Rowing on the River


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Dan Cook interview with Siouxland Chamber Social Media Intern Sarah

Dan Cook interview with Siouxland Chamber Social Media Intern Sarah

On April 6, 2009, 38 year-old Dan Cook, Executive Director of Rivers of Recovery, launched his 17.2-foot dory from Three Forks, Montana and began rowing down the Missouri River heading towards the Gulf of Mexico.  Rivers of Recovery is a not-for-profit organization which provides recreational rehabilitation trips to disabled veterans and their families. Cook’s current rowing expedition, also known as the “Heart of America Campaign,” is a solo rowing trip that will cover more than 3,700 miles to raise awareness and funding for disabled veterans.  

Yesterday, after rowing 1,589 of those miles, Cook made a stop in Siouxland.  When Chamber President Debi Durham learned that he would be stopping in Siouxland she immediately pledged support, including offering him a hotel room, which he politely declined. “We want to support Dan and his cause in any way that we can,” Durham said. 

Cook spent part of his day at the Chamber offices where he discussed his trip, and explained why programs for disabled veterans are needed even after they check out of the VA hospital.  “Recovery doesn’t end when they are discharged from the VA hospital.  These veterans made a commitment to us while they served their time, and now we have a commitment to help them rehabilitate,” Cook stated. 

Cook said that weather has been his biggest challenge so far. “My only concern was cold weather, and keeping adequate warmth,” Cook said.  “Head winds on major reservoirs have also been difficult.”  Despite the many difficulties, Cook said that getting attention for disabled veterans is worth the challenge.  Cook’s journey will proceed down the Missouri River to the Mississippi River and end at the Gulf of Mexico on approximately June 30, 2009.  He will then return to Utah to work directly with veterans and his Rivers of Recovery program through the end of September. 

For more information and to follow Dan’s expedition online, please visit

To learn more about Dan’s visit to Siouxland check out Man on a Mission and Rowing the Missouri For a Cause from the Sioux City Journal.


Social Media Intern

Meet the Newest Intern


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Hi, my name is Sarah and I’ll be a social media intern with the Chamber this summer. I am a senior at Iowa State University majoring in journalism and mass communication. I’m a Sioux City native and happy to be home. The Chamber’s blog and networking has really taken off, and I’m excited to be a part of it all.


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MemberSpotlight2 copyHeidman Law Firm partner, Jeff Wright, was featured in this month’s The Iowa Lawyer for his years of involvement in both sports and the legal profession.

Wright, a Hull native and former Boyden-Hull basketball player, began officiating basketball games while he was a student at Northwestern College in Orange City. He said it was a way to stay involved with the sport at the college level. While Wright attended the University of Iowa College of Law he kept his license active, yet officiated only two games due to the demand of his schedule.

After joining the Heidman Law Firm as an associate in 1998, Wright returned to officiating high school basketball. Wright was active as a referee until the 2004 and 2005 seasons when he took a break to spend time with his wife and two young sons. However, he couldn’t say away long. Wright made his return to the court for the 2006 basketball season and has been officiating over since.

Wright said that he can see a few similarities between practicing law and officiating, but that the two are usually much different. “While I’m practicing law, I’m advocating for our clients in front of a decision maker,” Wright said. “When I’m officiating, I am the decision maker.”

 Wright hopes to continue refereeing for a few more years, but wants to be involved with his kids’ activities.


Social Media Intern

Chamber to Tweet Governors Visit to Siouxland


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Do you wish you could be at Chamber Events but have a hard time leaving your desk? It is our intent to keep members connected and we are going to (attempt) to make that a little easier thanks to Twitter. For the first time at the Chamber I will be using  twitter by cell phone to continuously update during the Governors visit to Sioux City at 11:30/11:45 today. If you are not familiar with Twitter (or don’t have an interest in it at all) you can log on to our blog and my “tweets” should display on the right hand side of the blog. If you do have a twitter account, feel free to follow me as username tre_beth. Cross your fingers that I don’t have technical difficulties–and get cell phone reception in the Baderow Building!

