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February 2009 - Download Now PDF


									   Chamber Notes                                                                                                    February 2009

  A limited
 number of      What’s Inside?
                • The Chamber Customer
 Tickets are      Service Quality Initiative sur-
 still avail-     vey results are in!
  able - get    • Upcoming Legislation that will
    yours         affect YOUR business
   today!       • The NEW Marketing service
                  that members requested and
                  we now provide
                                                                      Members of the original Chamber Business Roundtable discuss
                                                                      marketing in today’s economy. See page 2 for more information on our
                                                                      Business Roundtable Program.

                                                   WELCOME NEW CHAMBER MEMBERS!
                             Shelter, Inc.        Bob’s Gun Shop          The Forget Me Not Shoppe     Lang Family Chiropractic
                             P.O. Box 797         3089 M-32 West          109 North Second Avenue      113 S. State Street
                             Alpena, MI 49707     Alpena, MI 49707        Alpena, MI 49707             Alpena, MI 49707
                             989.356.2560         989.356.1777            989.356.5939                 989.356.0311
                             Social Services      Gunshop                 Scrapbooking Supplies        Chiropractor

                                             In the Spotlight...                      DeVere Construction Company, Inc. is an Alpena,
                Northern Lights Arena (NLA) is the premier                            Michigan-based organization with an additional of-
                events facility in Northern Michigan. The arena                       fice Apex, North Carolina. They provide clients with
                opened in 2002 after a fundraising effort by the                      professional construction management, general con-
                Multi-Purpose Arena Coalition (M-PAC). The facility has        tracting, industrial maintenance, and design/build/finance
                since been deeded over to the County of Alpena who now         Services.
                contracts with M-PAC to manage the facility.                DeVere has been active in the construction industry since
                                                                            1967. They provide their clients with comprehensive con-
                The facility employs 15 staff. With two professional size
                                                                            struction related services including project conceptual plan-
                sheets of ice, the primary focus of the arena is on skating
                                                                            ning and costing, design review and value engineering, field
                events. The Alpena High School Wildcat hockey team,
                                                                            construction and construction oversight services, as well as
                NAHL “Junior A” Alpena IceDiggers, Alpena Figure
                                                                            financial and management services to develop successful
                Skating Club, Alpena Hockey Association, Alpena Wrecks
                Hockey Club, Alpena Speed Skating Club, Alpena
                Regional Medical Center Hockey Club, Women’s Inde-          While part of DeVere’s success is attributed to the comple-
                pendent Hockey Association, and Alpena Men’s Hockey         tion of projects in 19 states, and several Caribbean coun-
                League all call NLA home. In addition, the WildKittens      tries, the company’s ownership group, the Crittenden Fam-
                Gymnastics Club and the Alpena Legers Walking Club          ily, is committed to their roots in Alpena and in supporting
Alpena Area     enjoy the beautiful facility. Other walkers enjoy the 1/8   the continued growth and prosperity of Michigan and North-
Chamber of      mile rubberized track that encircles the main arena. Non-   east Michigan in particular.
Commerce        ice events include rodeos and concerts and RV, boat ,       Many noteworthy projects completed in Northeast Michigan
235 W. Chis-    sportsmen’s, and horse shows.                               include the ARMC Cancer Center, the Fine Arts Facility
holm Street     Visitors from across Michigan and Ontario come to Al-          and Business Learning Resource Center for Alpena Com-
Alpena, MI      pena to enjoy the facility, sometimes booking every hotel      munity College, The Bank of Alpena, and a 20-year partner-
49707           room in all area facilities. Additionally, the NLA is avail-   ship with Lafarge, constructing new manufacturing facili-
989.354.4181    able for private parties and events.                           ties, upgrades to existing facilities and performing industrial
Fax:                                                                           equipment maintenance.
989.356.3999    NLA is located at 751 Woodward Avenue. You can stop
                by or call them at 989.356.1878. For more information          For more information about DeVere visit their website at
                about the facility visit their website at             or contact them at 1030 DeVere Drive,
                                         989.356.4411 or via email at
Business Roundtables - Off to a Great Start                              Recent Events - Outstanding Success!
Every month eight non-competing, proactive business owners/              The Chamber has recently held several events that were outstanding!
entrepreneurs meet to participate in a roundtable program initiated by
                                                                         Our marketing seminar with #1 Best Selling Author Tony Rubleski
the Chamber at the suggestion of a Chamber member. This group is
                                                                         was attending by over forty individuals - representing 35 different
an idea sharing and business development group. They choose the
                                                                         businesses. Those who attended were engaged in the dynamic presen-
meeting topics and location and the Chamber provides a facilitator
                                                                         tation and took home many easy to implement ideas for their busi-
and note taker. Since they began meeting this group has discussed
                                                                         nesses. The event was summed up by Suni Speaks of Bank of Alpena
such topics as marketing, creating a positive work environment for
                                                                         as, “Awesome,” while Trina Gray of Bay Athletic Club said it was,
employees, hiring and firing, and many others. The group bounces
                                                                         “fresh, fun and fast paced.” Bridge Wertz of Northern Lights Arena
ideas off of one another and offers outside views on ideas businesses
                                                                         said her attention was held every moment and concepts were
are considering. Lesslee Dort of Northwood University, the current
                                                                         “interesting and backed up by great examples.”
group’s Chamber facilitator and note taker expressed, “This group of
business owners has developed into a new network of support and
                                                                         Thanks again to Top O Michigan Insurance for sponsoring our recent
advice for each other. They serve as an advisory board for each of the
                                                                         New Member Welcome event. The new Chamber members gathered
participating businesses - making thoughtful comments and sugges-
                                                                         to share their businesses, hear from current members about the bene-
tions while giving honest feedback regarding business decisions,
                                                                         fits of Chamber membership, meet the Chamber Board and Ambassa-
ideas, struggles, and accomplishments.” If you would like to join a
                                                                         dors, and learn about all of the benefits of investing in the Alpena
Chamber Business Roundtable, contact Jackie at the Chamber of
                                                                         Area Chamber of Commerce.
Customer Service Quality Initiative - Chamber Survey Results
Thank you to everyone who completed a customer service survey. We will continue to collect the surveys if you would like to provide feed-
back. With a great response rate of over 25%, we have identified some key trends within Chamber Membership. We already have been mak-
ing changes to address the suggestions and trends we discovered. We will continue to develop new programs and ways to meet the requests
and needs of our members based on these survey results. Our overall Net Promoter Score was a 69 (anything over 50 is considered EXCEL-
LENT). Take a look at the following survey results:
                           Survey Result                                    %                Chamber’s plan to address survey result
The number one reason our members belong to the Chamber is               79%       Continue to follow our 2009 Plan of Action when develop-
because they believe “Chamber membership is an important part of                   ing member benefits
being involved in business in the Alpena Area.”
The number one function/role the Chamber has is “Provides                36.5%     Create additional marketing opportunities; market more on
exposure for my business in the greater Alpena Area.”                              behalf of membership; identify more networking
The number two function/role the Chamber has is “Lobbies on              29.4%     We have published our 2009 Legislative Agenda and have
behalf of business in NE Michigan.”                                                already focused more resources and energy on lobbying
                                                                                   efforts with appropriate Legislators.
Percentage of respondents who believed the Chamber                       64.4%/    We will continue to enhance our communication tools and
communication was “Excellent” / “Good”                                   29.9%     seek additional means of communicating with members

