Page 1

February

2018

Volume 10, Issue 2

Business Connection Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce

Linda DiLembo participates in the Chamber's Business and Tourism Expo at the Three Rivers Mall booth.

sQuatch Fest turnout feeds desire for more, similar events Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce Team Bill Marcum, CEO Amy Hallock Project Manager Pam Fierst Visitor Information Center and Office Manager

Kelso Longview Business Connection is published monthly by the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce 105 N. Minor Road • Kelso, WA 98626 • 360-423-8400 kelsolongviewchamber.org To advertise, call Bill Marcum, 360-423-8400 or e-mail bmarcum@ kelsolongviewchamber.org Ad Deadline: 20th of each month

President Linda DiLembo would like to see more tourism-driven events like January’s sQuatch Fest, which brought more than 1,900 Sasquatch fans from across the northwest and the United States into town for the one-day spectacular. For perspective, Chamber CEO Bill Marcum reported the Visitor Center averaged 1,400 visitors a month during the busy 2017 summer season – Memorial Day through Labor Day. Many sQuatch Fest attendees came from out of the area and spent at least one night, perhaps more, in Longview and Kelso. “I’d like to see more new and exciting events like

that,” DiLembo said. “Amy (Hallock, Chamber project manager) is doing a great job. I was so impressed with her work on the Sasquatch event. Hopefully, we can do more projects like sQuatch Fest.” DiLembo, Three Rivers Mall general manager, began her one-year term as Chamber president in January, but she has been a Chamber member, and board member, for several years. After she was hired by Three Rivers Mall parent company Rouse Properties, Inc., the Chamber was one of her first stops. Prior to coming to Three Rivers Mall in 2010, DiLembo was the marketing For more Chamber, see page 3

The Chamber's sQuatch Fest brought more than 1,900 enthusiasts to the KelsoLongview area in January.


Chamber CEO’s Message By Bill Marcum

Chamber events draw our community and businesses together Call the Chamber to register, only 30 spots are available, 360-4238400. This will be my sixth year with the Building Bridges Expo. Wow, what an awesome event. More than 1,900 people attended the second annual sQuatch Fest on January 27. We had more than 60 vendors from across the northwest with all kinds of Sasquatch, bigfoot and yeti apparel, barbecue sauces, chips, chocolate, key chains, iron wall mounts and much, much, more. We had six worldrenowned speakers who told stories and entertained a standing room only crowd of about 600 throughout the day. I think the thing that amazes me most about the event is the fact that we had people from Virginia, California, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Oregon. People represented Washington state from Sequim to Spokane, Walla Walla to Ocean Shores and the Seattle metro area. This equates to 200 to 300 (we are still calculating) room nights for those attending the event. Special thank you to our sponsors (see the list on page 27). We could not put on such an event without all the support from our local businesses, cities and the county. Check out our Facebook page for photos and comments from those who attended. If you missed it make sure you put January 26 on your calendar for next year. Boardsmanship sessions begin in March. This series is designed for any member of a nonprofit board, but specifically geared for new board members and presidents-elect to help them understand just what their responsibility as a board member for an organization means. What things legally they are held responsible for, and what their accountability is to the organization and the community. One thing is for sure...your responsibility is more than just the one-hour monthly meeting – be prepared. March 9 – Gary Healea, Role of the Board vs. the CEO March 16 – Chris Bailey, Lower Columbia College, Succession Planning March 23 – Jennifer Leach, Handling Conflict (Colors of the Board) March 30 – Scott Davis, Financial Accountability April 6 – Jennifer Leach, Facilitating and Leading Meetings (Robert’s Rules) April 13 – Frank McShane, Working as a Team Sessions take place Friday mornings from 7:30 to 9 a.m. in the Lower Columbia College Administration Building, Heritage Room. 2 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | February 2018

KapStone will be our Presenting Sponsor again this year and I would like to specifically thank Rosemary Purcell and everyone at KapStone for their support for this, and many Chamber and community events, during the year. Your support and generosity is unmatched. The event is planned for March 7, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Cowlitz County Event Center. Our Major Sponsors are Twin City Bank, Prographyx, Millennium Bulk Terminals, Bicoastal Media, PeaceHealth, Koelsch Senior Communities and KUKN, KLOG and the Wave. All of these sponsors are in their sixth year of sponsorship and see great value in this event. Our Media Sponsors are KUKN, KLOG and the Wave, Valley Bugler, Columbia River Reader, Minuteman Press, Global Images Graphic Design and Marketing, Prographyx and Bicoastal Media. Each of these sponsors assist the Chamber with marketing the event through radio spots, newspaper advertising, graphic design, logo design, social media advertising, banner advertising and signage. Each also contributes a $500 gift certificate toward the $4,000 Media Kit we raffle off to one of our booth or table venders. That’s $4,000 of professional assistance from eight different professionals in 10 different areas. How can this not help your business be more successful? Thank you to these fantastic sponsors. We have two deadlines to secure your booth or table space. Early deadline is February 21. Booth space is $250 for members and $350 for nonmembers; table space is $150 member and $250 nonmember. After February 21 prices go up to $450 member and $550 nonmember for booth space and $250 member and $350 nonmember for table space. So don’t delay, call us today and save $100 to $200 or go online at www.kelsolongviewchamber.org and sign up. We are estimating more than 100 businesses participating. From 5 to 7 p.m. we will be giving away baskets and gift certificates provided by many of the booth and table venders, nearly one every 10 minutes will be given away. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served and beverages will be available. Come celebrate a true business to business afterhours. There will be no cost to attend the event. Who knows how much fun you will be able to have during the Business and Tourism Expo. Helping our local businesses be more successful.


Chamber, continued from page 1

Calendar

Linda DiLembo presents Shawn Green of ServPro with an award during the Chamber's 2017 Business and Education Awards.

Thursday February 1 – 7:30-8:30am Ambassador Meeting Columbia Bank Monday February 5 – 7am Legislative Breakfast Red Lion Hotel Wednesday February 7 – 7:30-8:30am Education Foundation Lower Columbia College Monday February 12 – 7am Legislative Breakfast Red Lion Hotel Tuesday February 13 – Noon Chamber Executive Board Red Kitchen February 13 – 5:30-7:30pm Business After Hours Ashtown Brewery Monday February 19 – 7am Legislative Breakfast Red Lion Hotel February 19 Chamber Office Closed Presidents Day Monday February 26 – 7am Legislative Breakfast Red Lion Hotel Tuesday

director for Puyallup’s South Hill Mall. Positions with Redmond Town Center and the Auburn SuperMall are also on her resume. Taking the job at Three Rivers Mall shaved her commute from hours to minutes; opening her schedule so she could participate more directly in the community she loves and help build its future. A reasonable cost of living, outstanding recreation opportunities and a family-friendly atmosphere were the qualities that drew DiLembo to Longview-Kelso and the attributes she touts when encouraging people and businesses to join the community.

