Okanogan Chamber of Commerce
February 14, 2018
Bess Derting, Janet Culp, Maria Lassilla, Leone Reinbold, Sharon Talley, Roxanne Best, Bryan Cook, Chanelle Black, Monica Desautel, Pam Fancher, Cris Klimeck, Stacey LaDoux, Judy Kawahara, Rae Jean Kelley, Ashley Goetz, Irene Jordan (Worksource), Brent Yusi
Call to Order: 12:05pm by Bess Derting
Membership (2018): 38
Minutes: Stacey Moved to approve minutes; Cris seconded motion, approved Unanimously.
Treasurer’s report: Checking account has $22,331.70; Dues that have come in so far total $3,375.00.
Bess announced that Roxanne Best will be leaving the position of Recreation Coordinator at the end of February and will be moving on to pursue other exciting ventures, but will be staying in the area, at least for now. Roxanne has agreed to help apply for the permits for the 2018 Okanogan events before she goes. Bess also informed members that the Chamber is looking to fill the Coordinator position as quickly as possible with the right candidate and asked members to share the news.
- Volunteer Time Tracker form: Bess discussed the time tracker forms and explained how they work. Chanelle will ask Leone to make sure they are available on the website for volunteers, including board members to download and fill out when they volunteer for Chamber activities.
- 2018 Meeting Schedule: Chanelle distributed a sheet with all dates for 2018 Member meetings and board meetings. Bess asked everyone to note the dates on their calendars.
- Membership Dues: Bess also reminded members about membership dues and that the membership year runs from January 1 through December 31 each year.
- Events Calendar for 2018: Board Members and Roxanne shared the upcoming events for the 2018 season and asked for volunteers to help (especially needed now that Roxanne will be stepping down). Events/dates as follows: a) Okanogan Days/Hoops for Hope/Sunny OK 5K Run – June 2, 2018; b) Street Party/Dance – June 8th (school’s out celebration); c) Grown Up Movie Night #1 – August 3rd d) Grown Up Movie Night #2 – August 17th; e) Back to School Movie Night in the Park – August 24th; f) Harvest Festival – October 6th; g) Farm Lights Tractor Festival –November 28th. We were hoping to host a salmon festival on July 28th, but without someone to plan and coordinate, it may have to wait another year.
- Board Elections: Bess informed the membership that it is time for board elections (two year terms of service) and that the election will take place next month at the March Membership meeting, so she opened the call for nominations. Nominations can be made via email to Bess Derting and through the website.
- New Business in Okanogan: Bess announced that there is a new business in downtown Okanogan, the Red Chandelier Boutique and asked whether any members had visited yet. Several indicated that they have and it is a nice store with lovely items for sale. Also, Monica Desautel has recently re-joined the Chamber of Commerce and has multiple buildings listed for sale downtown, including the House of Draperies and Gould Office buildings.
Speakers and Announcements:
- Rae Jean Kelley from Soroptomist shared information on the 2018 Best for Women Fair, which is the Soroptomist Fundraiser each year, which allows them to offer scholarships to girls and women in Okanogan and Omak. This year’s event takes place on 3/17/18 at the Okanogan High School gym and is the 10th annual BFW Fair. Their main sponsor is Confluence Health. Rae Jean read the other many sponsors for the event and then said that there is still time to register as a vendor, though businesses will want to register soon as spaces sold out a last year’s event. Spaces are available for either $25 or $40. Last year, Soroptomist was able to award a $1500 scholarship to a graduating Okanogan HS senior girl, an Omak HS Senior Girl AND two $1500 Live Your Dream scholarships to women returning to college. Soroptomist is open to anyone who may want to be a member. Dues are $100 annually and they meet the 1st and 3rd Weds of the month. Interested candidates can reach out to Rae Jean directly or via the Soroptomist Facebook Page.
- Ashley Goetz, incoming Superintendent of the Okanogan School District came to introduce herself and share information about the transition. While she officially starts in her role on July 1st, Ashley will be meeting with Dr. Johnson regularly from March to make the transition as smooth as possible. Ashley also informed the membership that the Okanogan Tech Levy is currently passing well. Also, they are recommending Mr. Jeremy Clark for Principal at Virginia Grainger Elementary to start in August. He is currently Principal up at Tonasket Elem.
- Pam Fancher from the Chronicle came to talk with chamber members about advertising in VacationLand and the ATV Guide. The Chronicle is changing Vacationland to a full glossy publication this year. It currently has about 60,000, with about 10,000 within the County and has been published for 60 years. The pricing to advertise will be the same as last year. There is also a new format with bigger ads. Vacationland also shows all events happening throughout the region. March 7 is the deadline for Vacationland. Maria Lassilla from Omak and Mirage Theaters (and Omak Chamber) commented that with such a nice looking publication, people are likely to keep it and refer to it again and again. In the ATV Guide, the back page ½ page ad space has opened up and Pam offered the Chamber to advertise for $500. It has approximately 6500 circulation + the full Chronicle circulation. It also has maps and a description of all ATV routes in the county. Maria shared that Concunully has an ATV Roundup and a lot of people see the publication there and keep it for the year so the ads are seen all year long. Leone requested that members share their thoughts and ideas to give the board some guidance around advertising. Bess shared that the Chamber board is now responsible for advertising for the Chamber and the City of Okanogan, so it’s important to make good decisions. Brent Yusi, of Yusi Construction shared that Vacationland is something he looks at, even when he is traveling. Bess indicated that the Board would discuss via email and she would let Pam know this week about the advertising.
- Rae Jean Kelley asked about whether the Chamber has any sway in having the Rusty Shovel sign down from the building on 2nd street since the space is vacant and the business no longer exists. Bess and Bryan indicated that while the chamber can talk with the City, they have no power to remove signage from privately owned buildings. Janet Culp confirmed that this was the same response she had received in a conversation with the Mayor recently.
- Maria Lassilla announced that the 15th Annual Omak Film Festival is getting ready to kick off on the 22nd of February and will run for three weeks through the 15th of March. There are seven movies which will show for ½ a week each, except for one which will show for a week. Tickets are available for regular showing prices and there are also VIP passes available for $50 which will get you into all seven movies.
- Bryan Cook shared: a) Okanogan Farmer’s Market is hiring a Market manager. This is a seasonal position, part/time 15-20 hours per week during the season. b) Okanogan Land Trust is having a speaker series, “Okanowledgy”. The first speaker will be Hank Cramer on 2/21/18 at 6:30 pm. Mr. Cramer is a musician and storyteller.
- Bess shared that the Okanogan Market (our new IGA grocer) will have their soft opening on February 28th. Today (2/14), FreeBird Espresso was hosting a Valentine’s Day coffee party at the new store – those who come by will receive a free coffee prepared by their new baristas.
Adjournment: 1:10 pm
Next Meeting: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at noon at the Cariboo;
Board of Directors Meeting: February 28, 2018, at noon at The Club.