April 2023 Business Connection

Page 1

kPillars of Strength and Crystal Apple Awards Banquet May 4

Plan to join us for this annual celebration at the Cowlitz County Event Center!

One of the most impactful aspects of the Pillars of Strength and Crystal Apple Awards Banquet is the presentation of scholarships for local high school students. Students seeking any type of post-secondary education have applied for scholarships. The winners will use the scholarship funds for technical schools, trades, college or university education.

Thanks to the generous support of sponsors, scholarship winners and their parents will be our guests for the evening. Sponsors and contributors will have the great pleasure of seeing the impact of their support when these students walk up to the stage to accept their scholarships and share their dreams with us. Complimentary photos will be available with C’s Photography during the evening.

kCrystal Apple Awards put the spotlight on educators for their outstanding work this past year. Here are the highlights: For kindergarten–12th grade we will recognize nominees and present awards to the Administrator of the Year, Teacher of the Year and Classified/Support Person of the Year. We will also recognize nominees and present awards to Lower Columbia College Higher Education Teacher of the Year and Higher Education Classified/Support Person of the Year. All these individuals have exhibited excellent service to students, and they were responsible for the creation of unique, significant educational programs here in our community. You will be inspired when we share what they have accomplished!

Pillars of Strength Awards will be given to businesses, nonprofits and individuals. As the nominees are introduced, we will show you why each is deserving of recognition.

For more Awards, see page 3

April 2023 Volume 15 • Issue 4 Business Connection is published monthly by the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce 105 N. Minor Road • Kelso, WA 98626 STAFF Karen Sisson, Interim CEO Pam Fierst, Bookkeeper
CONTACT US 360-423-8400 kelsolongviewchamber.org To advertise, call Karen Sisson 360-423-8400 or ksisson@kelsolongviewchamber.org Ad Deadline 20th of Each Month Business Connection
Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce
The annual awards are a way for the Chamber and its membership to say thank you Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce Julie Rinard
Pillars of Strengthand Crystal Apple Awards Thursday, May 4, 2023 5:00 to 8:00 pm Cowlitz County Event Center 1900 7th Avenue, Longview Sponsorships Available For more information call 360-423-8400 or ksisson@kelsolongviewchamber.org 2023 Save the Date! Join us for dinner and be inspired! Education Awards Business Awards Scholarship Awards

You will hear how businesses large and small delivered excellence in products, service and growth during the past year. Nonprofits are providing vital services to the community, contributing to our health and well-being, educating our community and collaborating with others in their work.

Each of our hard-working Chamber Ambassadors will be recognized and one will be honored as Ambassador of the Year. All the nominees for Pillars of Strength Awards have added to the economic vitality and quality of life in our area. We’re looking forward to honoring them!

Watch for news and updates about the Pillars of Strength and Crystal Apple Awards Banquet.

Pillars of Strength and Crystal Apple Awards Banquet

Thursday, May 4 5-8 p.m.

Cowlitz County Event Center

$40 individual – $320 table for eight Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2023 | 3 Awards from page 1 Your Locally Owned and Operated Community Bank There’s a Difference. • Checking, Savings and CDs • Business Loans • Construction Loans • SBA Loans 729 Vandercook Way, Longview (360) 414-4101 www.twincitybank.com
Welcome to Kelso Longview 2022 COMING SOON! 2023 Kelso Longview Area FUN Guide! Let visitors know that you are OPEN! This handy publication will be distributed around the Kelso Longview area starting Memorial Day Weekend. Chock full of fun things to do, places to eat, stay and visitdon’t miss this opportunity to advertise your business! • Distribution by May 26, 2023 • 5,000 copies plus online • Low rates - high exposure! • Ad reservation deadline: April 14 105 Minor Rd Kelso, WA 98626 • 360-423-8400 www.kelsolongviewchamber.org CALL TODAY TO RESERVE YOUR SPACE! DON’T WAIT! NumberLimitedof Ad Spots.

Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

Marlene Johanson, President Heritage Bank

Marc Silva, President Elect Red Canoe Credit Union

Jason Gentemann, Vice President Foster Farms

Lisa Straughan, Past President Express Employment Professionals

Neil Zick, Treasurer Twin City Bank

Michael Claxton, Legal Counsel Walstead Mertsching

Diane Craft Koelsch Communities

Duane Dalgleish

Cowlitz PUD

Rich Gushman Gibbs & Olson

Keenan Harvey City Council, Kelso

Sean Kiffe NORPAC

Nick Lemiere

Edward Jones

Cherelle Montanye St. John/PeaceHealth

John Paul KUKN-KLOG-101.5 The Blitz

Bruce Pollock Bicoastal Media

Ted Sprague

Cowlitz Economic Development Council

Michael Vorse

Minuteman Press

MaryAlice Wallis City of Longview Mayor

Dennis Weber

Cowlitz County Commissioner

Pam Whittle

Realty One Group Pacifica

Chamber of Commerce

Thank you for welcoming me back as the Interim CEO for the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce. It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks and sleepless too I might add, LOL. I’m doing my best to pick up where Bill left off (maybe a few things slip through the cracks but don’t tell Bill that) and it has been a full month of events. We host Legislative Briefings every Monday morning at 7 and Small Business Boot Camp every Friday morning at 7:30. Our education committee is working hard on grading scholarship applications, sifting through nominations for Pillars of Strength and Crystal Apple Awards, as well as preparing for the upcoming banquet in May. The Building Bridges Business and Tourism Expo made a comeback with a very successful Business After Hours following. And let’s not forget our Executive Board and Board of Directors meeting every month to set policy and make sure the Chamber is a well running organization.

My point is, as Chamber members I hope your taking advantage of your membership to the fullest. There are so many ways to get involved be it a committee, networking event, continuing education or raising funds for scholarships. If your limited on time but still need your name and your business out in the public eye, we have numerous ways to advertise and promote your services. I first joined the Chamber back in 1996 when I had a small event planning business and the Chamber changed my view of Longview, Kelso and the community and the way I was doing business. I made so many contacts and they encourage me to get involved and yes, my business grew but I gained so much more. Soon those contacts were acquaintances then friends and now relationships that have enriched my life. And look at me now, having the privilege of working for the organization that gave so much to me.

Take advantage of your Chamber membership – what have you got to lose but lifelong success.

Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2023 | 5
Chamber return is a reminder of the great opportunities it offers
Karen Sisson Interim CEO

Workforce Southwest Washington

Economic Security for All program benefits local job seekers and businesses

Our communities, and the elected officials who create policies that support them, are in one of the most unique times in recent history.

Even as we move past the pandemic, companies continue struggling to find qualified candidates to fill vacant jobs. There are significant openings at local businesses and in critical industries like healthcare, education, manufacturing and food processing.

Likewise, potential workers, especially women and people of color, are finding it difficult to return to the labor force due to lack of childcare, inflation, the rising cost of housing, and the increase in the overall cost of living. Additionally, job seekers may not know how to access the many job training, certifications, apprenticeships and other skill-based education programs and services that prepare them for careers.

These challenging moments also give way to great opportunities. Our Local Workforce Development Boards, including Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW), are ready and able to support investments in poverty prevention and business services and navigation efforts to move Washingtonians to good-paying careers.

Washington’s 12 Local Boards, located in every region of the state, are an important piece of the workforce development solution. The funds we invest serve almost 80,000 individuals annually and help nearly 20,000 businesses fill vacant positions.

This year, working with the governor’s office, the state Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board and the state Employment Security Department, we are supporting a strategic, ongoing state investment in an expanded Economic Security for All (EcSA) program outlined in the governor’s budget.

We support the original EcSA program and its request for increased funding to help our most vulnerable and marginalized residents move out of poverty, and we also support the $13.8 million request for EcSA expansion as a way to keep those residents out of the cycle of poverty.

EcSA expansion investments will provide responsive funding to bring local solutions directly to job seekers and businesses and allow Local Boards to meet career seekers where they are and engage with more businesses to help them meet their workforce needs and retain or upskill their current team members.

Across the state, this fund will:

• Aid in poverty prevention

• Expand investment in skills-based training

• Intensify focus on and outreach to at-risk and underserved populations

• Support earn-to-learn opportunities

• Expand employer engagement

Locally, the additional funds will enable WSW to support business competitiveness and growth by expanding our business services team and that of our partners at WorkSource to help meet workforce needs of local infrastructure and construction projects, like the I-5 bridge replacement project, among others. Providing more stable funding for business-facing work provides flexibility and additional tools to help companies in Clark, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties recruit, retain and train the employees they need to grow and thrive.

Job seekers will benefit from training and support services in our key sectors of healthcare, manufacturing, construction and technology. More than 265 individuals in Cowlitz County have benefitted from workforce system assistance through our original EcSA funding.

By investing in a local workforce solution like this, legislators can foster economic opportunity for all.

The $8 million in EcSA expansion funding in the governor’s budget will fill gaps and we are grateful for his recognition of our success in helping both businesses and job seekers move to economic independence. We hope the Legislature will fully fund our budget request of $13.8 million with the understanding that the need for skilled Local Board staff to address the workforce and worker needs is growing.

