(click the sideways triangle or you end up at YouTube's website and not reading my blog which is a travesty)
By now, I would hope you have heard of the Rural Business & Innovation Summit 2016. We have been calling it #RBIS16 because it's much shorter and kinda catchy.
If you don't know, #RBIS16 is a gathering of business minded folks who can learn, collaborate, and participate in workshops geared toward making business in the Basin successful. We have some amazing speakers lined up for the two day event, and I was lucky enough to chat with one of our speakers, Ruth Miles.
Ruth works for the Office of Small Business Assistance, Oregon Secretary of State, as a small business advocate. Here is a picture of her so that when you go to #RBIS16, you know whose autograph you are asking for:
How many visitors do you think we have calling us here at the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce every day? Let me tell you, the number is more than the size of a Hobbit's bread basket. In fact, our top two viewed businesses this month on Klamath.org/directory were hotels. But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s start with Reason Number 1 why hotels should be Chamber Members.
By now, you've probably figured out that there is some new person at the Klamath Chamber, posting all these strange things on Facebook and the Chamber blog and a few other places, too. At least, I hope you have noticed! It's a lot of work being this weird.
A little about me: I'm the same age as Heather, so if you don't know how old she is then you don't know how old I am. I have a Bachelor's degree in English. I'm a published author (hence the reason I have taken over this blog for my own nefarious purposes). I am a painter (nothing you've seen, I'm guessing). I'm a knitter. A dreamer. A candlestick maker (okay, technically, I haven't made candlesticks yet but it's on the list). I'm a wife to an amazing husband and the mother to two fantastic daughters, ages 21 and 11 (I love to use parentheses even though I know I shouldn't use them as much as I do and all my professors would be so annoyed with me right now).
I bring my wits to the table*, and the ability to turn a neat phrase. I have extensive customer service and marketing experience, and I love showing others how they can use social media to their own advantage. I'm excited to work for the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce and implement some of the ideas I have on how to market our members, build relationships, and provide a measureable asset. I'm a bit quirky, love to laugh, but know how to work hard and get things done. (*try to)
Restaurants need diners, which means they need to make people aware they are open. The Klamath County Chamber has access to a large audience. It’s a natural fit. Here are the top three reasons, in no particular order, why your restaurant should be a member:
- Do you have any idea how many times a day we (here in the Chamber offices) are asked where a good place to eat is located in town? Both on the phone and in person, tourists and townfolk alike contact us for eating suggestions. As a part of the Chamber’s member directory, your business information is provided to tourists and visitors to the region who are looking for the best in dining experiences. Of our top ten viewed businesses this month, two of them are restaurants. Is one of them yours? Are you in our business directory? Take a look here; this is where we at the Chamber look to refer our members to those daily questions regarding gustatory satisfaction. If you’re not a member, call us or click to learn how your business can be part of the Borg Collective…I mean the Klamath Chamber.
- Social media is one of the most effective tools restaurants have at their disposal because the medium is extremely friendly to their business. Visuals go a long way. The Chamber can help you maximize your social media presence. Are you having a special event at your restaurant? Is the lead singer of a popular band leading your first ever karaoke tournament, or have you just started offering a free puppy with every latte? These are the things that social media was made for! If you’re not sure how to utilize social media to your advantage, call the Chamber and let us know. We’re here to help!
- Catering, sponsorship, and event hosting opportunities are opportunities you should definitely not miss! If you sponsor an event, such as, say, the Klamath County Chamber’s annual Golf Tournament, guess how many people are seeing your business name? There are many opportunities to host events; you could contact the Klamath Chamber to host a Greeters networking meeting, which is a great opportunity to also provide a taste of what your restaurant has to offer. Word of mouth (if you’ll pardon the pun) is just as effective as social media when it comes to spreading the news that your restaurant is full of culinary delights. Do you offer catering services? Inquiring minds...and stomachs...want to know!
I don't know about you, but I always find myself feeling a little like a proud mama when I hear that someone from my hometown has gone out into the world and grown up to be someone who is successful in their chosen field. How success is measured can be a somewhat subjective topic, but I think we can all agree that Kyle Mauch, Klamath Falls and Founder and CEO of AthletesBrand.com, fits that category to a tee (if you'll pardon the sporty pun).
I'm hoping that you've at least heard of the Rural Business & Innovation Summit by now. If you haven't, then you should check it out here at the website. At RBIS, on Thursday, September 15th 2016, participants will have the opportunity to hear Kyle give his presentation titled “Living Life with Purpose”.
