Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce
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Vancouver Chamber Adds Third Small Business Saturday Grant, $6,000 in Total funds will be distributed - 10/02/18

(VANCOUVER,  Wa) – The Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) has increased their Small Business Saturday Grant program distribution total from $4,000 in 2017 to $6,000 in 2018. Three $2,000 Small Business Saturday Grants will be available to GVCC members with 15 full time employees or less, who are eligible to compete in a social media hashtag contest which starts on November 1st and ends on Small Business Saturday, which falls on November 24th this year. Currently, over 100 members are enrolled to participate, ranging from start-ups, professional service businesses, retail, and nonprofits. The 2017 grant recipients were Sweet Spot Skirts (customer testimonial) and Funky Fresh Juice Co (family member tribute). The Chamber’s Small Business Saturday program has been sponsored by Columbia Credit Union since it’s inception in 2013. 

Interested businesses should attend the Chamber’s Grant Info Session on Monday, October 8th at the GVCC office (1101 Broadway Suite 100 Vancouver WA 98660) at 1:30pm. There is no cost to attend and the Info Session will cover program guidelines and fundamentals on how the social media hashtag contest works. The November contest is a marketing framework for small businesses, organizations, and nonprofits to engage customers, clients, vendors, employees and/or community members to post on their behalf. Public posts between Nov 1-24 that contain the Chamber’s #GVCCgrant2018 hashtag and that identify the business the post was promoting, serve as an entry on behalf of that business for the grant funds. There is no voting; it’s quality over quantity.  Last year, hundreds of posts circulated in November to launch the shop local holiday message and showcase Southwest Washington’s small businesses community. 

The three $2,000 grant recipients will be chosen via a four-person committee, consisting of two GVCC staff and two Columbia Credit Union staff, who cast their votes for the “best post” from a list of 20 contest finalists. The three $2,000 recipients will be awarded their grant funds at the Wednesday, December 5th Southwest Washington Leads & Needs event by Columbia Credit Union and the GVCC reps. "As a community-based business, Columbia Credit Union was excited to once again partner with the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce to offer the Small Business Saturday Grant Program. It was my pleasure to present Funky Fresh and Sweet Spot Skirts with their $2,000 checks to help boost their business." - Michelle Thor, VP Outreach & Social Responsibility at Columbia Credit Union.

More information can be found online: http://www.vancouverusa.com/pages/SmallBusinessSaturday
Link to the 10/8 Grant Info Session: http://www.vancouverusa.com/events/details/small-business-saturday-grant-info-session-18064

About the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce (GVCC):
Founded in 1890, the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) is a non-profit organization aimed at advancing and strengthening the regional business community through member services, public affairs advocacy and community building. The Chamber is a supportive alliance of diverse member businesses, individuals and organizations, working together toward long-term business prosperity. The Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce is the heart of Clark County’s business community, advocating for sound, sensible and dynamic policies that ensure a vital economic climate while improving Vancouver’s infrastructure and quality of life. For more information, please visit www.vancouverusa.com.
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Vancouver Chamber Adds Staffer and New Ambassador (Photo) - 09/27/18

(VANCOUVER, WA) – The Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) has hired Sarah Cooke as our new Member Engagement & Communication Specialist. Cooke’s addition to the team brings the Chamber’s staff to ten employees, under the leadership of CEO John McDonagh. The Chamber has also added Susan Peake to the red coat Ambassador to the team. The Chamber’s red coat Ambassador team is a high-profile responsibility shared with 25 other member business owners and representatives, across a variety of industries that make up the GVCC’s 1,100 business membership base.

Sarah Cooke is a Southwest Washington native and graduate from Camas High School and Clark College. She will put her degree in Psychology from the University of Victoria in British Columbia to work in her role as the Chamber’s Member Engagement & Communications Specialist. Cooke will lead the Chamber’s Mentor Team, manage engagement across our 1,100 membership base by connecting member businesses to relevant Chamber programming and events, as well as optimizes online directory profiles and special projects. Previous to her work at the GVCC, Cooke has worked in customer service, marketing/graphic design, and as a voice actor.     

Susan Peake is the GVCC’s newest Ambassador, growing our team to 26. Peake grew up as a Navy dependent and have traveled the world. She was born in Morocco and lived in Scotland, Hong Kong and Hawaii. She started her role at Columbia Collectors on April 2, 1990 and has held various positions. She has been a collector, the office manager and a legal clerk. This year, she expressed interest in sales and has enjoyed every moment with engaging with people in the community. She said she loves serving people and listening to their stories. In her downtown she loves traveling to Hawaii to visit her parents and spending time with her husband.