Beth Trejo-

Director of Investor Relations, Siouxland Chamber of Commerce

New Green Coats Official-Flair Welcomed


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green-jacket-copyThe next time you attend a ribbon cutting or open house, pay close attention to those unique individuals in all their green splendor. Wearing the green coats at Chamber events  is not a highly contagious fashion trend, but the intent of Ambassadors to extend welcome and support to members of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce. Why are the coats green you may ask? Put simply, green is the color of money or economic development . Green is also represents physical growth and prosperity, all of which we are working for in the Sioux City Metro. Now what about the flair? Flair is not-so-technically defined as the pins or decorations adorning the Ambassadors’ coats. If you ask some of our experienced chamber Ambassadors about each of their pins, they can tell you stories regarding that business or Siouxland event. You can tell a lot about an Ambassadors by simply looking at what decorates their green coat.

As a part of the Ambassador process, new prospects have a 90 day introductory period where they get to see what it’s like being an Ambassador for the Siouxland Chamber. Once that time has passed and they feel like it is a good fit, they can officially stock up on flair and try on their green coat. Yesterday, four individuals completed their introductory period. The “official” new Ambassadors are now suited up and ready to represent the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce. A huge THANK YOU to their employers, our Chamber Members, for allowing the Ambassadors time away from work in order to promote the growth of the Sioux City Metro Area. Please pass on your company pins and ribbons to our new ambassadors so they can add their own “flair” to their green coats. 


-Beth Trejo

Director of Investor Relations, Siouxland Chamber


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Did you know changes are in the works for Iowa laws regarding septic tanks?  If you’re planning to buy or sell an Iowa property with a septic tank in the future, you’ll need to be aware of the new “Time of Transfer” laws.  When choosing a real estate agent, make sure they have been trained on the new law so they can further assist you to understand the law’s implications.  If you have more questions, feel free to call us at 712-224-2300 and speak with one of our residential real estate agents or email us at

Virginia Anderson | Project Manager | 306 Virginia Street, Ste A, Sioux City, IA  51101


The Siouxland Initiative Recognized Amongst the Nation’s Best


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For the second year in a row The Siouxland Initiative (TSI), the economic development arm of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce, has been recognized as one of the Top Ten Local Economic Development Groups in the nation for 2008. Today, the annual rankings were announced at the Industrial Asset Management Council’s (IMAC) semi-annual conference in Asheville, North Carolina. There to accept the award was TSI President Debi Durham and Executive Vice President Chris McGowan. The two accepted the award in front of around 500 corporate real estate executives, site selection consultants, and economic development professionals.

The economic development groups were ranked by four different types of criteria. The Criteria included: creation of new jobs, new jobs per 10,000 residents, the dollar amount of new capital investment, and new investment per 10,000 residents. Other factors like innovation, leadership, and customer service were taken into consideration.

Many people might not realize what a prestigious award this is for the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce and the Siouxland area. Just to name a few of the other top ten’s: The Greater Houston Partnership of Texas, The Dayton Development Coalition of Ohio, and World Business of Chicago. As you can see the Siouxland Chamber is sizing up very well around the nation in terms of economic development. In the economy we live in today, an award like this means a lot because it shows that the TSI is working hard to bring jobs and opportunities to the Siouxland Area. Being part of the Siouxland Chamber, I’m proud to see all the hard work  paying off for The Siouxland Initiative and look forward to the continual growth of the region.

The Intern,


Evie’s Hallmark Bursts with Color & Fun


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Congratulations are in order for bringing spring (and color) indoors at Evie’s Hallmark in Sioux City. 

Ribbon Cutting Evie's Hallmark 4.30.09A Ribbon Cutting was held by the Siouxland Chamber today to celebrate the opening of a new location for Evie’s Hallmark in the Marketplace Plaza. I was impressed to learn that Evie’s is one of the largest gift retailers in the Midwest. Not only do they have their signature cards and accessories, but they have home goods and unique items perfect for gift giving. We’re excited to have Evie and her team involved with the Chamber!

Blogging For Bloggers


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We’re getting linked up!  We have just recently added a new link portion to our blog. The link or blogroll is located on the right side at the bottom of all our widgets.  We have a few other friends that have great blogs to check out.  We have a link to the Sioux City Journal blog which has a number of different topics and feature bloggers “It’s not just news”.  typing-on-a-keyboardAnother link is the Pro-Link Realty blog, they have lots of different post on things from steps to selling your house in the right market to what the nations mortgage rates are looking like.  Lastly we have a link to Night Life SUX, they have all the necessary information you need to know on getting your night life started in the Siouxland area.  We’ll being adding more links in the future so don’t forget to check it out.

*If your a member of the  Siouxland Chamber with a blog and want to be linked up  just let us know!

The Intern