This proposal, and others like the Job Skills Program, additional EcSA program funding, AmeriCorps investments, community college programming, and so many other workforce systems Local Boards work with daily will make a difference to so many across our state. We also support the many investments in housing and childcare support. Job seekers cannot enter the workforce if they don’t have stable housing, access to affordable childcare and healthy food.

Together, we can help move Washingtonians into good jobs with family wages and support them as they move toward full financial independence. It is an investment that supports families and businesses across our state.

Both the House and Senate budgets are poised for hearings after the March 20 revenue forecast, leaving just over a month to ensure this funding is included in the overall budget.

We hope you will join us in this landmark effort by Local Workforce Development Boards to serve even more residents

For more WSW, see page 7

6 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2023


and businesses that, together, make for strong and vibrant communities.

Miriam Halliday is chief executive officer of Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW) the local workforce development board for Clark, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties. Reach her at mhalliday@workforcesw.org

About Workforce Southwest Washington

Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW) is the Local Workforce Development Board (LWDB) designated by federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) legislation to oversee the public workforce system in Clark, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties. WSW is a nonprofit organization and funds community prosperity by investing in services that help individuals gain skills to obtain good-paying jobs or advance in their careers and help companies recruit, train and retain workers. Since 2003, WSW has invested more than $126 million in southwest Washington businesses, adults and youth. Learn more at www.workforcesw.org.

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ScaleUp business training offered for free

ScaleUp is advanced business training for companies that have moved beyond startup and launch. ScaleUp is about building capacity, increasing profitability, and automating business systems. This program will show you how to position your business for investment and get you ready for that moment.

The Washington State Department of Commerce had successfully funded the prior two years of the program –essentially ensuring that all participants from all around the state were able to access without fees! Our partners, Washington State Department of Commerce have again provided funding for the program that will create two cohorts of classes this spring. The last round of cohorts saw nearly 500 businesses from around the state take the program. The impact surveys

Empowering local businesses to grow

At Heritage Bank, we believe that keeping our local economy strong starts with supporting businesses like yours.

We make switching banks easy, and your dedicated business banking team will guide you through each step of the process.

Scan the QR code or visit HeritageBankNW.com to learn more and connect with a banker near you.

indicate that 88 percent of participants reported that the class was “very important” for their future planning and operations of their business; and that nearly 97 percent of participants “would recommend ScaleUp” to their colleagues.

Commerce has funded two more cohorts for this fiscal year. We are now enrolling for the two spring 2023 cohorts. Each cohort is an eight-week program. Again, there is no fee for the company to enroll.

Cohort 1: April 18-June 6 (live sessions 9-10:30 a.m.)

Cohort 2: May 4-June 15 (live sessions 9-10:30 a.m.)

A reminder of the training:

• Eight-week live sessions with peer roundtable discussions

• Self-paced online learning modules

• Study Hall mentorship with ScaleUp Trainers

• Access to the ScaleUp Alumni Network

Online learning modules provide core curriculum, can be taken anytime, and participants retain access after course completion. ScaleUp includes trainer led group study sessions, our expert speaker series ScaleUp Mastermind, and connections to our entrepreneur eco-system. Completion of the ScaleUp program comes with access to the ScaleUp Alumni Network, and additional training opportunities.

ScaleUp is advanced business training for companies that have moved beyond startup and launch. ScaleUp is about building capacity for growth and sustainability, increasing profitability, and automating business systems. The program is designed to allow your company to position itself for investment and to be ready for that moment.

Registration is easy go to – http://bit.ly/wa-scaleup

8 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2023
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Five ways WorkSource can help job seekers in Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties

Finding the right job isn’t always easy. If you haven’t job hunted in a while, you might be out of practice. Sometimes, we need a little help to give our employment journey a happy ever after.

WorkSource is an organization funded by federal and state grants to help people get to work. If you’re in Cowlitz or Wahkiakum county, your local WorkSource center is located in Kelso at 305 S Pacific Ave., Suite 101. Here, you can get connected to many helpful services that may prove to be gamechangers in your job search.

If you’re interested in any of these services, call or visit the WorkSource center in Kelso!

5. Get help with your resume

These days, so much of getting the big job offer hinges on a great resume. But what makes a resume stand above the rest?

If you’re staring at a blank page, wondering about fonts, colors, sizing, and content—WorkSource should be your next stop. Our Employment Specialists help hundreds of people with their resumes every day so that they can stay competitive in the workforce.

Best of all, this service is absolutely free to anyone. Contact WorkSource now to find out how to take your resume to the next level.