Linda DiLembo

During her term, DiLembo would like to see the Chamber membership to continue to grow too. “The Chamber is looking forward to supporting new businesses,” she said. “I am convinced of the health of the area, of the potential of the area and the future of the area. That it is nothing but blue sky and bright. I believe in that.” “Linda has been very involved with the Chamber since she joined the board,” Marcum said. “She serves on the Education Committee, attends Government Affairs meetings and is very active at nearly every one of our local events. It is great to have her in the leadership role of the Chamber for 2018. She brings a great enthusiasm for the Chamber and I am very lucky to have her as the president of the board.”

For more photos and comments from sQuatch Fest fans see page 26

February 27 – Noon Chamber Board Meeting Mill City Grill Every Wednesday Chamber Connections KEDO/1400 AM or 99.1 FM 3-4pm Stream live at www.kedoam.com

February 2018 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | 3


Cowlitz County Commissioners By Joe Gardner

House Bill 2301 passage would boost county's public defense pot

On January 8 Cowlitz County Commissioners traveled to Olympia to advocate for House Bill 2301, introduced by Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen. Walsh’s bill hopes to provide counties with much needed support for indigent defense. This was the bill’s first hearing. If the bill becomes law it would take effect in July 2019. Currently, the state imposes a 37 percent marijuana excise tax on licensed marijuana related businesses. All of the revenues derived from the tax must be deposited into the Dedicated Marijuana Account. HB 2301 would require 33.3 percent of all moneys in the account be distributed to counties based on the total marijuana excise tax collected in the cities, towns and unincorporated areas within that county.

Due to impending state required case load standards Cowlitz County established an Office of Public Defense in 2007. In 2018 the total budget for the County’s Office of Public Defense is approximately $2.6 million with Washington state chipping in $154,000 of the $2.6 million, approximately 6 percent. HB 2301 would allow the county to keep more of its marijuana tax revenues, one-third, to be specific. Those funds would then be designated solely for public defense. For example, in 2017 more than $5 million was collected from marijuana retailers, processors and producers in Cowlitz County. Under the scenario HB 2301 proposes the county would have received approximately $1.6 million for the purpose of funding indigent defense.

Inherent to our public justice system, courts must provide attorneys for those who cannot afford one. RCW 10.101 states, “effective legal representation must be provided for indigent persons…” and, “each county or city under this chapter shall adopt standards for the delivery of public defense services...” While public defense is an absolute fundamental service, the cost for providing it is extremely high and shouldered almost entirely by county dollars. The idea behind Walsh’s bill is that because the state requires counties to perform this service, the state should also find a way to help pay for it.

On a lighter note, for those of you who enjoyed sQuatch Fest you may want to consider supporting Senate Bill 6151 creating a specialty license plate featuring the elusive furry biped himself. SB 6151 would provide funds for Washington state parks from the sale of specialty Sasquatch license plates.

Since 2014 Washington state has collected $710 million in marijuana excise tax. It seems reasonable to expect more of those dollars be returned to counties in order to provide the services mandated by the state.

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Linda DiLembo, President

Clayton J. Bartness, DC Longview Chiropractic Clinic

Nick Lemiere Edward Jones

Ken Botero Longview City Council

Chris Roewe Woodford Commercial Real Estate

Neil Zick, Treasurer

Bob Crisman Gallery of Diamonds

Tom Rozwod NORPAC/Weyerhaeuser

Michael Claxton, Legal Counsel

Wendy Hutchinson Millennium Bulk Terminals

Ted Sprague Cowlitz Economic Development Council

Lance Welch, Past President PeaceHealth-St. John

Marlene Johanson Heritage Bank

Steve Taylor Kelso City Manager

Chris Bailey Lower Columbia College

Wendy Kosloski Teague's Interiors

Dennis Weber Cowlitz County Commissioner

Three Rivers Mall

Frank Panarra, President Elect Foster Farms

Bianca Lemmons, Vice President Cowlitz County Title Twin City Bank

Walstead Mertsching

4 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | February 2018


PRESENTED BY

March 9, 2016

3:00 pm - 8:00PRESENTED pmBY

Building Bridges BUSINESS & TOURISM EXPO

COWLITZ COUNTY REGIONAL CONFERENCE CENTER

SIGN UP NOW!

Up to $200 foroff early Up tooff $200 forsign earlyup. sign up.

Booth Space (36 Available) Chamber Member

Non-Chamber Member

(any area Chamber Member)

$350 before February 21 $550 after February 21

$250 before February 21 $450 after February 21

For information on joining the Chamber visit: www.kelsolongviewchamber.org/members/become-member

Table Space (84 Available) Chamber Member

Non-Chamber Member

(any area Chamber Member)

$250 before February 21 $350 after February 21

$150 before February 21 $250 after February 21

For information on joining the Chamber visit: www.kelsolongviewchamber.org/members/become-member

Additional Sponsorship Packages Available Includes booth space, logo on all printed material, logo on website, banner at event and all advertising.

Call today 360-423-8400 or register online www.kelsolongviewchamber.org Major Sponsors:

Media Sponsors:


City of Kelso

City of Longview

By City Councilman David Futcher

By City Councilman Ken Botero

Recycling effectively

2018 – Picking up where we left off

Regardless of political ideology, most of us would agree that recycling is important. Whether you’re wanting to reduce your environmental footprint, use resources more efficiently, or just keep garbage out of the landfill, recycling can make a big difference.

Well, here we are, off to a great start in a new year. There is no time like the present to evaluate what worked well and what could have been improved over the past year. Did we meet our goals? If not, what could we do to make a positive difference in 2018?

As a city, we contract with Waste Control to provide garbage service to our residents. Waste Control also provides a recycling service emptying three drop-off locations the city provides. The City of Longview contracts with them to provide curbside recycling pickup, and many have wondered why Kelso doesn’t do the same.

I welcome you to the beautiful jewel of southwest Washington, the inspiring city of Longview and its many, many, interesting residents and community leaders. Following the inspiration from the above paragraph, we can be, and are, proud of the accomplishments from the past year. Not all goals may have been met; however, look for them to find their way home in the coming year.

For the past 10 years, I’d have told you there were a couple reasons. First, the garbage trucks aren’t helping our streets. They are densely packed, and the weight causes one garbage truck trip to equate to an estimated 5,000 passenger vehicle trips in terms of damage to the streets. Doubling the weekly garbage truck traffic would exacerbate the challenges we already have maintaining the residential streets. Also, the last time we checked into curbside recycling, the cost was projected to be $10,000 a month, or roughly a buck a head per month. The cost would be passed through to the utility customer, increasing monthly bills. And that price is probably 10 years old, so the cost would likely be much greater now. At a recent meeting, we revisited the issue with Waste Control representatives. They pointed out that many people believe recycling brings money in to offset the cost of collecting and processing. However, recycling only works when there is a market for the recycled material. Waste Control told us about China’s new policies limiting recyclable importing. Not only are they reducing the volume they accept, China is requiring a higher quality product with lower contamination than in the past. The Chinese policy change has sent waste management companies across the country scrambling for other alternatives. (And if you’ve followed Longview’s results with recycling, you know that contamination is a consistent problem.) As much as it might make you feel good to put something in a recycle bin, thinking it’s going to be reincarnated as a new product, the demand and processing capacity has to be there for the dream to be practical. Perhaps the market adjusts as new manufacturing processes are created in the future, but until that happens, collecting additional materials via more expensive curbside recycling doesn’t make sense.

