Vol. 4, No. 3 • March 2012
Business Connection Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce
City’s streetscape workshop sparks ideas
ommerce Avenue should be a safe and attractive destination point that strengthens the downtown Longview economy. That’s the conclusion of the 2011 Downtown Action Agenda adopted last year by the City of Longview. Recently, the City hosted a streetscape design workshop on February 15 and 16 to move that vision to reality. Urban designers were on hand at the workshop to capture people’s ideas visually and create preliminary designs for a new look for downtown streets, specifically Commerce Avenue. “The workshop was well attended by more than 100 interested citizens,” reported John Brickey, Community Development Director. “We are very pleased with the creative suggestions and quality design concepts resulting from the two-day effort.”
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“We should bring back the corners of Broadway and Commerce as the hub of the community, like R.A.Long planned it to be,” said community volunteer and retired history teacher Bill Kasch. He’d like to see the Kortens building, originally the location
of the Chamber of Commerce, turned into a community center with volunteers to greet people, and the Economic Development Center housed upstairs. “We can’t lose this spot to an out-of-town owner,” he said.
“There are things we can do to make Downtown Longview look appealing,” said Longview commercial real estate broker Longview residents Dr. Jim Donnelly, Bill Kasch, Lee Starr and Bill Bill Hallanger. He Hallanger consider options suggested at the Downtown Longview streetscape workshop held Feb. 15–16. suggested replacing At the end of the workshop, the the “bug-attracting,” overgrown birch trees — which block the BergerABAM urban design professionals provided preliminary designs reflecting view of storefronts — with smaller trees. the community’s best ideas for streetscape Justin Bell, a member of the Downtown elements such as street lighting, expanded Advisory Committee, said he was impressed sidewalk space, public art, gathering places with ideas expressed and displayed at the for public events, and landscape features workshop. “It’s a step in the right direction.” to improve the aesthetics, safety and Barbara Donnelly, a Longview resident and functionality of the downtown streets. The longtime advocate for visual improvements designs will be refined over the coming in civic places, reacted to the displays: weeks, and the Longview City Council “Wonderful. We’ve needed it for a long will approve a final design for the detailed time. It’s nice to have a professional planner engineering drawings to implement the and landscaper.” She added an idea to the streetscape work, according to Steve mix. “We’ll have to involve the community Langdon, the City’s Planning Manager. in a clean-up day . . . Earth Day.” For additional information please contact Langdon at 360-442-5083.
Lower Columbia Professionals Committee Meeting
Education Committee Meeting
Quarterly Membership Meeting “State of Education”
Member2Member Monthly Mailing Deadline
Longview Downtowners Meeting
You are invited to attend the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce
March 7 March 8
Business After Hours
March 5, 12, 19, 26
Legislative Breakfast Briefings
TUNE IN ever y WEDNESDAY Your Chamber Connection KEDO AM1400 3– 4pm Contact the Chamber to schedule YOUR 10-minute business spotlight
Thursday, May 17th
1st Quarterly Membership Luncheon
Cowlitz Regional Conference Center • 900 – 7th Ave, Longview
Cowlitz Regional Conference Center
Business Expo: 11am–4pm Afterhours Reception 5 –8pm
“STATE OF THE EDUCATION”
1900 7th Avenue • Longview, WA
March 8, 2012 • 11:45am - 1:30pm
Keynote Speakers for this event include:
1563 Olympia Way • Longview, WA 98632
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
Kelso School Superintendent Rob MacGregor
Longview School Superintendent Suzanne Cusick
Lower Columbia College President Chris Bailey
WEA President Mary Lindquist
MONDAY MORNING BREAKFAST BRIEFINGS 7am Monticello Hotel LaRiviere Room
Hear their discussion on current issues with education & how they are handling the issues during hard economic times.