Meet Chamber Ambassador Kathy Himes from Alpena Regional Medical Center
Kathy moved to Alpena in 1982 when her family purchased a local business. For her parents it was an opportu-
nity to come back home, as they were born and raised in Alpena. For a teenage girl leaving some great friends
was not easy, but before long she realized why Alpena was a great place to live and why “coming home” was so
important to her parents. Kathy now works as the Recruiter for the Human Resources Department at Alpena Re-
gional Medical Center (ARMC) and feels blessed to be part of an organization that gives so much the community.
Kathy lives on a family farm in Long Rapids Township with her husband Darin and son Ethan. Although they are
not active farmers they enjoy raising a few animals each year. Hunting on the property is what they enjoy the
most. During their spare time they follow their son around Northern Michigan to various activities including Jets
Football and Little League. Their son also enjoys sailing, fishing, swimming and snowmobiling, so they rarely
have time to relax.
Kathy joined the Ambassadors in 2002. She knew several Ambassadors and was amazed by their energy. Belonging to the Ambassadors has
given her the opportunity to support local businesses, as well as give back to the community. Her favorite event is the USO show. Linda San-
som, USO Show Chair has incredible creativity and drive. Kathy stated, “If you have never seen the USO Show you are missing an remark-
able event.” She volunteers for several community organizations including Besser Museum for Northern Michigan, ARMC Business Devel-
opment Council, Alpena Lions, and Junior Achievement to name a few. She truly loves Alpena and challenges everyone to get involved and
give back.

                                              Caught Your Eye, Didn’t It?
            Call 989.354.4181 to find out how you can get this space to work for your business!
Tips for Better Health - February is American Heart Month
          Cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, are our nation's number one killer. In
1963 Congress asked the President to proclaim February as “American Heart Month.”
Since then, the American Heart Association has worked with Congress to draft and sign this
annual proclamation. This recognition serves to increase our awareness of heart disease and
the importance of decreasing preventable risk factors such as avoiding tobacco smoke in-
cluding second hand smoke, controlling blood cholesterol and high blood pressure, maintaining a healthy weight, getting
regular physical activity on most days of the week, practicing effective stress management, drinking alcohol in moderation, if
at all, and following a healthy diet.
          Just as there are risk factors that you can change, so are there risk factors that you cannot change including increasing
age, gender, and heredity or race. Get the facts on heart health and preventing heart disease, including heart healthy recipes
and heart risk assessments, visit the American Heart Association web site at or
Submitted by Martha LaFave, Community Health Outreach Coordinator, Alpena Regional Medical Center