There’s a feeling of pride in its accomplishments, including working well with the community leaders within many helpful organizations and service clubs. Within the next few weeks our residents and visitors should see the new 2018 work plan guiding city leaders and staff into the future. Some of those projects, which include many partnerships with our Washington state legislature, will be an asset in our challenge to provide that “quality of place” that is in the heart of our community. When looking back to the previous year we have seen the renovation of our downtown core, bringing more business to the area and providing a positive result in economic success. We have a great partnership with the Public Facilities District in providing services to the citizens of our community through the Columbia Theatre and expo center project, the restoration of our historic Monticello Hotel, the educational awards attained by our local school district, and much more. With our positive 2017 accomplishments done we can now turn our hopes and desires to 2018 and bring a sense of pride to our community through the restoration of R.A. Long Park, the much needed street maintenance and repair program, affordable housing (with new regulations), and a positive partnership with our local Chamber of Commerce bringing unity to businesses and citizens within our community. Part of the challenge for the coming year will be to have you, the awesome and positive community, step up and participate in bringing that quality of place to the city of Longview. We are a proud community and will show all of southwest Washington what it takes to make our home someplace special for our residents and guests. After all, this is our home, and yes, we can do what it takes. Let’s show the world that CAN and JUST DO IT.

The city’s three drop-off locations are on South Pacific Avenue, in front of Huntington Middle School, and behind the Super 8 hotel near Rite Aid. These spots do a good job helping us collect a significant percentage of the recyclables created in our community. I’ve proposed the improvement of these drop sites to encourage additional usage. The east side location, for instance, isn’t paved and may discourage use during rainy seasons. My family recycles, and we’ve discovered it reduces what goes to the landfill by at least half. While I want to encourage that behavior in Kelso, adding curbside recycling just doesn’t make sense right now. 6 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | February 2018

Residential & Commercial gro.n.control@gmail.com


Workforce Southwest Washington By Julia Maglione Communications Manager

Manufacturer gets assist from WorkSource to find and hire employees

Olympic Aero Services (OAS), an industry leading manufacturer and aviation engineering company with locations in Woodland and Olympia was seeking new employees with specific skills. They wanted employees that could read drawings and diagrams, had the patience to assemble electronic components correctly, could work independently and would communicate well with engineers. The company contacted WorkSource after Business Consultant Donna Hughes visited and toured the company with Scot Walstra of the Cowlitz Economic Development Council. The two organizations frequently partner to assist companies with workforce development. After learning about and understanding the company’s workforce needs and challenges, Donna referred a veteran who was job seeking through WorkSource. The candidate had experience working on aircraft which made him a good fit for OAS’s requirements. The candidate was eligible for on-the-job training (OJT) funded through WorkSource as his prior employer had closed. OAS hired him as an Aero Space Technician and received reimbursement from WorkSource for a portion of his salary while he was being trained. “WorkSource was instrumental in assisting us in finding candidates that met the criteria we were searching for in applicants,” said OAS Owner David Barton. “By working closely with WorkSource and providing them the job requirements and characteristics of the type of individual that would be a great fit for our business, we were able to find a perfect applicant for the position.” When OAS wanted to hire another employee, they again contacted Donna. Knowing OAS’s desired qualifications and work environment, Donna screened candidates and identified a woman who enjoyed repairing laptop computers on the weekend, had great at-

tention to detail (a key required skill) and was excited about the opportunity. Donna arranged for the woman to intern at OAS and she was hired by the company to assemble components. “WorkSource also had several programs that helped offset the cost of hiring a new employee, first an internship and then on-the-job training. The individual we hired has worked out great for our company and will be a significant contributor to our planned growth,” continued David. In addition to referring job candidates, arranging internships and on-the-job training for new hires, Donna has assisted Olympic Aero with a variety of services, including developing job descriptions and requirements, job postings and screening staff. With continued low unemployment, finding candidates will continue to be a challenge for many companies. WorkSource is a great local resource for you. Their business consultants can visit your location and develop an understanding of your company and your workforce needs, they’ll then develop customized strategies and provide services that job posting websites do not offer. WorkSource has job candidates and the expertise to identify their skills that could be transferrable and valuable to your business. WorkSource will work with you to find potential job candidates and reimburse you, up to $5,000, for the trainee’s salary as they learn skills customized to your business. Your company may also qualify for tax credits for hiring certain job candidates, such as veterans. Before you hire your next employee, contact WorkSource Business Services Consultant Donna Hughes at dhughes@esd.wa.gov or 360578-4259.

Locally Owned, Family Owned and Here to Stay! Offering the best in quality and selection.

1157 3rd Avenue, Suite 218

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1157 Longview, 3rd Avenue, WA Suite 98632 218 1157 3rd360.952.3100 Avenue, Suite 218 Longview, WA 98632 Longview, WA 98632 www.amadaseniorcare.com 360.952.3100 360.952.3100 www.amadaseniorcare.com www.amadaseniorcare.com February 2018 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | 7


Business After Hours

Join us for Business After Hours! Tuesday, February 13, 2018 from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Ashtown Brewing Company 1175 Hudson Street, Longview

Come check out our new Brew House!

15 advance - $20 at the door

$

Register at: www.kelsolongviewchamber.org


Business After Hours

Revving to Show

Stirling Honda showed off its newly renovated location on Washington Way for our January Business After Hours.

Shawna won a $75 gift card donated by Stirling Honda. Steve Dahl from SRD Enterprises won an oil change from Stirling Honda.

See more photos on the Chamber’s Facebook page or click here.

February 2018 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | 9


Cowlitz Wahkiakum Council of Governments By Bill Fashing Executive Director

Survey draws attention to common issues and struggles for nation's cities and mayors Boston University recently released the results of the fourth annual Survey of Mayors. According to the summary of key findings the survey looked at the ways critical urban issues of both local and global relevance are being addressed and considered. The survey respondents represented both large and small cities throughout the country. A variety of issues are included in the summary that include housing and climate change, as well as measuring the successes of governmental policy. A few of the key findings are included as part of this article. Cities and towns within our region are considering, and in some cases struggling, with many of the same issues. HOUSING AFFORDABILITY – Across the country, mayors of all types of cities are concerned about housing affordability and access. Fifty-one percent of mayors cite housing costs as the most common reason people move out of their city. Thirty-five percent of mayors say zoning and development issues had the biggest impact on voters’ approval ratings of their performance as mayor. HOUSING REFORM – There is no one-size-fits-all solution that would remedy the housing challenges mayors are facing today. Only a small share of mayors (13 percent) says their cities’ housing stock fit their residents’ needs “very well” or “extremely well.” Mayors in all regions believe there is a mismatch between their current housing stock and the needs of their cities, but it was most pronounced in the western United States, where 45 percent felt there was a significant mismatch between the available housing options and the needs of their constituents. There is less agreement on what changes are needed to ensure a city’s housing supply is able to meet demand. More affordable multibedroom units (39 percent), increased home ownership (36 percent), and upgrades to older housing (30 percent) topped the list of desired changes. Mayors cited a range of obstacles to improving housing access for their constituents. The lack of government funding tops the list of barriers for improving housing access for low-income residents, while difficulty obtaining bank financing is the greatest barrier for middle class families and residents of color. Even when the need is apparent, mayors still face challenges in expanding housing options for some constituents. Fifty-five percent believe a new affordable housing development for families would generate controversy, while a housing project for seniors would be virtually 10 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | February 2018