IN THIS ISSUE
We would like reservations for the “State of the Education” Quarterly Membership Meeting. I understand if I make a reservation and am not able to attend, the fee is non-refundable. $30 Members • $45 Not Yet Members Name: Phone:
Downtown Longview . . . . . 2-3
Downtown Kelso . . . . . . . . . 3
Name on Card:
Business Briefs . . . . . . . . . . 3
Amount: $ ___________
Please return to: Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce • 1563 Olympia Way, Longview, WA 98632 Fax: 423-0432 • Phone: 423-8400 • website: www.KelsoLongviewChamber.org
Around the Watercooler . . . . 4 President’s Message . . . . . . . 5 Business Toolbox . . . . . . . . . 7
• MARCH 2012
By Laurel Murphy
Update: Propsed Downtown Business Improvement Area Rick Winsman presented a BIA progress report to the Longview Downtowners Partnership at the February 7 board meeting. The assessment area is the Longview Downtown Commercial Zone (Washington to Florida, the alleys between 14th and 15th and 11th and 12th ). The 193 businesses in this area would pay the same assessment rate —$40 per month — to fund the $89,000 annual budget. Earlier assessment schedules included the approximately 180 downtown property owners, but Winsman explained that under state law, NEXT MEETING: the BIA assessment cannot Tuesday, March 20th include property owners. 5:30pm • Las Rocas, The Downtown Advisory 1260 Commerce. For Committee and the Longview more information, City Council must review and contact Doug Harvey approve the terms of the BIA at 360-636-4477. before a petition is presented to downtown business owners; 60 percent of affected owners and operators must agree to the proposed assessment.
Downtown’s “great bones,” local talent set stage for new community asset
tageworks Northwest, long known as Longview Stageworks, recently announced plans to convert the old Longview Theatre into a 290-seat venue.
Board president Tim Cusick said the organization’s goal is to provide the community a comfortable but simple facility capable of producing a great theatre experience. “We are very fortunate the former owners, Ralph and Shelly Siegrist, are willing to work with us,” he said. “The timing is just right.” The group will launch a capital campaign this summer to raise $1.3 million by the end of 2013, with construction completed the following year. Meanwhile, the company will be presenting limited productions such as theatrical readings, as well as some fundraising activity in the facility as a way of bringing people there. Being used as an indoor skate park did not do much for its appearance, Cusick said, but inspections disclosed the building to be fundamentally very sound.
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KELSO LONGVIEW BUSINESS CONNECTION
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Stageworks has been part of the local theatre community since the early 1990s. James Murphy, then executive director for Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, began producing plays in the 90-seat Pepper Studio Theatre, subsequently leading to the establishing of an independent theatre company in 2000. It presented four plays a year until the Pepper Theatre was demolished in 2008 as part of the Columbia Theatre renovation. The conversion of the Longview Theatre will create the small, intimate venue that is such an important part of the theatrical experience.
To survive and thrive, we need a home.
Stageworks began as a semi-professional theatre, bringing key actors and directors from outside the local community. However, the economics have changed and the local talent base has grown.
“Today,” Cusick said, “we are refocused, which means programming goals includeing CenterStage (LCC’s drama program) type productions, The C.A.S.T. (a children’s after-school theatre serving the middle schools of Kelso-Longview) and, in the future, educational workshops to strengthen the infrastructure. “As audiences are exposed to more theatre,” Cusick noted, “they ultimately demand higher quality.”
~ Tim Cusick
Board president Stageworks Northwest
Stageworks Northwest’s having its own venue will allow better control of its calendar and planning of productions up to three years in advance. Cusick said people often ask: “Why don’t you use the Columbia Theatre or the Lower Columbia College facilities?” There are three issues.
Bonnie S. Woodruff
Office: 360-425-2950 Fax: 360-425-8010 Toll Free: 877-425-2950 Email: Bonnie@cascade~title.com Web: www.cascade~title.com
Stageworks Northwest to buy old Longview Theatre
Laurel Murphy is a community volunteer especially interested in the arts in Downtown Longview. She worked with other key volunteers to accomplish the Longview Outdoor Gallery of sculptures and has served as Longview Downtowners’ liaison to KLBC. She lives in Kalama.