4. Use our resource room

There are many barriers to finding work, but computer usage shouldn’t be one of them. That’s why your local WorkSource has a free-to-use resource room to work on job seeking activities.

At WorkSource, you can apply for jobs, work on your resume, or search for opportunities. If you need assistance, our resource rooms are always staffed with an Employment Specialist who can help you find what you need.

We also have printing, faxing, and Wi-Fi available to our job seekers. If you feel like computer use is a barrier to your employment, visit your local WorkSource!

3. Attend a free workshop

The best job applicants have the attitude of a lifelong learner. In the workforce, you need to be ready to adapt, learn, and thrive. WorkSource helps with this by offering free Essential Skills workshops. There are no eligibility requirements to take part in these free workshops. They’re open to anyone who wants to learn!

Our Essential Skills workshops cover topics such as:

• Effective Teamwork

• Workforce Communication

• Resumes and Cover Letters

• Resolving Conflict at Work

• And many more!

To find a full list of available workshops, click here!

2. Get connected with support services

WorkSource is all about removing barriers that keep people from employment. That’s why we offer support services when we can. While these supports do have eligibility requirements, many of those enrolled in our programs qualify.

WorkSource support services can help people with work clothing, transportation, childcare, and more! The best way to learn more about what WorkSource can offer you is by making an appointment to speak with an Employment Specialist.

Ready to make the jump and find out how WorkSource can help? Call (360) 577-2250 to make an appointment with an Employment Specialist today!

1. Have WorkSource pay for your training

The average American changes careers five to seven times in a lifetime. There can be many reasons why someone would be looking to transition—pay, work-life balance, company culture— but change isn’t easy. Moving into an entirely new industry can be an overwhelming, not to mention expensive, undertaking. Luckily, WorkSource can help.

Individuals interested in a high-demand career may be eligible for WorkSource to pay part or all of their job training or tuition.

Looking for your first step? Attend an Employment and Training Orientation online or in-person at WorkSource Cowlitz/ Wahkiakum. Click here to search and register for an orientation!

WorkSource Cowlitz/Wahkiakum is located at 305 S. Pacific Ave., Kelso. Office hours are Monday through Friday (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) for virtual and in-person services. The center is across the street from the Kelso Theater and next door to the Kelso Police Station.

WorkSource is a network of nonprofits, community-based organizations, local and state agencies working in partnership to provide an array of employment and training services to job seekers and businesses in Washington State. WorkSource is funded through the local workforce development board, Workforce Southwest Washington. For information, visit www.WorkSourceWA.com

Carson Winter is the communications and outreach coordinator at WorkSource. Reach him at carson.winter@esd.wa.gov or 360-7354962.

10 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2023 WorkSource
Cowlitz County Event Center 1900 7th Ave., Longview, WA Friday, January 26 and Saturday, January 27 2024 2024 • World Renowned Speakers • Brew Mou ntain Beer & Wine • Themed Merchandise Vendors • Food Carts • Kids’ Cave Save the date! There’s something for everyone! www.kelsolongviewchamber.org For more information: 360-423-8400 ksisson@kelsolongviewchamber.org

How well do you know where your profits come from?

Spring comes with the annual ritual of tax filing and pulling together of financial records and such. I thought it would be a good time to look at your business financials in a way that will help you make better decisions going forward. Most businesses have decided that less is more as far as inventory, offerings, and space are concerned. To help make those decisions we will want to make sure we identify and build on those products/services providing us the highest profit (return on investment) – hey, if we are going to work all hours of all days, we might as well get the best return we can!

In this article we will look at your income statement in a new way that gives you the ability to understand and manage your business in a more informed and profitable way. Below I provide an example of the “standard/common” way of looking at your income statement; then I will walk you through a “new/ different” way of looking at your financial statement that will help you know and understand what parts of your business “contribute” the best and highest financial returns.

Let’s look at the income statement in the standard way

Standard Income Statement Sales

- COGS (Cost of Goods Sold/Cost of Sales)

= Gross Profit

- Operating Expenses

= Net Profit

The example above should look very familiar – now we will look at your income statement in a different way. To do this I want to introduce some terms that do not typically appear on your financial statements; these terms will provide you more of an understanding and insight as to how costs behave in your business.

How costs behave?