free of opposition. CLIMATE CHANGE – A majority of mayors are committed to local action on climate change, but the issue is politicized even at the local level. Eighty-four percent of mayors believe climate change to be the result of human activities, compared to 68 percent of the general U.S. public. Two-thirds of mayors say cities should take action on climate change even if doing so requires financial costs. These responses are highly polarized by party – Democrats were almost universally supportive of this trade-off, while only 24 percent of Republicans agreed or strongly agreed. Mayors also see a number of city-level policies – ranging from increasing residential density to updating building codes – as integral parts of any serious effort to address climate change, but pushed back on the need to institute new costly regulations on the private sector. DATA AND POLICY EVALUATION – Mayors use a wide variety of data to evaluate key policy arenas; the amount of consensus about how to evaluate performance varies considerably by issue. Some policy areas lend themselves to clear evaluative metrics. Mayors chiefly look to graduation rates as a way to assess education policy, while crime rates are used to evaluate both police department performance and public safety. Other policy areas yield a more diverse array of potential metrics. When evaluating constituent views, mayors looks to surveys, but also neighborhood contacts, citizen complaints, and glean constituent views from media coverage. Results and the full copy of the report are available at www.surveyofmayors.com. The full study includes much more information than what has been included in this summary. Over the four years of the survey, the sponsors have learned much about the state of cities and the changing understanding of and approach to key issues facing local governments and their residents. The definition of infrastructure has changed to include transit, bike lanes and housing in addition to the more traditional road, water and sewer systems. A deep concern for the marginalized residents of our communities is also emerging as a critical area of concern for the nation’s mayors. The CWCOG and its member agencies will continue to explore these and other issues impacting our regional quality of life and economic vitality.


Cowlitz Economic Development Council By Ted Sprague CEO

Cowlitz housing market taking off

As the housing markets of Seattle and Portland are reaching all time highs in terms of pricing, lack of availability and time on market, it is good to see Cowlitz County home sellers are reaping the benefits. According to chief economist for Windermere Real Estate Mathew Gardner there were 25,312 home sales during the third quarter of 2017 in the 15 western Washington counties. This is an increase of 3.6 percent over the same period in 2016.

Washington counties. The leader in home sale price is Grays Harbor County at 20.1 percent and not surprisingly, King County is No. 2 at 16.1 percent. Every western Washington county is showing home sale price increases over the previous year.

Clallam County holds the No. 1 position for sales growth over the past 12 months at a whopping 36.8 percent. Cowlitz County ranked fifth at 13.5 percent. Only three other counties saw double-digit gains in sales. There were modest declines in sales activity in six counties, including King County at minus 1.0 percent, but that speaks more to their lack of inventory than a lack of high priced sales.

Another stress buyers and sellers face in the real estate market is the time it takes to sell a home. King County continues to be the tightest market with homes taking an average of 17 days to sell. Cowlitz County homes are selling at a 30-day average on the market, ranking it sixth in western Washington. Every county except San Juan saw the days on market drop from the same period a year ago. According to Gardner, this quarter, it took an average of 43 days to sell a home. This is down from the 51 days it took in the second quarter of 2016 and down by eight days from the second quarter of this year.

When it comes to the housing market, sellers want to know the value of their home and what they can expect to demand when it comes to pricing. Due to price growth in western Washington with demand exceeding supply, price growth is well above historical averages. According to Gardner, as of the third quarter in 2017, Cowlitz County home prices are 9.2 percent above the third quarter of 2016. This ranks Cowlitz County 12th when compared with other western

The tight housing markets are putting stresses on the low-income homebuyer that has reached the attention of government, media markets, and local organizations. New construction of homes and multifamily housing as well as rehabilitation of existing properties will relieve some of that pressure. Leaders in our communities are currently discussing these issues and seeking workable solutions so new capital investments can be made.

LeeRoy Parcel Manager/LPO leeroy@cascade-title.com

Alison Peters Bonnie Woodruff Diane Kenneway Dennis Bird Escrow Officer/LPO Escrow Officer/LPO Escrow Assistant Senior Title Officer alison@cascade-title.com bonnie@cascade-title.com diane@cascade-title.com dennis@cascade-title.com

Lindsey McTimmonds Marketing/Recording recording@cascade-title.com

1425 Maple St. Longview, WA 98632 360.425.2950 www.cascade-title.com

Connie Bjornstrom Receptionist/Typist connie@cascade-title.com

February 2018 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | 11


Business Toolbox By Jerry D. Petrick Certified Business Advisor

A conversation with a CPA As we turn the calendar to 2018 we have some potentially significant changes to tax policies and regulations that will impact businesses. It is time for businesses to understand the impacts on their specific business and plan accordingly. Recently, I invited local certified public accountant Aaron Dawson, president of Opsahl Dawson Certified Public Accountants, to sit down for a conversation about the accounting and planning issues most pressing for most small business owners. Our discussion… Jerry Petrick, business adviser – Washington State University Small Business Development Center (JP): Why does a small business need the expertise of a certified public accountant – their books are simple and QuickBooks is pretty easy to use? Aaron Dawson (AD): First of all, your books may be simple but the IRS tax return certainly isn’t. Years and years of political influence has shaped the IRS tax code into such a complicated form that it takes an expert to make sure you fill it out correctly and capture the deductions and credits that you are due. For example, most people don’t know that you can deduct the sales tax on your new car purchase, boat purchase, or home remodel. Secondly, small business books may appear simple, but you don’t know what you are missing. Just balancing the company checkbook each month doesn’t mean that you have captured every deduction available. For example, the depreciation rules change materially from year to year. A business owner MUST evaluate the current year tax law versus the next year tax laws to see if it makes sense to make a major equipment purchase or vehicle purchase this year or hold off and make it the following year. Often with taxes, timing is everything. A business owner also will benefit from tax planning, often it is a frustration to find out on tax day you owe more than you thought and might be hit with costly IRS penalties and interest. A CPA can help with estimating your taxes. If you pay TOO much into the IRS quarterly it may have a negative impact on your company’s cash flow. All of this planning is work a CPA would be able to help with. My dad has been a CPA for more than 40 years; he says a good CPA will always pay for themselves. So hiring a CPA will not be an added expense to your company. JP: My business was formed as an LLC what is the best way to file my federal taxes? AD: Great question. We deal with this question every day. There are many factors that go into the advice we give related to this question. Each situation is unique. LLCs have great flexibility in that they can file as almost any type of entity for tax purposes [LLC is NOT a choice for filing with the IRS]. Some factors to consider are as follows: 1. Is this a 100 percent-owned LLC (or husband and wife)? 2. Is this LLC profitable, or is it a start up and may operate at a loss for a year or more? 3. Does this LLC have employees? Each situation is unique and advice needs to be tailored to fit the situation. 12 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | February 2018