First, he explained, the Columbia Theatre is perfect for the bigger shows, but it is necessary to get in and get out over the course of one week. The pattern for Stageworks has been to build the audience from word of mouth over a month or more. LCC’s educational priorities and needs for a flexible calendar preclude long-term planning by Stageworks. Finally, moving an audience from one facility to another is unpredictable for the audience. “To survive and to thrive, we need a home,” Cusick said.
Longview is an extraordinary community and its downtown, like other downtowns across the country, is remaking itself to meet the future. “Underpinned by the great bones of downtown Longview,” Cusick said, “the theatre arts have the capacity to make a fantastic contribution our community.”
Bill Marcum, President/CEO Amy Johnson, Program Director Debbie Brock, Bookkeeper
Kelso Longview Business Connection published monthly by Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce 1563 Olympia Way Longview, WA 98632 360-423-8400 Produced by Columbia River Reader To advertise, call 360-749-2632. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Ad Deadline: 15th each month
KELSO LONGVIEW BUSINESS CONNECTION
LONGVIEW Where opportunity knocks
PAGE 3 By Dennis Weber, Longview Mayor
KELSO Poised for 2012 rebound
f you had to choose one word to describe the last few years of Kelso’s economy, it would probably be “depressing.”Trying to put a more positive spin might lead you to the euphemism “challenging.”
he City of Longview has positioned itself as THE place where opportunity knocks for small and large employers alike. Recent water and sewer projects are wrapping up and have locked in a generation of relatively low utility costs. Fully permitted industrial sites at the Mint Farm beckon the entrepreneur ready to build. And our customer service counters at City Hall open early and close late to accommodate those seeking building permits.
We’ve heeded the advice of voters and removed the red light cameras along Ocean Beach Highway. But we are also looking to make our school zones even safer. And we have renewed our efforts to improve traffic safety. On the list of council priorities are more synchronized lights on major arterials. Longview is where opportunity knocks!
Cowlitz Black Bears has announced the signing of Andy Peterson (Santa Ana College), Kyle Kuck (Santa Ana College), Peter Summer ville (Santa Clara University), and Brian Frattali (University of Portland) for the 2012 season. All four players are sophomores and star athletes with impressive high school and college records. 2012 Cowlitz Black Bears Ticket Packages are available by calling (360) 703-3195 or please visit us on-line at www.cowlitzblackbears.com. The Black Bears are members of the West Coast League, the Diamond Standard among summer college baseball. The nine-team, professional style wood-bat league features pro prospects from major conferences across the country. More than 120 WCL alums played affiliated professional baseball last season, and 15 ex-WCL stars played in the Major Leagues. For more information, visit www.westcoastleague.com.
Longview Radiologists acquires new cutting edge MRI system
Kelso Downtown Revitalization Association working to energize downtown Organizers plan events, invite participation The Kelso Downtown Revitalization Association is working on The Iron Horse event scheduled for Labor Day weekend September 12. This year is the first time it will be a two-day event, with Saturday featuring a motorcycle rally and bike show, poker run, games, food and music. Sunday will feature a swap meet. Kelso’s city-wide sale “March Madness” is set for March 16–17. “Spring Fling” be April 25th when lots of vendors will populate the downtown area, selling their crafts. KDRA welcomes Healing Spirit and its owner, Padey Brett, to the Downtown Kelso area. KDRA meets 3rd Wednesday of the month. Anyone interested in helping to rebuild Downtown Kelso is welcome to attend.
For more information, contact Longview Radiologists is introducing a Mike Julian, 360-431-0881 or Hitachi Oasis High-Field Open Magnetic Mike.email@example.com Resonance Imaging (MRI) system to its list of diagnostic offerings. This machine is the only one of its kind between Tacoma and Medford, Oregon, and offers uncompromised imaging quality. Its accommodating design reassures patients and offers a broad range of clinical capabilities and features to meet the demand of today’s diagnostic imaging professionals. Hitachi emphasizes patients’ comfort during MRI exams. The Oasis gantry’s 270-degree interior view minimizes anxiety and claustrophobia, making a more pleasant environment for the patient, who can also have a loved one or friend nearby during the exam for further reassurance. The Oasis combines patient comfort with powerful technology and an ultrafast workstation to make exams as quick and smooth as possible. Its imaging power is further boosted by an array of anatomically-specific, optimized receiver coils that allow advanced imaging applications ranging from vascular to orthopedic to women’s health. For more information on the high field open Oasis MRI, call 360-425-5131.
