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Legislators Chuck Soderberg (House District 3), Christopher Rants (House District 54), Roger Wendt (House District 2), and Steven Warnstadt (Senate District 1) joined us for a legislative wrap-up at the Chamber this morning. Each shared highlights of the session and their opinion of what is to come.

Warnstadt spoke first highlighting some of the legislation that was pasted this session. He said that community attraction and tourism efforts will help Sioux City. Warnstadt also said that the Historic Tax Credits bill will be beneficial for Siouxland.

Wendt said that disaster relief was a big focus of the session and will continue. He did highlight preschool education saying that 90 percent of kids (age 3-4) could attend preschool right now if they wanted.

Rants spoke about the downfalls he saw this session. “We made it tougher on small business,” he said. He also said that there is an attitude that we don’t want people to know what we’re doing and that has to change. Rants spoke highly of the Highway 20 project and said that things are always moving forward even if we can’t see it.

Soderberg discussed the bonding issue, and summed up the session by saying that essentially we had less revenue but increased spending. He also said that now is not the time to push labor bills such as choice of doctor and collective bargaining for teachers.

Legislation passed this session to date:

  • Data Centers – SF 478 (Chamber supported)
  • Fright Rail Investment – HF 822 (Chamber supported)
  • Historic Tax Credits – SF 481 (Chamber supported)
  • Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center Funding – HF 811 (Chamber supported)
  • Renewable Energy R & D Tax Credit – SF 478 (Chamber supported)
  • Research Credit – SF 483
  • Targeted Jobs Withholding Tax Credit – SF 304 (Chamber supported)
  • Transportation Appropriations – HF 805 (Chamber supported)
  • Vision Iowa (CAT & RECAT Funding) – SF 376 (Chamber supported)

A complete Iowa Legislative Wrap-Up will be sent to all Chamber members once the governor’s timetable for signing bills ends next week.

Meet New Chamber Member: Drug Screen Consultants


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IMG_1531Welcome to the Chamber’s newest member Drug Screen Consultants inc. Amy Trosper, owner and drug test consultant, spoke about her new business at a Ribbon Cutting and Open House held at the Chamber today.

Drug Screen Consultants inc. is a national company that helps businesses and parents find and confront drugs in their office and home. Services include in office drug screenings, assessment of substances found, and programming to help keep businesses drug-free.

Visit for more information about the services and benefits of Drug Screen Consultants for your business.

Spend Locally Siouxland Commercial


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The Siouxland Chambers own Debi Durham (President), and Chris McGowan (Siouxland Initiative) along with Rich Waller (President & CEO) of Security National Bank were featured in a CableONE Advertising commercial about the local economy.  The commercial encourages siouxlanders to look inward and spend locally.  In the harsh economic times carefully spending and buying locally will help get us through.  Our economy will continue to grow while we spend.[youtube=]

“Stay Confident Siouxland” 🙂

Welcome to Six New Ambassadors


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Six new Ambassadors were selected to join the Chamber’s ribbon cutting, open house attending, Siouxland promoting, organization.Green Jacket copy Look for these new Ambassadors in their green jackets at events around Siouxland.

  • Julie Adam – Sales Manager, Stoney Creek Inn and Conference Center
  • Jeffrey Ajer – Assistant Performance Manager, Northwest Airlines
  • Tracy Lambertsen – Manager/Owner, Iwire Electronics
  • Seth Major – Partner/Agent, Strategic Financial Group
  • Heather Marreel – Director of Recruitment, Siouxland Community Blood Bank
  • Mary Ann Sargent – Field Manager, AAA Minnesota/Iowa

Congratulations to these new Ambassadors!

Sioux City Tourism Video


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At the Tourism Day Luncheon this past Monday the State Tourism Director, Nancy Landess, showed the Sioux City promotional video that is being played in both Chicago and Minneapolis markets.

Take a look at how Sioux City was highlighted.

Scholarship Money and a Tiara Too


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Know any local young women that could use some scholarship money for college next year?

The Port of Sioux City River-Cade Association annually holds a royalty competition that has awarded over $200,000 in scholarship money to young women throughout Siouxland.