JP: Along those same lines, what is the best entity type to use for tax purposes? AD: Again, there are a lot of individual details to consider. One entity type may work better for a certain situation than another. In today’s business environment, we generally advise business owners to organize as either an LLC or an S-corp. C-corporations have almost become a thing of the past in most situations due to their double taxation. JP: In addition to tax return preparation, how can a CPA help me? AD: A CPA should be considered one of your most trusted advisers. We take pride in being problem solvers. We deal with a large variety of issues. Taxation has many facets. In general, a good CPA should be able to pay for themselves with the tax savings they are able to produce, so generally a CPA is not an additional net cost to your business. A CPA can help with many topics, including: 1. Are you paying too much tax, are you missing valuable deductions? 2. Have you considered putting aside money for retirement and taking the related tax deductions? 3. Are you paying in enough quarterly tax payments so you are not surprised with a large tax bill at year end? 4. Every financial decision you make has an economic affect. Have you run your next major financial decision by your CPA? We are happy to act as a sounding board. JP: What are the most common mistakes small businesses make with their accounting/bookkeeping? AD: This question is easy – THE biggest mistake business owners commonly make is not having timely and accurate accounting records available to make business decisions. The big answer here is... “Monthly Close”. Is your bookkeeper performing a month-end close of the accounting records and providing you with a monthly financial statement? In most cases the answer is “no”. With some training and setting of expectations, this is very achievable. Many business owners run their business by how much cash is in the bank rather than evaluating the true economics of their business on a timely basis. For example, if you are a construction business, generally you bid for each job. When the job is done, you should compare each expense item to your bid to see where you made money or lost money. Then take that learning experience and apply it to your next project or bid. This is very valuable information that is often lost as businesses are too busy moving on to the next job rather than learning and adjusting from the last job. JP: What should a business owner do when they get a letter from the State of Washington Department of Revenue or the IRS saying they owe taxes? AD: Immediately forward the letter to your CPA. Your CPA will evaluate the notice and advise you on what to do based on the nature of the letter. It is imperative that we be kept in the loop as soon as possible. For more Petrick, see page 13


Petrick, continued from page 12 JP: What if the business doesn’t have a CPA and they get a letter from a taxing authority? Is that a good time to contact a CPA? Can they help me at that point? AD: Yes, a CPA is always ready to help current clients and those that wish to become clients. It is advisable to talk to a CPA right away to help give you advice on what the letter is saying. The taxing authorities have very specific procedures that they want followed; we can help make sure it doesn’t turn into a huge frustration for you. Often it is more expensive for a CPA to “FIX” problems if we are brought in to help too late, it is easier and more efficient for us to be involved from the beginning. JP: How can a small business best use a CPA to improve their business? AD: A CPA can help advise you from start to finish. We should be involved BEFORE you start your business. We will advise you as to what entity structure, how to set up your accounting system, we can help interview bookkeepers, what retirement plan to consider, should you take a payroll, etc. It is much more costly to “FIX” problems later than it is to set up your business correctly at the beginning with the advice of a CPA. JP: With the recent federal tax “reforms” now in effect, what are the most important changes for business owners to focus on? AD: The new tax law entitled The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed on December 22, 2017. Keep in mind it is effective for the 2018 tax year. Below I have provided a link to a summary of the specific changes to the law. The treasury will be working on providing the public with regulations that will help detail specifics of how the new law will be ap-

plied, those regulations will likely take a year to produce…so for now we are operating under the best information we have available to us. I am happy to discuss the new law at our upcoming “Ask a CPA” Business Best Practices Series workshop listed at the end of this article. https://www.fool.com/taxes/2017/12/30/your-complete-guide-tothe-2018-tax-changes.aspx JP: In closing, what advice would you offer small business owners to help them run more profitable businesses? AD: A business will have an increased chance of being profitable if you have the correct team in place to help advise you. The business world and related taxes are far too complex to not include a CPA. Keeping current and accurate financial records is a must. You have to watch every penny and make sure that each expense is authorized and protect yourself against fraud. Internal controls are one of the most important safeguards an owner can put into place. Acting with integrity toward your customers and employees will make sure your business is around for the long haul. For more information and an opportunity to ask your own questions of a CPA, please join Aaron on February 20 where he will present and answer your questions at the Best Business Practices Series workshop. To register follow this link https://wsbdc.ecenterdirect. com/events/99270584 This article was prepared by Jerry Petrick, MBA, and Certified Business Adviser at the WSU Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Longview. Jerry provides no-cost, confidential business advisory services by appointment. He can be reached via e-mail: jerry.petrick@wsbdc.org

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By Chuck Nau Retail Consultant and Sales and Managment Trainier – Murray & Nau, Inc.

S How much should a retailer invest on advertising?...Depends on a number of factors! Two questions frequently asked when I am working with small and midsize businesses, retailers and service providers typically seem to be related to, “How much should I spend on advertising for my business?” and “How do you establish an advertising budget?” Another question often asked would be, “What works best, one at a time, hit or miss, or a planned long-range advertising program?” So, the focus of this month’s column will be to answer those questions. Investing in your business or the service you provide through advertising depends on a number of factors; but first, let’s clarify a basic assumption. Advertising to promote your business or service is NOT a cost. Rather, as I just stated, advertising is an INVESTMENT in your business or the service that you provide to the community. It’s also an investment in YOUR community. Let’s explore the four contributing factors in determining the amount of your advertising investment. Let’s also review what happens when you advertise price or if you are only promoting (selling) based on price alone. • Business Location – You have heard it before...location, location, location! High traffic area? Low traffic area? The lower the traffic, the more rural or out of mainstream flow, the larger the dollar investment in advertising required. • Top of Mind Awareness – or, as I like to say...“Name a (business) in your community?” Will YOUR business name or service be “Top of Mind” or quickly identified? And, of course, a new business will need a larger dollar investment in advertising unlike an established business that already has local awareness, familiarity and trust. • Competitive Market – Do you know who your competitors are? Have you reviewed your competitive advantages...what benefits set you off from others in your community? What’s unique about your business or service? Businesses in a market with a number of competitors will need a larger dollar investment in advertising as opposed to a one of a kind business in a market. • Price vs. Value – It’s ALL About Value! What’s the value of your business or service? Teach your staff (and remind yourself) NOT to give “facts”. Rather talk BENEFITS or how the facts or features you offer will help solve a need or problem (or opportunity) your 14 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | February 2018

customer has. Facts create objections...BENEFITS reinforce your value and sell your goods or services. A business that only guarantees lowest price or features ongoing sales must continually reinforce this message and therefore will require a larger dollar investment in advertising. When you advertise price, or if you are only selling price...you have to continue to lower the price, or come up with enhanced incentives, on an ongoing basis in order to continue building your customer base. Value! It’s all about value...your business or service value! Now that you have clarified some of the factors to consider as you move forward with your advertising investment planning... the next question is how to establish an advertising budget. Most retailers set their investment in advertising dollars based on a percentage of sales. In other words, if your monthly sales goal were $10,000 to maintain a positive cash flow and GROW your business, most retailers would consider a $300 (3 percent of monthly sales goal) to $500 (5 percent of monthly sales goal) monthly ad budget BEFORE taking the aforementioned contributing factors into consideration. In closing, do not allow your advertising investment to be wasted. One time or “hit and miss” advertising has a very high likelihood of generating minimal, if any results. Planning an advertising campaign (a series of ads, with a set aside/allocated budget, within a timeframe, to meet an IDENTIFIED need, problem or opportunity, with a DESIRED outcome) will maximize your advertising investment dollars.