Send info on promotions, expansions, significant happenings and personnel achievements to: firstname.lastname@example.org Submissions may be edited for length, style and consistency. New members: Call the Chamber office, 360-423-8400, to arrange to be interviewed for a “minifeature” in an upcoming issue of the Kelso Longview Business Connection.
By David Futcher, Kelso Mayor
Our neighborhoods are springing to life, too. Downtown Longview is evolving into a desirable place to work, shop, play, dine and live. The excitement there is building. Focused community coaching is making a real difference in the Highlands. Other neighborhoods from the Hillside to the West End are coming alive as community associations thrive. And realtors report that home sales are beginning to perk up.
• MARCH 2012
I believe things will be different in 2012. I can admit my rose-colored glasses rest firmly against my nose, but good news is coming from every side. As you read this, a Jack-in-the-Box restaurant is about halfway complete on the original site of the Hilander Bowl. The company recognized the unique advantages Kelso offers in terms of location in siting their restaurant. Their site enjoys easy access to I-5, and for travelers, Kelso is the most obvious stop from Vancouver to Chehalis. Because of our location, Kelso can become a regional retail destination. We may not have many sites available for large manufacturing, but I believe it’s important to embrace the assets we do have. With our highway access, retail development makes sense for Kelso. Besides, there are quality manufacturing sites elsewhere in the community, and the days of warring with other local jurisdictions for development are behind us. Economic development anywhere in the community helps Kelso, whether it takes place within the city limits, in Longview, or on Port property. I believe these retail advantages will spur Kelso’s growth in 2012. We know a large farm and garden supply store is coming, and I predict 2012 will bring a new anchor tenant for the Three Rivers Mall, development at the Wye, and more. That would be a rebound, and it wouldn’t even need a positive spin.
Expect to be dazzled! “The Magic Chamber”
... with Delusionist Joey Pipia
March 24–25 • Doors open at 5pm - Show starts at 6pm $20 per person includes entrance to Mt. St. Helens exhibit Tickets at the door or at www.brownpapertickets.com Location: Mt. St. Helens Visitor Center (7 minutes off I-5) 3029 Spirit Lake Hwy • Castle Rock, WA • 360-274-0962 (This event is suitable for adults & children) Join us for wine tasting before the event Blue Heron Inn • Mt. St. Helens Cellars 2846 Spirit Lake Hwy. Castle Rock, WA (across from Visitor Center) Open 12pm - 6pm
In partnership with In partnership with
CEDC • 1452 Hudson St. • US Bank Bldg • # 208 Longview, WA • 360-423-9921 • www.cowlitzedc.com
Reduce costly employee turnover
of employees would consider leaving if presented with other opportunities. Retaining top talent is critical for all businesses. Get the tools to hold onto your top performers and reduce turnover . . . Stacy Stack motivates audiences through expertise, charisma and humor. Director of training for Express Employment Professionals’ Northwest offices, she is an expert in helping businesses analyze staffing practices and identifying performance improvement strategies. She regularly teaches specialized workshops for client companies and temporary associates to enhance workplace performance.
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Express Employment Professionals presents Stacy Stack’s
The Six Most Dangerous Retention Mistakes • Tuesday, March 20 • • •
Hidden obstacles to retention Tips on holding yourself and your teams accountable for retention Essentials of employee engagement
Workshop 8–10am • Breakfast & Networking 7:30am Red Lion Conference Center, 510 Kelso Drive, Kelso, WA $25 per person. RSVP: Lisa.email@example.com or call Lisa Straughan, 360-414-1200 All current Express clients will receive 1 FREE ticket to attend.