Welcome to our NEW Board Members
The deadline to voice your opposition to our new prospective Board Members has passed. No opposition was received so
please help us welcome Thad Taylor, Alpena City Manager and Wayne Calkins, Owner - Bolenz jewelry to our Board of

NEW Addition to Our Newsletter Inserts Program!
Our newsletter inserts have become a popular way to spread the word about business and community related events. Our pa-
per newsletter is distributed to over 500 individuals. However, our electronic monthly newsletter (a PDF file of our paper
monthly newsletter, different from our weekly E-Notes) is sent to over 100 individuals each month. That amount keeps grow-
ing as businesses look to become more “green.” The individuals currently receiving the electronic version of our newsletter
have also requested to also receive an electronic copy of the monthly inserts. To meet their request we now offer, for $15 and
submission of your newsletter insert in a PDF file, your file to be placed on our website and a link to the inserts in the e-mail
that contains the monthly electronic newsletter. This offer is good only for those who also submit a paper insert in one of our
monthly newsletters.
Legislative Update
In a recent E-Notes update we outlined several legislative issues other than reduction and elimination of the Michigan Busi-
ness Tax Surcharge that are currently at the top of our list. The MIOSHA vote on rule-making and setting an ergonomic stan-
dard in Michigan (to which we objected) was passed on January 14, 2009. We will play an active role in the next three phases
of the rule-making process to continue to object the standard as we believe it is unclear and places unnecessary burdens on
many organizations. The other issue, Card Check is an issue, still looming, that we strongly urge you to fully examine and
understand. Initially passed in the House in 1997, the Employee Free Choice Act was designed to enable workers to bargain
for better wages, benefits and working conditions by restoring their rights to form unions. This did not pass the Senate but is
expected to be re-introduced to the new congress in early 2009. We do not support this legislation as written and urge you to
carefully consider the facts.

   • Card Check eliminates the secret ballot currently used to form a union
   • Under this legislation, a union would be formed and would have to be recognized with just 50% (plus one) of em-
       ployees signing a union authorization card
   • Card Check would apply to employers with more than two employees
   • Card Check would make it easier for Unions to form
   • The Employee Free Choice Act also includes language to impose new
       penalties certain unfair labor practices

Whether or not this legislation passes, there are several things all business
owners/mangers should do to keep a satisfactory work environment:
   • Educate employees about unions early and why maintaining a union-
        free atmosphere is beneficial
   • Educate employees about the possibility of this legislation and help
        employees understand what elimination of a secret ballot would mean
        for them
   • Provide positive leadership; deal with issues and problems internally
        and efficiently
   • Provide competitive wages and benefits                                 Exceptional Customer Service Recognition
   • Provide satisfactory levels of training for all
                                                              This month’s customer service recognition goes to McDonald Auto Supply. On a
        aspects of a job
                                                              day with blizzard like conditions, a customer went into McDonald Auto Supply
   • Conduct employee satisfaction surveys and fol-
                                                              looking for windshield wiper blades. An employee helped the customer purchase
        low up on areas with low scores
                                                              the correct blades and then went outside in the blowing snow and cold wind and
   • Communicate regularly with your employ- installed them on the customer’s car.
          ees about all and any issues
   Your Chamber’s Mission
                                                                                                       PRSRT STD
By serving its members, the Alpena                                                                    U.S. POSTAGE
   Area Chamber of Commerce ac-                                                                        Permit No. 86
 tively champions economic devel-                                                                    Alpena, MI 49707
opment and the advancement of the
     community’s quality of life.

   235 West
   Chisholm Street
   Alpena, MI 49707

            2009 CHAMBER BOARD
                OF DIRECTORS
       President – Dave Dziubinski
       Past-President – Dr. Olin Joynton
       President Elect – Brent Holcomb
       Secretary-Treasurer - Don Mills
       Executive Director - Jackie Krawczak
       Mark Bayliss - WalMart                                   Chamber Calendar of Events
       Karmon Bjella - ARMC                          Contact the Chamber at 989.354.4181 for more information
       Wayne Calkins - Bolenz Jewelry          February 2009
       Julie Curtis - First Federal            12 - Chamber Annual Dinner, $30 per person, tickets available from
       Lesslee Dort - Northwood University     Chamber or Chamber Ambassadors, social hour from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.,
       Brent Holcomb - Alpena Public Schools   dinner and program at 6:30 p.m., St. Anne’s Parish Hall, purchase tick-
       Jami Patterson - First Federal          ets by February 9
       Col. Sam Sansom - Alpena CRTC           24 - Board of Directors meeting, 7:30 a.m., Days Inn of Alpena
       Kim Schultz - Alpena Village
       Jim Spleet - WATZ                       March 2009
       Thad Taylor - City of Alpena            24 - Board of Directors meeting, 7:30 a.m., Days Inn of Alpena
       Greg Winter - E.S.I.                               *view our website for upcoming Ribbon Cuttings!
       Ben Young - Young Appliance Co. Inc.
       Dave Zeller - InsuranCenter

                                                        This Season, Provide Your Employee's with a
                                                         Gift Certificate for Better Natural Wellness!

                                                     (989) 356-WELL(9355) *

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