Last year I was selected as a River-Cade Princess. I recieved a $3,000 scholarship, but beyond that have helped promote River-Cade and Siouxland through parades, luncheons, and other social events. The experience has been one of kind, and I look forward to the River-Cade festival July 15-19.n16917798_37326621_5387

I encourage all local, female high school graduates (graduating seniors 2009 this includes you too) to apply. Applications are due May 31st. SarahSignature copy

“Sioux City SUX” the next “Keep Austin Weird”


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“Sioux City SUX” is the next “Keep Austin Weird”.  Sioux City has recently adopted this whole Sioux City SUX slogan.  It’s popping up all over town, on t-shirts, signs, etc.  Just the abbreviation “SUX” is increasingly popular.  If you fly in or out of town your airport code is “SUX”.  Some may think of this tag line as unflattering but its really isn’t all that bad.   The Sioux Gateway Airport is encouraging their code by there “Fly SUX” Advertising.  The slogan is a great way to remember your airport code, I bet its a lot easier to remember Sioux City’s code than others.

Before the Sioux City SUX, started there was the “Keep Austin Weird”.  This was a slogan that Austin adopted sometime around 2003.  The slogans purpose was just that, they didn’t want Austin to be perceived as this big commercialized, over- developed city.  The slogan helps people realize that Austin, no matter how much it grows like other metros, will still be unique.

These Slogans are great ways for our Cities to have a youthful and edgy feel.  The slogans are not made to bash or mock but to be fun and catchy.  Sioux City is doing well with its tag-lines Sioux City SUX, Fly SUX, Nightlife SUX, and possibly more to come.

The Intern


Check Out Your Own Backyard


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This afternoon I attended a luncheon and ribbon cutting that officially kicked-off Tourism Week for the state of Iowa. Nancy Landess, State of Iowa Tourism Director, spoke at the Sioux City Convention Center about Iowa’s 6.3 billion dollar travel and tourism industry.

Here are a few things I learned at the event:

  • The growth rate of tourism in Woodbury County is higher than the state growth rate, and the state of Iowa’s tourism growth rate is higher than the national tourism growth rate.
  • Sioux City has partnered with the Iowa Tourism Office and created a television advertisement that plays in Chicago and Minneapolis markets.
  • Current tourism promotions include discounts and prizes through Casey’s and the Iowa Lottery.
  • Landess had many great things to say about tourism in Iowa and Sioux City in particular.

I checked out the Travel Iowa website and it’s definitely something to look into if you haven’t before. The site features just about everything you’ll need for a great vacation here in the state of Iowa. Find upcoming events, places to stay, even road and weather conditions all in one place. (The Casey’s and Iowa Lottery promotions can be found here as well) check it all out at www.traveliowa.comSarahSignature copy


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BusinessRoundtable Header copyEver had to deal with a delinquent account?

Then attend this month’s Business Roundtable Wednesday, 4:00 p.m. at the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce for some great advice.

You will hear Julie Schoenherr, owner consultant of Solutions Consulting, give practical tips on how you can cut out the added stress delinquent accounts can create. Schoenherr has over 15 years experience in the Collection Banking, Third Party Collection and Collection Training industry. Don’t miss the ideas and information to be presented at this month’s event. Email Nicole,, to attend.

As always, all Chamber members are invited to attend Business Roundtables. We hope to see you there.

Take your Coffee with Cream and Networking


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My first week as an intern is coming to an end and today I had my first outing. I attended a South Sioux City Chamber coffee event at the Northeast Community College Business and Industry Training Center. I really had no idea what to expect and was a little nervous to venture out from behind my computer desk. But once we arrived and had the chance to talk with a few business owners, I realized that the “Siouxland spirit” is alive in local businesses.

Everyone I talked to had such a passion for their industry, but beyond that, an overall pride for the Siouxland area. Networking events, such as these weekly coffee events hosted by the South Sioux City Chamber, offer local professionals the opportunity to bounce ideas off each other outside of the typical workspace. After meeting just a few individuals, it was apparent that they have an interest in other local businesses success just as much as their own.

It was exciting to hear about new ideas, plans, and happenings in the community. I hope to continue to be able to highlight these unique stories on the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce blog.

  • Want to be featured on our blog?
  • Send me,,  an interesting fact about your industry or business, employee highlight, 5 creative reasons to work for your business, or unique stories that might not make more conventional news.SarahSignature copy