360.414.1200 in Longview • www.expresspros.com
• MARCH 2012
KELSO LONGVIEW BUSINESS CONNECTION
“What are you doing in your business today that will help you be successful in light of the fact that the downturn of the economy has continued?” “We are focused on keeping the customers that we have happy so that when the economy does turn around we’re in a position to serve them.”
Sales Associate Miller Paint Company Longview
“Investing in new technologies that allow us to bring our products to the customer in record time, at reduced unit costs and without the customer having to buy more than they really need. And then still finding ways to do a little more than we ‘have to.’ The sluggish economy is affecting everyone. Anything we can do to show our customers that we care and are sharing the same struggles and challenges goes a long way and will leave a lasting impression that will live longer than the recession. Sometimes it means more to do a few things ‘just because.’”
Tom Gunn, Owner Reprographics, Longview
“We’ve increased our customer service. Before, we just greeted them. Now, we take them to the item they’re looking for and really help them solve their problem. We get in the middle of their project and think it through with them. Especially with the rising cost of gas, we want to save them time and money by avoiding unnecessary extra trips.”
Mike Zonich, Co-Owner
Kelso Hardware & Marine Kelso
BUSINESS OR PERSONAL SPONSORSHIPS ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR THE 2012 SEASON. FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL:
CALL (360) 703-3195 VISIT US AT WWW.COWLITZBLACKBEARS.COM 2012 COWLITZ BLACK BEARS WEEKLY PROMOTIONAL SCHEDULE: Mondays: KIDS EAT FREE • Tuesdays: $2 TUESDAYS & FIREWORKS Wednesdays: FAMILY NIGHT • Thursdays: THIRSTY THURSDAY & THEME NIGHTS • Fridays: SPECIAL PROMOTIONS* Saturdays: GIVEAWAYS & OUTRAGEOUS PROMOTIONS Sundays: KIDS CLUB & SENIOR SUNDAYS * Promotional schedule is subject to change
KELSO LONGVIEW BUSINESS CONNECTION
• MARCH 2012
Find ways to say “Yes!” Improvements to Chamber membership invoicing The Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce will be changing how we invoice for membership. Most of you, as does the Chamber, budget on a month-to-month basis. The traditional way this Chamber has invoiced you has been for the entire amount of your dues. Starting March 1, 2012, the Chamber will offer you four options when you continue your membership.
payments of $22.83. There is a service fee of $3 per transaction that has been added into the payment transaction.
I have talked with several small businesses this past month and most told me that the annual payment is very difficult for them, especially Bill Marcum during these difficult times. Even the larger employers said it makes it easier to plan, budget and pay on a less Option One: Monthly autothan annual basis. A $2,000 pay with your debit or credit membership payment is a card. tough thing to justify in January. So, the new process will allow businesses Option two: Quarterly auto-pay with the opportunity to choose which plan your debit or credit card. best meets their needs. Option three: Bi-annual auto-pay with your debit or credit card. Our goal is to find ways to say “YES.” If you see the value in the Chamber of Option four: Annual dues payment with Commerce and you want to be a mema 10% discount for paying in advance. ber, we want to find a way to help you Through a change in equipment and do that. some additional software supplied by If you have any questions please our merchant services account for do not hesitate to call or email credit and debit cards, we are now able me at 360-423-8400 ext. 14 or to process your payment automatically firstname.lastname@example.org the first of each month, quarterly or twice during the year. •••
Here is an example: If your dues are $238, you can make one payment of $214.20, two payments of $122, four payments of $62.50 or twelve monthly
Bill Marcum is the newly-appointed President/CEO of Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce.
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“Around the Water Cooler” is a regular feature of Kelso-Longview Business Connection. Watch for our roving reporter this month at a water cooler near you.
• MARCH 2012
KELSO LONGVIEW BUSINESS CONNECTION
OPEN FOR BUSINESS With the loading of the first ships at EGT’s Longview terminal, tons of American grain is now headed to customers around the world. And the Port of Longview is poised to become an economic engine for the entire Pacific Northwest region. Increasing grain exports from Longview means new jobs for local union workers and new opportunities for suppliers along the Columbia River to grow their businesses. And the additional revenue it’s expected to generate for the port has already led to
LEARN MORE: WWW.EGTGRAIN.COM
lower property taxes on local families. Thousands of American farmers now have better access to global markets, thanks to EGT and the people of Longview.