© Murray & Nau, Inc. Chuck Nau of Murray and Nau, Inc. is a Seattle area based consultant and sales and management trainer. He is a 25-year veteran of advertising, sales, media and management, who knows and understands the everyday challenges of starting up, growing, and surviving in today’s ever changing retail climate. He has spoken to and conducted workshops for a number of local retail and chamber organizations, national publishing groups, national retailers and manufacturers, state press associations, and newspaper groups. Comments and questions are welcome and may be directed to Chuck via e-mail: murnau@nwlink.com or at 425-603-0984.


Connect with Legislators Legislative Briefing Breakfast Begins Monday, January 22, 7am, RED LION And continue each Monday throughout the Legislative Session

Each week, contact is made with our local legislators, either in person or by conference call, for an update on the bills and issues currently under consideration. Gary Chandler from the AWB is our main source of information as to what is going on in Olympia from a business perspective. As a business, you often feel the impact from some of the decisions made by our State Legislators on your ability to do business in Washington State. These breakfast briefings give you an opportunity to discuss personally with your elected officials issues that impact your business and seek options that provide for better business operations in Washington. Three major issues to be addressed during this session that WILL affect your business, Paid Family Leave, Carbon Tax and Predictive Scheduling. Come find out? Be Heard?

January 22 - March 12 (60 day session) Legislative Update Breakfast Mondays RED LION, Birch Room 7:00 a.m.

May - December Legislative Committee Meetings First Monday of each month Location for 2018 - Teri’s Restaurant 12:00/Noon


Lower Columbia College By Chris Bailey President

LCC receives $1 million in grant funding to increase student success I am pleased to announce that Lower Columbia College recently received $1 million dollars in grant funding to support the implementation of Guided Pathways, a national student success initiative.

year institutions with junior standing in a major.

College Spark Washington selected LCC and four other colleges in the state to receive $500,000 each for the five-year initiative. Through a legislative appropriation, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges is providing matching funding, bringing the total to $1 million per college.

Specific objectives of this initiative include development of “meta majors” (broad fields of interest), program/degree maps, default and predictable schedules, enhanced intake and advising practices, accelerated remediation for students who are not college ready, and multiple math pathways to better suit different types of intended careers.

The Guided Pathways approach aims to better structure student connection, entry, progress, and completion of certificates and degrees with market value, or that allow students to transfer to four-

Colleges receiving funding in addition to LCC include Clover Park Technical College, Renton Technical College, Spokane Falls Community College, and Tacoma Community College.

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Mind Your Own Business (at the Library) By Chris Skaugset Director – Longview Public Library

New releases for small business Welcome to 2018. Is this the year that you want to start your own

entrepreneurial experience to launch a profitable side hustle and you

new business or expand your existing one? Do you have an idea

don’t have to have an MBA, or know how to code, or be an expert

that you think just might be the one? In the next few months, the

marketer. The author will guide you through the process of creating

Longview Public Library will be opening a small business center/

your own side hustle, showing readers another way to become entre-

hub/incubator that will provide anyone access to information about

preneurial without having to go all in.

how to start or grow your business. I will talk about this more in next month’s column. So, while you’re waiting I’ve included a few of our brand new books that you can check out. We purchased a large number of new small business related books at the end of last year to replace and update our existing Small Business Collection. You can find these and many other titles at your Longview Public Library. And don’t forget that if you don’t live in Longview but own property or a business in Longview you can come in and get a library card.

Cara Alwill Leyba’s “Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur” is the next new book to explore. Inc. Magazine named this book one of the “Top 9 Inspiring Books Every Female Entrepreneur Should Read” alongside “Lean In”, “#Girlboss”, and “Thrive”. Companies like Kate Spade and Macy’s have brought her in to teach “the Code”. This is a book not so much about the nuts and bolts of creating your business or how to run it, Leyba’s work is more about how to be successful by

The first book that I wanted to mention this month is “The Ultimate

beginning with yourself. This fascinating book teaches women en-

Start-up Guide: Marketing Lessons, War Stories, and Hard-Won

trepreneurs how to build confidence in themselves, reconnect with

Advice from Leading Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors”

the “why” of what they’re doing, and ultimately learn the power of

by Tom Hogan and Carol Broadbent. The reality of start-ups is that

connection. The author believes that wisdom is meant to be shared

they most often fail and fail early: the typical start-up lasts only 20

and at the end of the day, that's what life and business are all about.

months and burns through $1.3 million in financing before closing

Girl Code is a roadmap for female entrepreneurs, professional wom-

its doors. If you’re looking for practical advice on how to start your

en, “side hustlers,” and anyone in between.

own start-up or participate in a successful one this fascinating look at what makes a successful start-up may be the place to begin. The authors discuss strategies for hiring and building your team, culture, and values. They also include tips on how to pitch your company and secure funding, as well as provide insights on how venture capitalist investors think and how to evaluate new companies. This excellent book offers an insider's look at this brave new world of start-ups.

Finally, I present to you “Small Time Operator: How to Start your Own Business, Keep your Books, Pay your Taxes, and Stay out of Trouble” by Bernard Kamoroff. The author, who is a CPA with more than 30 years of experience specializing in small business and a lecturer at the University of California, has written one of the most popular business start-up guides ever. In clear, easy-to-understand language, this useful title covers all of the basic information that

“Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days” by Chris Guille-

anyone starting a business needs to know. The on-demand econo-

beau is the next offering this month. For some people, the thought of

my, also known as the sharing economy or the gig economy, is a

quitting their day job to pursue the entrepreneurial life is exhilarat-

new and greatly expanding business model that is basically nothing

ing and for many others, it's terrifying. But what if we could quickly

more than a mobile app that connects people who need some type

and easily create an additional stream of income without giving up

of service – a ride, a delivery, a plumber, a house cleaner – with in-

the security of a full-time job? This is what Guillebeau calls a side

dividuals who provide that service. There are hundreds of thousands

hustle and he is no stranger to this world, having launched more

of newly self-employed individuals and the great majority of these

than a dozen side hustles over his career. In this interesting and use-

on-demand workers have zero experience or knowledge about self-

ful book, he offers a step-by-step guide that takes you from an idea

employment. This book will give on-demand workers everything

to income in just under one month. He shows how you don't need

they need to know about being self-employed. February 2018 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | 17