About the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce (GVCC):
Founded in 1890, the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) is a non-profit organization aimed at advancing and strengthening the regional business community through member services, public affairs advocacy and community building. The Chamber is a supportive alliance of diverse member businesses, individuals and organizations, working together toward long-term business prosperity. The Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce is the heart of Clark County’s business community, advocating for sound, sensible and dynamic policies that ensure a vital economic climate while improving Vancouver’s infrastructure and quality of life. For more information, please visit www.vancouverusa.com.

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Vancouver Chamber Announces 2018 Business & Leadership Award Recipients (Photo) - 09/17/18

For Immediate Release

September 17th 2018

Press Release


Vancouver Chamber Announces Six 2018 Business & Leadership Awards Recipients, Honored at Sept 25th Event

(VANCOUVER, WA) – The Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) is proud to announce the 2018 recipients of the Business & Leadership Awards program. All six recipients will be honored at the Chamber’s Annual Dinner: Officer Installation and Awards event, presented by the Port of Vancouver USA on Tuesday, September 25th at the Hilton. Tickets are available online at www.vancouverusa.com. Doors open at 4:30pm for an Under the Big Top themed social hour featuring jugglers, stilt walkers, fortune tellers, custom cocktails like The Bearded Lady, and a circus-inspired dessert dash adorned with a ring-of-fire ice sculpture. The program begins at 5:30pm and kicks off with the Chamber’s 2018-2019 Ringmaster, aka the Chairwoman of the Board’s official introduction to the membership. In addition to recognizing the complete board of directors, the six recipients of the Chamber’s Annual Business & Leadership Awards program will be honored. Categories include: The John S. McKibbin Leadership Legacy Award, Business of the Year (large and small category), Start-Up to Watch, Community Champions, and Statesman of the Year.

 

The 2018 Business & Leadership Awards recipients are:

Business of the Year (Large Business): Silicon Forest Electronics (SFE) / Frank Nichols, CEO  

Frank Nichols started Silicon Forest Electronics in 1999. As Founder, CEO, and President, he has grown SFE to over 96 employees. He has created a management style that focuses on making a positive and profound impact to all employees, customers, communities, and shareholders through the implementation of “Listen. Connect. Improve.” Frank is a member on the Board of Directors of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance, Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition, Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing, and a Member of the Governor’s Aerospace Pipeline Committee. As President/CEO, he is currently focusing the company’s efforts to move from a national presence to a global presence in manufacturing of mission critical electronic assemblies. Silicon Forest Electronics (SFE) invests in its employees' training and education, youth career exposure events, and promotes community knowledge and awareness of opportunities in the manufacturing and aerospace industries. Silicon Forest has hosted hands-on activities for youth for STEMfest, Manufacturing Day, and the Business After School Engineering Week. Silicon Forest invests in its own employees and is committed to continuing education and working with youth. www.siliconforestelectronics.com

 

Business of the Year (Small Business): Matrix Roofing / Wendy Marvin, CEO

Matrix Roofing's identity is built on giving back to the community and building a solid reputation with high standards. Matrix started just over 10 years ago with a small crew and has grown to 25 employees. Southwest Washington is a better place because of many contributions made by Matrix Roofing.  First, Matrix participates in the Oregon Tradeswomen Career Fair to educate school-aged girls and adults to learn about debt-free career education and training. Trade industries are a vital part of our local economy and participation educates people of options available after high school.  Secondly, No Roof Left Behind is a nationwide program designed to help homeowners who have fallen on bad times. Matrix is Southwest Washington’s community partner for NRLB.  Members of the community nominate their neighbors for the program and then finalists are selected.  After the winner is announced Matrix goes to work to provide a top notch roof and the community comes together to celebrate. Lastly although I could go on, Matrix offers business mentorship for junior golfers through the LPGA.  Matrix does this to support events in our community and advocate for women owned businesses.  In addition, Matrix is a member of the National Women in Roofing whose mission is to value all types of people in the industry and advance the careers of women in roofing. https://www.matrixroof.com/

 

Statesman of the Year: Greg Kimsey, Clark County Auditor

Greg Kimsey first took office in 1999 and believes his responsibility is to work to improve citizens’ confidence in their government. While the County's population has grown by nearly 40%, and government employees have increased by more than 12%, the total number of Auditor’s Office employees has decreased by 14%. The 2018 legislative session resulted in the most significant changes to Washington’s elections system since 1993. In the future, people will be allowed to register to vote on Election Day. Certain groups of citizens will be automatically registered to vote and 16 year old citizens may pre-register. In addition, the Auditor’s office is working with the Secretary of State to replace and improve the state-wide voter registration system. Kimsey will work to implement these changes in a way that ensures the integrity of our elections system is maintained. Kimsey has been recognized by Washington’s Secretary of State as the “County Auditor of the Year” and by the Mainstream Republicans of Washington as the “Local Government Official of the Year.” During each of the last four years, the Auditor’s Office has received the highest awards given by its national peers for its performance audits.