WE’RE PROUD TO BE WORKING TOGETHER.
Last year we said we were going to clean up the old Reynolds Aluminum plant and we didn’t take that commitment lightly.
We are making progress and we’re doing it right.
~Kristin Gaines VP, Environmental Planning and Services
Safely removed 54,000 tons of industrial material • Recycled 74% of removed material • Supported hundreds of jobs throughout Washington State • We’re not done yet • Track our progress at www.MillenniumBulk.com
KELSO LONGVIEW BUSINESS CONNECTION
Fundamentally change your business by asking just one question By Jerry D. Petrick
don’t know about you, but I seem to get surveys and questionnaires coming across my radar constantly. I usually don’t bother to respond to those from large companies – those impersonal, automated, non-caring invasions of my email or voicemail. I do tend to respond on those rare occasions when a small, local business cares to ask me what I think of my experience at their business. I may be rare; however, I tend to notice what businesses do,but I pay more attention to what they don’t do! How many seminars or workshops about customer service or increasing sales have you attended where the presenter encourages you to spend time and money to develop elaborate surveys to send to your customers to “hear the voice of the customer?” Have you done it? What difference has it made in your business? Increased sales? There is a very powerful body of research by Bain & Company over 10 years ago that attempted to find a “simple, practical and actionable indicator of what customers were thinking and feeling about the companies they did business with.” Bain wanted to develop,
2012 Board of Directors OFFICERS Frank McShane, Chairman Cascade Networks, Inc. Dale Lemmons Immediate Past Chair Interstate Wood Products Jerri Henr y, Treasurer Futcher - Henry Group Mike Claxton, Legal Counsel , Walstead Mertsching Bill Marcum, President Kekso Longview Chamber of Commerce President/CEO DIRECTORS John Anderson, Anderson & Anderson Advisory, LLC David Campbell, City of Longview Sarah Cave, PeaceHealth Diane Craft Koelsch Senior Communities Joel Hanson KLOG/KUKN/TheWAVE Mike Julian, Kelso Theatre Pub Bianca Lemmons Cowlitz County Title Julie Rinard Community Home Health & Hospice George Raiter Cowlitz County Commissioner Denny Richards, City of Kelso Spencer Partridge PNE Construction & CCS Ted Sprague, Cowlitz Economic Dev’p Center Neil Zick, Twin City Bank
“a number that reliably linked these attitudes both to what customers actually did and to the growth of the company … in short, to provide a basis for linking improvements in customer loyalty to business outcomes.” Bain, along with their data partner Satmetrix Systems, tested questions with thousands of customers across multiple industries and found that the way customers responded to one question consistently predicted behavior.
The ultimate question That one question, the Ultimate Question is: “How likely is it that you would recommend Company X [or Product X] to a friend or colleague?” Researchers found that the answers to this question consistently predicted customer retention, repeat purchases, referrals and other indicators of customer loyalty, profit and passion. Just as importantly, this question is quick, respectful, and easy for both customers AND employees. The preferred way to set up your process is to use the common 0-10 rating scale with 10 meaning “Extremely Likely” and 0 meaning “Not at All Likely” to recommend you to a friend. The responses tend to cluster into three groups: *Promoters (9 or 10) – These are your loyal, enthusiastic fans. *Passives (7 or 8) – They are reasonably satisfied but are not nearly as likely to remain loyal or refer their friends. *Detractors (0-6) – Detractors are unhappy customers and account for upwards of 80% of negative word-ofmouth. A very simple way to use this input is to calculate (and pay attention to) what Bain calls a “Net Promoter Score” which is easy to calculate. Calculate the percentage of responders that were Promoters and subtract the percentage of responders that were Detractors: Net Promoter score equals the percentage of Promoters minus the percentage of Detractors. This single metric can serve as an easy, powerful customer scorecard for your business. The only follow-up question you need to learn to ask is ”Why?” Then LISTEN! So, the new and improved way to understand what your customers think goes something like this: “Thank you for doing business with us, how likely is it that you would recommend ABC Company to your friends?” Then ask the key, open-ended question: “Why?” This is easy, inexpensive, respectful and a true gift to and from your customers.
Business and professional development programs offered locally “From Co-Worker to Super visor –What You Need to Know” will provide new and/or potential supervisors a solid foundation to build leadership abilities. The series, presented by Lower Columbia College in partnership with Vigilant, costs $525 for five sessions 8:30–12:30 on Thursdays at LCC’s Don Talley Building. Sign-ups with two or more co-workers or friends are $100 less per person. Sessions: April 5: Going from Co-Worker to Supervisor May 3: Communication Essentials May 17: Five Fundamentals of Supervision May 31: Time Management and Delegation June 7: Conflict Resolution
Seating is limited. For more information, email lamundson@ lowercolumbia.edu or email@example.com
In partnership with the Washington Small Business Development Center, LCC also offers a series, “NxLeveL Entrepreneur Certification,” with sessions 3:30–6:30pm on Thursdays, April 5–June 21. Susan Hoosier will lead the course through the business plan process of goal-setting, business strategies, financial accountability and management techniques. Cost is $550. Space is limited. Register by calling 360-442-2840 or 360-442-2841. Express Employment will present a workshop on “The Six Most Dangerous Retention Mistakes” focusing on the costly cycle of turnover of departing employees and hiring new ones. Leading the workshop is Stacy Stack, director of training for Express Employment Professionals’ offices in the Northwest. The event will be held March 30, 8–10am at the Red Lion, 510 Kelso Drive, Kelso. Cost is $25 per person. Register by calling Lisa Straughan at 360-414-1200.
I encourage you to step back from your business for a moment and ask yourself how loyal, happy, satisfied etc. are your customers? How do you know? What are you doing to improve your customer loyalty and likelihood to promote your business? To learn more about the Net Promoter system I suggest you read the book The Ultimate Question 2.0, by Fred Reichheld. Jerry D. Petrick is a business advisor, with WSU Small Business Development Center in Longview, WA. He can be contacted at 360-442-2946 or firstname.lastname@example.org
• MARCH 2012
CRYSTAL APPLE AWARDS
Chamber to recognize local businesses and Individuals at May 2 event
Nomination deadline: March 30 The Education Foundation Committee invites nominations for Awards in the following categories: Cr ystal Apple Award: Based upon the premise that a strong educational system is critical to a vibrant community, the Crystal Apple Award will be presenteded each year to employees of local member schools or colleges. A maximum of three awards will be given, one for each of the following: administrator; teacher or faculty member; and classified or support employee. Award recipients will receive an engraved Crystal Apple as an expression of the Chamber’s appreciation for a job well done. Workforce Education Awards: Honoring employer organizations and individuals who have demonstrated achievement in providing high quality workforce education and training in Cowlitz County, a maximum of two awards will be given, one to an employer organization and the other to an individual. Recipients will be selected based upon the development and implementation of workforce programs that are innovative in nature, improve the preparation and/or performance of the emerging or incumbent workforce, have measurable outcomes and demonstrate collaboration between business, government, and education. Business Excellence Award: Recipients reflect excellence in business and individual performance. A maximum of three awards will be given, one for each of the following: large business with more than 50 employees; small business with fewer than 50 employees; and a business individual. Award recipients will be recognized for their commitment to business ethics, customer service, and the community. The deadline for accepting nominations is March 30, 2012. Awards will be presented at the Kelso Longview Chamber’s Education Foundation’s Awards Ceremony on May 2, 2012. For nomination forms or for more information call the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce at 360-423-8400.
• MARCH 2012
KELSO LONGVIEW BUSINESS CONNECTION
March 20 March 13 March 7 March 8 March 7 March 8 Vol. 4, No. 3 • March 2012 Member2Member Monthly Mailing Deadline Cowlitz Regional Confere...