Kelso School District

Longview Public Schools

Director of Student Services Don Iverson

Superintendent Dan Zorn

We are teaching what you need... According to a survey of 704 employers conducted by The Chronicle of Higher Education and American Public Media’s Marketplace, half of those businesses surveyed said they had trouble finding recent graduates to fill vacancies in their companies; even though applicants had the technical skills, the candidates lacked the communication, adaptability, decision-making, and problem-solving skills needed to do the job. In order for students to achieve success in school, career, and life, they must be taught social and emotional skills alongside learning reading, math, and science. Having social and emotional learning curricula embedded in our instruction provides a key to workforce development by explicitly teaching the social and emotional skills that employers are seeking. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)1 defines social and emotional learning as “the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to understand and manage emotions, set and accomplish positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.” Barnes Elementary School in North Kelso is a model school for its work in the area of school climate and social and emotional learning. Barnes has led the way in teaching social and emotional learning skills within their classrooms to implicitly teach students selfawareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making so their students can manage their behaviors, understand and relate to the perspectives of others, and make sound personal and social choices. These skills complement academic learning and meet any of the employability needs identified by business leaders. Research shows that when we teach children social and emotional skills in their time at school, children’s success in school, career, and life improves. For instance, kindergarteners with strong social and emotional skills are more likely to graduate from high school and college and have stable, full-time employment while being less likely to commit crimes, be on public assistance, and have drug, alcohol, and mental health problems. We also know that when we implicitly teach social and emotional skills to students we see a more positive attitude toward oneself and others and more positive social behaviors and relationships with peers and adults. In the long run, greater social and emotional competence can increase the likelihood of high school graduation, readiness for postsecondary education, career success, positive family and work relationships, better mental health, reduced criminal behavior, and engaged citizenship. Social and emotional learning and employability skills benefit business by helping provide qualified job candidates and helping workers maintain and thrive in their positions. Self-motivation, time manFor more Kelso Schools, see page 19 18 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | February 2018

Some good news for our schools Longview Public Schools have much to be proud of as our staff and students continue to demonstrate exemplary performance and achievement in a multitude of areas. Within the past several weeks, we received more great news related to the programs and services provided our students. The College Board which oversees Advanced Placement programs in the US and Canada recently recognized our district’s Advanced Placement efforts by placing our district on the eighth annual AP District Honor Roll. We are one of only 447 districts in the U.S. and Canada to have received this honor and one of only eight recognized in the state. Districts are recognized for their efforts in opening AP classroom doors to a significantly-broader pool of students while maintaining or improving student success rates. Columbia Heights, Columbia Valley Gardens, Robert Gray and St. Helens Elementary Schools and Mt. Solo Middle School joined secondyear recipient Mark Morris High School as this year’s National Healthy Schools Bronze Award winner. Our schools are among the approximate 300 schools nationwide recognized for their efforts to improve the health and fitness of the students they serve. For the third consecutive year, R.A. Long High School has been named a Washington School of Distinction. This award has been granted as a result of R.A. Long’s continuing success in significantly increasing graduation rates. R. A. Long is one of 27 schools in the state to be recognized after posting a 94.3 percent graduation rate for 2017. Last, but not least, our district was notified by Governor Inslee that we have been recognized as one of Washington’s Gold Star Schools for our efforts to make the Washington College Bound Scholarship available to our middle school students. This program was created in 2007 to provide state financial aid to low-income students who may not consider college a possibility due to the cost. The scholarship covers tuition (at comparable public college rates), some fees, and a small book allowance. While the statewide sign-up average is 71 percent, two of our schools signed up more than 78 percent of their eligible students.

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Kelso Schools, continued from page 18 agement, communication, problem solving, and relationship building are the types of skills that, we as educators, are trying to create for our businesses. In Kelso, we strive to produce a future workforce who has the ability to think critically and work effectively with others.

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Developing the employability skills that businesses and the economy needs is embedded within our mission statement. It is our role to educate students to reach their full potential of success in school, career, and life. What is needed now is for policy makers and educators to give social and emotional learning an equal priority within the school day. Employability skills matter and school-based social and emotional programs are a way to begin building them. 1Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), 2017, https:// casel.org/

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PeaceHealth St. John – Wellness in the Workplace Susie Griffin

Wellness Services Coordinator

Sitting less improves everyone’s bottom line February is here and what it lacks in days it most certainly makes up in heartiness, literally. Not only does February house the happy heart day of Valentine’s, but the entitled title of National Heart Month. It is a federally designated event, initially proclaimed as such by President Lyndon B. Johnson on December 30, 1963. However, despite its government affiliation, the American Heart Association wants to remind us that cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, is the leading global cause of death. According to the CDC, more than 600,000 deaths were attributed to heart disease alone in 2014. An additional 140,000 deaths in that same year were caused by stroke. As impressively depressive as these numbers are there is some hope and help to be had. Many of the contributing risk factors that influence the development of heart disease can be positively affected through preventive measures. Smoking, drinking, unhealthy eating and sedentary behavior are all within our ability to control and reverse. Numerous, recent studies report the same finding: we sit too much. In fact, US adults spend an average of six to eight hours a day engaged in sitting either commuting, watching TV at home or in front of the computer at work. The deleterious effect of sedentary behavior

is so significant it has shown to offset the positive effect of regular exercise. Marc Hamilton, Ph.D., author of several studies on sedentary behavior and a professor at the University of Houston, sums this up the best in this statement, “I like to remind people that 30 minutes a day of exercise can’t immunize you from what you do the other 23-and-a-half hours. Our bodies were built to move all day. They weren’t built to be idle and stationary...When we’re depriving ourselves of that kind of essential muscular activity throughout the day, very potent things happen inside our bodies. You can’t impact those same cellular processes by going to a gym and doing artificial exercises for 30 minutes.” Where is the balance to be found between working efficiently and working healthy? How is it that our workplaces can benefit from the technology of computers without sacrificing our employee’s and company’s overall health? Below are some simple and effective suggestions to help prevent the sitting disease: 1) Check out some reminder apps: Move!, Stand Up!, Randomly For more PeaceHealth, see page 23

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PeaceHealth, continued from page 22 RemindMe

way.

2) Schedule walking meetings 3) Invest in a stand up desk. Standing can burn 20-50 more calories an hour than sitting. 4) Stand while making that phone call 5) Get real Face Time. Talk in person instead of sending that 100th e-mail. 6) Take a 30-second time-out to do office calisthenics, exercises or just walk. 7) Discover another bathroom, on another floor, building or hall-

8) Refill your water bottle, again. Whatever techniques you use to get more movement in your work day and offset prolonged sitting, will help you have a healthier impact on you and your company’s bottom line. And your heart will thank you. Happy Heart Month. http://newsroom.heart.org/events/february-is-american-heart-month-5712350 https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/much-sitting-linked-heart-disease-diabetes-premature-death-201501227618

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There’s a Difference. February 2018 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | 23


Chamber Connection

Radio Shout Out

Diane Craft slid into our guest chair to talk about the Breakfast with Frosty fundraiser. The Chamber Connections crew also interviewed J Squared Barrel House's Janel Kolbo by phone and then went over to meet her in person the show.

See more photos on the Chamber’s Facebook page or click here.