Currently hanging his hat in Scottsdale, Arizona, Kyle grew up here in rural Klamath Falls. Now, he is the host of the Success at Success podcast on iTunes, founder and CEO of AthletesBrand.com, heads the Athlete Mastermind with the world’s top athletes in business, and speaks at the top conferences and Universities around the country. Including RBIS!
Who among you hasn't heard of RBIS? It looks like misspelled ribs, but actually, it's more exciting even than BBQ! RBIS stands for "Rural Business & Innovation Summit" and is a two day long event packed full of exciting presentations, award winning speakers, informative workshops, and valuable networking opportunities. Still not convinced? Check out Vince Adams, Extension Educator, director of the Rural Communities Explorer (RCE) (a web based tool that provides data and contextual information about communities in Oregon), and one of the speakers at this year's RBIS.
On Wednesday September 14th, Vince will lead a workshop titled “Latinos in Oregon: Challenging the American Dream”. The workshop will focus on the importance of including the growing Latino community in economic and business development. The workshop will touch on some of the social and economic challenges facing the Latino community.
The annual Rural Business & Innovation Summit 2016 event will held at Klamath Community College on September 14th and 15th.
Remember the Superfund Job Training Initiative the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce was part of in the month of June? (Click here if you've never heard of such a thing). Wonder what happened to the graduates of the program after the last speech was given at graduation, the tables were cleared off, and everyone went home?
It wasn't over for the Super JTI graduates when the graduation party ended. Securing employment is a huge part of the program; you might say it's the main priority for all of the graduates.
The first week following graduation, some graduates received assistance with creating resumes and how to familiarize themselves with the online application process. Then the waiting began; each graduate waited on pins and needles to hear from North Wind, the contracting company engaged by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to perform the work of clean up at the Superfund Site here in Klamath Falls, known as North Ridge Estates. With newly minted certifications in hand, each candidate had an equal opportunity to be selected for interviews with the company.
When you send a letter to the President Barack Obama, you don’t expect to receive a reply. Imagine our surprise when we got one! Last year, Klamath Falls was poised for the return of air service to the Crater Lake-Klamath Regional Airport. PenAir was ready to provide commercial passenger service to our community. Unfortunately, TSA Security refused to return based on their interpretation of some rules. Our community disagreed and set out to change their minds.
Back in February, our staff, Government Affairs Committee, and membership started writing letters and making phone calls. One of these letters was to President Barack Obama. Our letter asked Obama to consider the needs of our rural community and to urge the TSA to reconsider their position. Today, we received a response with great news. The TSA wrote that after reassessment, federal screening resources are warranted at the Crater Lake-Klamath Regional Airport. This is a win for our community!
We didn’t do it alone. Congressman Greg Walden and Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley introduced legislation and fought for its passage. Dozens of letters were sent supporting Walden, Wyden and Merkley’s efforts. TSA reconsidered their decision and our small rural community was heard in Washington D.C.
By: Todd Andres, 2016 Chamber President
As the 2015 year came to a close, I noticed an increase in comments on the social networks with friends expressing how their 2015 turned out. A few expressed a good year with the hope of a better 2016. Many more posted how they were happy 2015 was over as the year brought them business challenges or personal grief. Well, good feelings or bad, the bottom line is: They were right!
It is a bit frustrating that many of us look to the end of a year to determine if we were successful or not. We think a “new year” is all it will take for us to improve our current condition. It’s almost like playing the lottery. A calendar is a measurement of time, not a measurement of success. A new year will not change one’s fortune. Instead it is what we chose to do with the time given equally to each of us that will determine our faith.
I would like to quote my favorite coach, the great John Wooden: “There is nothing you can do about yesterday, for it is gone. There is nothing you can do about tomorrow, for it is yet to come. All you can do is focus on today, and what you do today will impact your tomorrow”. This simple phrase has deep principals that successful individuals understand. If you had a poor 2015, it is over. There is nothing anyone can do to change the past. We can learn from the past; but to focus on it is counterproductive. If you want to have a better 2016, focus on the day in front of you. Use the time to focus on improving yourself and/or business. If you are concerned about the future of your business, it is more productive to work on adjustments today instead of worrying about tomorrow. Evaluate your poor habits, we all have some, and develop a positive habit that improves the situation and moves you closer to the desired outcome. Your Klamath County Chamber of Commerce will have many learning opportunities in 2016 to help you with both business and personal growth. Take full advantage of these opportunities. As you begin to build on your positive days, these will create positive weeks, months, and so on….