 

2018 Start-Up to Watch (defined as first five years in business):  Why Racing Events / Sherri McMillian, CEO  

Why Racing Events Inc. offers athletes of all abilities, from the elite level to first-timers, the chance to successfully train for and complete various types of races including fun runs, triathlons, adventure events and more while raising awareness and funds for important community causes. Why Racing provides people with the guidance, support, resources and various types of training programs to help inspire you every step of the way. Why Racing believes in fitness, family and fun! They work hard to give purpose to your training and help you get into great shape. In addition, they focus on including great music, live bands, a party atmosphere, fun post-event festivities and awesome swag bags to make sure your experience is a blast. On September 15th the team hosted their inaugural APPLETREE Boston-Qualifying Marathon, Half Marathon & Sunset 5K. This "Run Through History" took participants on a flat, fast and scenic course through Fort Vancouver, Officer's Row, the Army Barracks, Pearson Airport - the oldest operating airport in the USA, the Historical Old Apple Tree, along the majestic Columbia River and many other historical vantage points. So far, they’ve grown from four events to twelve over three years. They’ve raised over $300K for the community in two years and offer free race entries to groups like: Kids, military, breast cancer survivors, and those going through alcohol and drug therapy. www.whyracingevents.com

 

Community Champion (individual with outstanding community contributions): Dellan Redjou / Share, Director of Volunteers

Dellan Redjou has spent decades generously giving back to our community. She sports an impressive resume, over 30 years as a successful business owner, 26 years as an active member of Hazel Dell Salmon Creek Business Association, 25+ years as a member of the Greater Clark County Rotary Club (serving as president twice), she served 10 years as a member of the Greater Clark County Rotary Foundation Board (serving twice as president), 15 years as the chair of the Hazel Dell Parade of Bands and the list goes on. In 2014, Dellan Redjou accepted the position of Director of Volunteers and Community Resources for Share. Her co-workers describe her as pure ENERGY! As the Director of Volunteers, she manages almost 4,000 volunteers a year. She goes above-and-beyond the typical shift, letting church groups into Share to volunteer at night. Often, if a child in one of Share's shelters is having a birthday, Dellan will make certain that a birthday box is delivered that night - the next day is absolutely unacceptable. This year, she was co-chair of the Rotary Club of Greater Clark County’s annual Rummage Sale; and she, along with her late husband Wayne, were inducted by the Rotary Club of Vancouver Sunrise into the Clark County Hall of Fame. Dellan also was a competitor in the Dancing with the Local Stars competition, supports Habitat for Humanity, Open House Ministries, American Red Cross, Friends of the Carpenter and more.

 

John S. McKibbin Leadership Legacy Award: Brent Grening / Port of Ridgefield, CEO  

Brent Grening, the CEO of the Port of Ridgefield is this year's John S. McKibbin Leadership Legacy Award recipient. His positive attitude, can-do spirit, participation, leadership, and visibility in the community, has positively impacted business in Clark County. For nearly two decades as the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer at the Port of Ridgefield, Brent has played a critical role in the responsible growth and economic development in Ridgefield and North Clark County- but also across the county and the Portland-Vancouver metro area. He is the on-the-ground leader behind the concept of the Discovery Corridor (1-5 from NE 134th Street to NE 319th Street) and the transportation infrastructure improvements that have occurred to position Discovery Corridor for its past, present and future in Ridgefield. Among many other additional projects he was instrumental with Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife Regional Headquarters building on Port of Ridgefield property, and the approval of the Pioneer Street Rail Overpass to Ridgefield Waterfront. He was/is part of the planning and development of many intersections at I-5, like Ridgefield junction, SR 502 at I-5, NE 139th St, NE 179th St.  Grening is also part of the development team of Dark Fiber Optics Infrastructure in the Discovery Corridor. He's a long-time participation on the CREDC Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and on the Lands for Jobs Committee. He is also part of the Advisory Council at Washington State University Vancouver. Overall, he's an innovative thought leader that is changing the port industry in the county and the state. His work has resulted in the completion of a 20-year, $90 million environmental cleanup of 40-plus acres of waterfront property. This cleanup is regarded as the largest non-Superfund remediation in the history of the state. He's also been on the front of other economic development issues, like envisioning and working towards the Clark College Boschma Farms campus in Ridgefield.

 

About the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce (GVCC):
Founded in 1890, the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) is a non-profit organization aimed at advancing and strengthening the regional business community through member services, public affairs advocacy, and community building. The Chamber is a supportive alliance of diverse member businesses, individuals, and organizations, working together toward long-term business prosperity. The Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce is the heart of Clark County’s business community, advocating for sound, sensible, and dynamic policies that ensure a vital economic climate while improving Vancouver’s infrastructure and quality of life. For more information, please visit www.vancouverusa.com.

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