“Your Chamber Connection” EVERY Wednesday Hosts of the Show: Carey Mackey, Red Canoe Credit Union ; Karen Sisson, Stewart Title; and Russ Chittock, Enlivant Stream live at www.kedoam.com Local guest and current events 24 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | February 2018

Would you like an opportunity to be on Your Chamber Connection or to have more information about the qualifications of an open house or ribbon cutting? Contact Bill or Amy at the Chamber 360-423-8400


New Members

Add your business to our growing membership – Call 360-423-8400 Today!

Children’s Discovery Museum Dawn Morgan 351 Three River Dr. Kelso, WA 98626 360-261-4612

Business Association with opportunities to promote trade through Chamber socials, special events and committee participation. • Annual Meeting and Banquet • Networking Events • Committee Participation • Business Contacts • Quarterly Membership

Rose Valley Executive Rental Brenda Courser 451 Rose Garden Lane Kelso, WA 98626 360-430-7330

Representation through action committees, candidate forums and up-to-date action alerts. • Legislative Representation • Issues Tracking and Information • Task Forces • Candidate Forums • Legislative Update Breakfast • Demographics Publication

Meetings • Civic Representation • Monthly Business After Hours

Business Services include marketing for your business, referrals and access to Chamber publications and research data. • Mailing Labels • Membership Window Decals • Member Referrals • Ribbon Cutting • Website Links • Member to Member Discounts • Membership Directory • Tax Deduction • Newsletter • Business Card Display • Use of Chamber Logo

Packages Basic Membership Package – $275 or $26 per month. Bronze Membership Package – $500 or $46.66 per month. Silver Membership Package – $1,000 or $86.33 per month. Gold Membership Package – $2,500 or $211.33 per month. Platinum Membership Package – $5,000 or $416.66 per month. Diamond Club Membership Package – $10,000 or $834 per month. Nonprofit Package – $180 or $18 per month. February 2018 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | 25


sQuatch Fest

Big Attendance

Our second annual sQuatch Fest drew a big crowd Jan. 27 at the Cowlitz County Event Center. There were expert speakers and activities for the kids, as well as souvenirs, food and entertainment. See more photos on the Chamber’s Facebook page or click here.

26 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | February 2018


Thank You to everyone who made sQuatch Fest 2018 a complete success! The Chamber could not put on events like these without the support of our members, volunteers and community.

Special Thanks to the Mount St Helens Event sponsors: Bicoastal Media KLOG KUKN The Wave Hoffstadt Bluff Sponsors: CalPortland - Kids’ Cave sponsor Three Rivers Mall

Columbia River and Speaker Sponsor: Bob’s Sporting Goods Red Lion Hotel & Conference Center, Kelso

Ape Cave Sponsors: Dale McGhee & Sons Drilling Millennium Bulk Terminals Twin City Bank Heritage Bank Newrock Homes Foster Farms Corwin Beverage Elk Meadow Sponsors: Pacific Office Automation Windermere Real Estate

D&C Lemmons, LLC

Breweries who participated and donated to our scholarship fund: Ashtown Brewing 54-40 Brewing Backwoods Brewing Base Camp Brewing Elysian Brewing Five Dons Brewing Kelso Theater Pub McMenamin’s Mill City Brew Werks River Mile 38 Brewing Victor 23 Brewing Erika Agren Tim Aheren Jake Anderson Clay Bartness Chris Brand DeDe Bril Crystal Brown Marissa Carpentier Michelle Carr Jason & Brooke Clark Diane Craft Jadd Curtis Guy Edwards Destry Fierst

Volunteers:

Teedara Garn Shawn Green Len & Brody Hallock Tina Hart Mary Jewett Keith & Marlene Johanson Jennifer Johnson Ann Krause Jessica Kullmann Vashti Langford Brenda Marcum Trent & Deena McGhee Carrie & Dave Medack Shawna Meredith Jason Meunier

Frank & Dennie Meza Ron Moore Mark Morris Sasquatch Club Christine Paggetti Frankie Powloski Jason Reetz Julie Rinard Wade Sigler Marc Silva Karen Sisson Pam & Darrell Whittle Mark, Hannah & Carolyn Wilson Michael Wolf Kaitlyn Yancey

We look forward to working with you again at sQuatch Fest 2019!


Welcome Back!

The Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce would like to give a SHOUT OUT and a big THANK YOU to the following loyal members for renewing their partnership with us.

Acupuncture Northwest Budget Blinds of Longview Columbia Bank - Longview Branch Columbia Funeral Service Columbia River Mill Outlet Columbia Wellness Continental Investors Services, Inc. DeFrancisco Lampitt and Brado PS DSU Peterbilt GL Booth ~ JG Davis and Associates Green Hills Crematory – Cascade NW Funeral Chapel Kay Green Lower Columbia Contractors Association Signature Transport, Inc. State Farm Insurance – Scott Fischer Summerland Enterprises Inc. – Catering Services Teague's Interiors 28 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | February 2018


January Ambassador of the Month Jason Reetz Pacific Tech Construction Inc.

Brief description about your current position: General Construction Project Manager How long have your been an Ambassador?

Tell us about your family: I have two daughters, Kelsey and Nichole, 20 and 23. I have a 2-year-old granddaughter name Lilliana (Lilly). My mother and father live in Centralia and I have a younger sister, an older sister and three older brothers.

Since May of 2015 What is something most people do not know about you? What prompted you to be an ambassador? I thought that it would be a great way to network with local business owners and their employees and also offer me an opportunity to give back to my community. What do you like most about volunteering with the Ambassadors? Being able to meet so many people, the opportunities to learn about new and existing businesses and camaraderie amongst my fellow Ambassadors.

I’m a huge tech geek and work on computers, cell phones and other electronics as a hobby. Nothing too exciting in my life! What do you like to do for fun? Hunt, fish, camp, spend time with friends/family and drink wine. Favorite snack? Beef jerkey and beer!

Your favorite Ambassador story?

Your guilty pleasure:

Kerr Car Care was my first opportunity to be a champion for a new Chamber member. I got to know Renee Kerr through the course giving them their welcome package, following up with her on several occasions to see if she had any questions and schedule their ribbon cutting. I didn’t realize how much she appreciate my visits until we did the ribbon cutting for them and she gave me a big hug after I said a bit about their business and welcomed them to the Chamber. It was very rewarding to me know realize that I had made some sort of impact with them.

Not sure if you’re talking food or activity, but I’m going with food and I’m going with coconut cream pie

Other volunteer/organizations? I sit on the Board for the Lower Columbia Professionals and the Lower Columbia Contractors Association.

Chamber Ambassadors, known as the Red Coats, are an integral part of the Chamber of Commerce. The Ambassador team is made up of active Chamber volunteers whose responsibilities include meeting and greeting at Chamber events, welcoming new members and assisting at ribbon cuttings and community events. Ambassadors juggle busy professional careers while making time to assist the Chamber at a variety of events year long. If you would be interested in wearing a red coat and representing the Chamber, contact CEO Bill Marcum at the Chamber office.

February 2018 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | 29

February 2018 Business Connections  

February 2018 newsletter of the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce

February 2018 Business Connections  

February 2018 newsletter of the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce