JACK FM or Y101.3.

7) Social Media- Use us, to help set up your Facebook fan page for your business.  Just give me a jingle and I would be more than welcome to walk you through it.

8) Blog- Use the tips provided on our blog to better equip your company.

9) Support- Let us be the resource for your toughest business questions…if we don’t know we will point you in the right direction.

10) Welcome to Siouxland- When recruiting new employees, we can assist you in showcasing the community.  We also have newcomer packets and all the up-to-date regional information available right in our office.