Fixed Costs = Do NOT change based on sales

Examples of fixed costs:

• Rent/lease

• Fire insurance

• Internet

• Salaries

Variable costs: CHANGE in proportion to sales

Examples of variable costs:

• Freight


• Direct Labor

• Commissions

Looking at the income statement in a NEW WAY

Management (used for managerial decision making) income statement


- Variable Costs

= Contribution Margin (amount left to cover fixed costs and profit)

- Fixed Costs

= Break-Even

Here is a simple example: Penny’s Pen Company

Pens sell for $1 each

Pens cost 50 cents each

Commissions 10 cents paid on each pen sold

Variable costs 60 cents per pen

Variable cost % = 60% (selling price/variable cost)

If she sells pens for $1

Pens cost her 50 cents

She pays commissions of 10 cents per pen

Her variable costs are 60 cents per pen

She has 40 cents left to cover fixed costs and PROFIT

This is called the CONTRIBUTION MARGIN (the amount each sale is “contributing” to cover fixed costs and profits).

In this case the contribution margin is 40 percent as a percentage of sales.

She wants to know…

If her fixed costs = $800,000 how much in sales does she need to break-even?

Fixed costs = $800,000, Contribution Margin = .40 (40%)

For more Petrick, see page 13

Business Toolbox
12 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2023

Break-even = Fixed Costs/Contribution Margin = $800,000/.40 = $2,000,000

She needs to have sales of $2 million to break-even based on her fixed costs of $800,000 for the year. As in Penny’s case, it is VERY important for you to know your break-even sales number (which includes profits)!


Let’s go through a quick exercise to better align your financial reports to your decision-making processes:

Step 1: Classify Your Costs

Using your most recent income statements classify all costs as either FIXED or VARIABLE then total each category (planned profit should be treated as a FIXED cost – if you are in doubt about an expense treat it as fixed to be most conservative).

Actual Total Sales = $ ______

Total Variable Costs = $ _________

Total Fixed Costs = $ __________

Step 2: Calculate Variable Cost Percentage For every $1 of sales, what percent goes away to variable costs?

Variable Cost % = Total Variable Costs/Actual Total Sales = ____ %

Step 3: Calculate Contribution Margin For every $1 of sales

(after paying for variable costs), what percent is left to cover fixed costs…plus any targeted profit?

100% - Variable Cost Percentage = 100% - _____ % = ______ %

Step 4: Calculate Break-Even Sales How many “cents-es” does it take to cover your fixed costs?

Break-Even Sales = Total Fixed Costs/Contribution Margin % = $ _____

Step 5: Check Your Calculations Does the sales level you figured actually break-even or give you the profits your targeted?

Break-Even Sales ______________

(minus) Variable Costs* - _______________

(equals) Contribution $$ = _______________

(minus) Fixed Costs - _______________

(equals) New Profit = _______________

*Compute this figure by multiplying break-even (above) by the variable cost percent in Step 2.

Once you have taken this new look at your income statements you will have a different understanding of the dynamics of your costs as they impact your ability to generate profits. I hope you take a fresh approach to managing your finances and learn some new distinctions of how you can improve the performance of your business. The Small Business Development Center is here to help you with this and many other aspects of managing your business well.

This article was prepared by Jerry Petrick, MBA, senior certified business adviser with the Washington State University Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Jerry provides no-cost, confidential business advisory services by appointment. He can be reached via email jerry.petrick@wsbdc.org

Petrick from page 12 Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2023 | 13
Consistent Courteous Complete 1425 Maple Street • Longview, WA 98632 www.cascade-title.com 360.425.2950 Title and Escrow Services
14 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2023
at 6 pm KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM Contact Karen Sisson at 360-423-8400 or ksisson@kelsolongviewchamber.org to schedule your interview
Your Chamber Connection Radio Show
Lynn Madsen Myke Brady, Dick Hannah Toyota Eileen Thompson, Columbian Artists Association Peter Clarke, ANC Movers Angie Brooks and Charis Brenes, Performance Occupational Health Services Cary Calabrese and Addie Yungeberg, US Bank Jimmie Hawkins and Andrea Ziegler, A to Z Options



earn up

to $1000 for an hour of work?

Apply Now for Scholarships from

Technical School Trades College/University

Students seeking any type of post secondary education can apply for the Maria Harris Scholarship or the Lower Columbia Professionals Scholarship. In 2022 a total of 22 scholarships were awarded!


Be a full-time student taking 12 credits or more. Reside in Cowlitz or Wahkiakum County.

Demonstrate financial need (Maria Harris only). Submit 2 letters of reference: one from a community member and one from an educator. Letter should address character, personality, academics or community involvement.

Describe future education goals, plans for financing your education and community involvement. Scholarship fund must be used within one calendar year of the following term.

Application Deadline is April 9, 2023

For more information and to register please go to https://cope917538.typeform.com/KLCC2023Scholar



Ribbon Cutting, 11am, Columbian Artists Association at Cowlitz County Historical Museum

5 Education Foundation, 8:30am, Zoom

Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM

6 Chamber Ambassadors, 7:30am, Canterbury Park


Small Business Boot Camp Boardmanship Series, 7:30am, American Workforce Group

11 Ribbon Cutting, 11am, White's Cleaning Company at Chamber Office Chamber Executive Board, Noon, Mill City Grill Business After Hours, 5:30pm, Cowlitz Wahkiakum Legal Aid


Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM

13 Ribbon Cutting, 11am, Novakai Wellness PLCC at Chamber Office Lower Columbia Professionals, 4pm, TBD Scholarship scoring and selection committee, 5pm, Longview Eagles

18 Chamber Board of Directors, Noon, Mill City Grill

19 Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM

20 Ribbon Cutting, 11am, Alzheimer's Association at Chamber Office 26 Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM

29 Bands, Brews & Bites, Lower Columbia Professionals fundraiser, 5:30pm, The Roxy Theater



Ribbon Cutting, 11am, Dick Hannah Toyota

Education Foundation, 8:30am, Zoom

Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM

4 Chamber Ambassadors, 7:30am, Canterbury Park Pillars of Strength & Crystal Apple Awards, 5-8pm, Cowlitz County Event Center

10 Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM


Ribbon Cutting, 11am, Fraternal Order of Eagles Longview Aerie No. 2116

16 Ribbon Cutting, 11 am, Lynn Madsen Chamber Executive Board, Noon, Mill City Grill Ribbon Cutting, 3pm, Foster Farms, followed by tours at 3:30pm and Business After Hours, 5:307:30pm at Kelso Longview Elks Lodge No. 1482

17 Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM

23 Ribbon Cutting, 11am, The Broad Strokes Project Chamber Board of Directors, Noon, Mill City Grill

24 Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM


Memorial Day – Chamber office closed

31 Your Chamber Connection radio show, 6pm, KEDO 1270 AM or 99.9 FM

16 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2023

New Members

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

Membership packages to fit your needs 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 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

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

Membership Packages

Basic • $275 or $26 per month

Bronze • $500 or $46.66 per month

Silver • $1,000 or $86.33 per month

Gold • $2,500 or $211.33 per month

Platinum • $5,000 or $416.66 per month

Diamond Club • $10,000 or $834 per month

Nonprofit • $180 or $18 per month

Look Who Joined in March

White’s Cleaning Company

Leah White

131 South Vista Way Kelso, WA 98626



Trans World Business Advisors

Anthony O’Neil 15901 23rd Avenue Southwest Burien, WA 98611 206-226-3430 aoneil@tworld.com

Novakai Wellness PLLC

Sarah Tupua 2501 A Hickory Avenue Longview, WA 98632 661-805-5083 novakaiwellness.com

Norco, Inc.

Nathan Hale 925 Vandercook Way Longview, WA 98632 nhale@norco-inc.com

Wash Me Car Wash

Eileen Tefft

1953 9th Avenue Longview, WA 98632 eileentefft@gmail.com

Uncaged Cycles

Tessa Coalman 537 14th Avenue Longview, WA 98632 uncagedcycles@gmail.com

The Broad Strokes Project

Ariel Largé

1310 Broadway Street Longview, WA 98632

Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2023 | 17

Spring returns with more life for LCC’s campus

While summer enrollment was down at Lower Columbia College and fall numbers were flat versus the year before, winter and spring have seen a turnaround of sorts, bringing improved numbers of students to LCC. As of the end of March, overall enrollment was up 3 percent for the current year, with winter enrollment up nearly 8 percent and spring numbers up 4 percent versus the prior year.

There also appears to be renewed energy and renewed engagement on the campus. The LCC Learning Commons (formerly known as the library) is bustling with student activity (including studying). On campus services have returned, including the bookstore, cafeteria, testing, tutoring and fitness center, student activities, live music, art, speech and debate, and drama events have returned to the campus, and the renting of the LCC campus space is way up. Renovations have been made in our admissions building to increase student flow.

Students have returned to study on the campus, both formally, in the classroom, and informally, in the many study spaces available within the campus confines. Lower Columbia College has brought back campus tours for international students, high schoolers and middle schoolers. The high school and middle school Science Olympiad was held live at Lower Columbia College for the first time in three years. High school music competitions also returned.

Meanwhile our amazing facilities, grounds and custodial staff have continuously maintained the campus look and feel. I am thankful for their hard work in making our LCC campus a very special environment in which to work, teach and study.

Lower Columbia College will continue to make significant improvements to its facilities and spaces as we move forward. Feel free to “come take a look” at your next opportunity.

18 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2023
Lower Columbia
“ T h e m o r e y o u ’r e e ng aged withothers, themoreyou ’reableto understand w h e r e t hey re coming from. ” – Brandon:Landscaper , Dad and part of o u r c o m m u n i t y 23-BRAN-453150-ColumbiaNetwork-PrintAd-LongviewCham_7-83x4-9.indd 1 3/15/23 2:45 PM

Kelso Public Schools

Students shine at regional art show

On March 22, ESD 112 hosted the 2023 Southwest Washington Regional High School Art Show virtually on YouTube. The collective body of student art in our region was inspiring.

We are proud to celebrate our Kelso High School students winning awards at this regional show:

REGIONAL AWARDS received the highest average scores from the judges and will represent the Southwest region in the annual State Superintendent of Public Instruction Art Show in Olympia, taking place on May 30 at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. Kelso students received five of the 15 Regional Awards.

• Sarah Warner, “Dial It Up”, Kelso High School, Kelso School District

• Jason Tran, “Quicksilver”, Kelso High School, Kelso School District

• Hailey Smith, “Green Girl”, Kelso High School, Kelso School District

• Taryn Mckay, “sHE’S A REBEL”, Kelso High School, Kelso School District

• Elizabeth Ruff, “Loki”, Kelso High School, Kelso School District

ESD 112 AWARDS were rated very highly by the judges in the four judging categories (originality, composition, emotion and technique). Kelso students received one of 17 ESD 112 Awards.

• Krysta Mattus, “Winter Portrait”, Kelso High School

HONORABLE MENTIONS were also rated very highly by the judges. Kelso students received three of 20 Honorable Mentions.

• Claudia Gipson, “Patched”, Kelso High School

• Yoselin Sanchez-Bueno, “Nobody’s Clown”, Kelso High School

• Josie Settle, “Blooming in Rain or Shine”, Kelso High School

In addition to the recognition from ESD 112, all student artists who were recognized with an award in this year’s Art Show also received scholarships from the Department of Art + Design at Central Washington University, and/or Pacific Northwest College of Art. Click here to see a full list of awards, and here to see the gallery of all participants.

Arts Program in Kelso School District

Research shows arts in education engages students in learning, increases attendance, reduces misbehavior, improves test scores (particularly among at-risk youth), strengthens community, and improves long-term academic, occupational, and social outcomes.

For more Kelso Schools, see page 21

Longview Public Schools

Student achievement trending upward

Since January our schools have been actively involved in analyzing their mid-year student achievement data and making instructional adjustments to maximize student learning. Our mid-year data shows that our students’ growth in reading exceeds 2022’s mid-year levels while our math levels remain steady.

We also received news from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction that most of our schools have improved their status on the Washington School Improvement Framework and that three of our schools have exited the state’s improvement process due to higher performance. Student attendance levels have also increased from 2022 levels. We are encouraged by these gains but recognize that much improvement must still be made. These gains and a continued growth focus are indicative of the hard work and dedication of our school staff members and students.

Each year, our schools set end-of-year goals that are aligned to the district’s student achievement goals and instructional focus outlined in our Design for Excellence. Action steps are being taken in our schools to address the identified needs of our students and supports to help with their success are being provided.

At the Longview Public Schools’ board meeting on March 27, the district’s mid-year student achievement data was shared. Time was also taken to share the initiatives and supports being provided our schools’ staffs to address the achievement needs of our students. We also had our principals from Kessler Elementary, Monticello Middle School, and Mark Morris High School share their school specific actions in response to the academic needs of their students shown in the mid-year achievement data. I am pleased with the commitment of our staff to focus upon improving the educational outcomes of the students we serve.

Our district is focused upon providing reading instruction that is aligned with the Science of Reading, grounded in direct instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Extensive training has been provided our elementary school teachers and principals, literacy specialists provide daily instructional support, and new learning materials have been adopted to help us in these improvement efforts.

The district is also focused upon providing all of our teacher’s with collaborative opportunities to assure that high standards and expectations are clearly present in each of their classrooms. These “Professional Learning Communities” assure rich discussions

For more Longview Schools, see page 21

20 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2023


regarding student performance and effective instructional practices and are of great value as we seek to meet the achievement needs of each of the students we serve.

We are encouraged by our focus, efforts, and results and look forward to the ongoing work that needs to be done to continue to improve the education we provide our students. When it comes to academic growth and closing the achievement gap, the support of the community is critical. One way our community has shown its support is by passing replacement levies to fund things like new learning materials that align with state standards, classroom teachers to keep class sizes manageable, para-educators who assist with classroom instruction and intervention, building repairs that improve learning environments, installation of security features like fences, vestibules and cameras to make our schools safer, and extracurricular activities. All of these play a role in effecting student achievement and are made possible through the generous support of our voters. Your continued support of these efforts is much appreciated.

Kelso Schools

from page 20

In Kelso School District, we have a wide variety of visual and performing arts options for students. Our robust program gives students a pathway for personal expression while providing them with lifelong skills and the opportunity to share their talents with their communities through performance and competition. You can watch the #KelsoStrong video on visual and performing arts here: https://youtu.be/jxIuFuC1M0U

We Are #KelsoStrong

Bob's Sporting Goods

Columbia Theatre

Dahl McVicker Funeral Homes

Entek Corporation

Kelso Taco Time

Papé Machinery

Red Canoe Credit Union

Red Canoe Credit Union – 30th Avenue

Stirling Honda

Sweet Spot Frozen Yogurt

The Dog Zone

Twin City Glass Company

Woodland Chamber of Commerce

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce would like to THANK the
loyal members for renewing
partnership with
this month.
Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2023 | 21
from page 20
www.amadalongview.com 1135 3rd Ave. Suite S-101, Longview (360) 952-3100

City of Longview

Community 'beauties' extend beyond lake

How incredible it is to reside, work and play in Longview! I am constantly astounded by the beauty of Lake Sacajawea, Longview’s shining gemstone, and one of 17 maintained parks, which is centered perfectly in our city. Lake Sacajawea attracts wildlife in abundance and throngs of individuals and even some furry friends. With the warmer weather, I find I am drawn to the lake more each day. This past week I spied about a dozen jet black cormorants perched on the log at the north end of the lake, and a friend pointed out an eagle’s nest mid-way on the eastside of the lake. I even spied two feral Muscovy ducks (one black and white and the other chocolate brown and white) that dropped in to check out the Lake Sacajawea scene, all the way from South America. They looked a bit out of place amongst our traditional glossy green headed and speckled brown Mallards, and I must admit I felt sadness that the Mallards didn’t reach out to the Muscovy’s and invite them into their tribe for lunch.

I do believe that there is beauty all around if we choose to look for it. Here are some of the beauties I have been keeping track of this month:

• The Mint Valley Golf course, built in 1973, and city run for the past five years has now become the fifth “Best Golf Course in Washington State”. Beautifully manicured greens, excellent staff and fantastic lunch menu. Enjoy golf or lunch on the green this spring!

• There’s a new manager in town! With the recent retirement of Kurt Sacha following 45 years of service in the City of Longview. The City Council hired Kristina Swanson, former assistant city manager for the City of Longview, and former director of operations at the state of Washington auditors office and former Cowlitz County auditor. Kris comes to the city with a vast amount of experience and is Longview’s sixth city manager and first female manager.

• Hope Village, Salvation Army hosted, and city-owned micro-community has assisted four individuals to obtain permanent housing since December 15. Calls for services to the Alabama Street location have reduced to eight, and the 50 individuals living in Hope Village receive two meals daily and a comfortable safe environment, with life-saving services, to assist them on their path to wellness.

• Spending time with the JH Kelly team on St. Patrick’s Day and celebrating the birthday of the longest running business in Longview was a super treat! JH Kelly received the “Key to the City”, a token of friendship, trust and honor, and I shared in my comments my deepest gratitude for their exceptional service and long-standing legacy of

For more Longview, see page 25

City of Kelso

City's 2023 goals and priorities update

At the March 21 special meeting, the Council reviewed the status of the 2023 goals and priorities. The updates are discussed below:

• The Community Building and Housing Project continues to move forward. Purchase of the Sons of Norway building is no longer part of the project area. The City will be hiring a consultant to continue to develop more detailed plans. The City has obtained an additional $2 million for the Hazel Street crossing and intends to begin the project this summer.

• The Public Works Department provided the Council with a draft list of streets it intends to repair with the Transportation Benefit Funds the City will begin receiving in April.

• A plan for updating the spray park that included restrooms was presented to the Council.

• The City has asked for a request for proposal to detail the work to be done on the senior center.

• Upgrades to park and recreation facilities are continuing. Two proposals for ADA accessibility were presented to the Council. Disc golf improvements required an agreement with the Kelso School District to use some of its property. This has been completed. The City and Lower Columbia College are completing an effort to obtain funds for improvement to the softball fields. Pickleball court design should begin this summer.

• The City is completing an agreement with the Port of Longview to partially fund the kayak launch. An additional project was added to the list – repair of the covered picnic area at Highlander Park.

• The Downtown/West Main area work continues. A meeting has been scheduled with the health department to review requirements for food trucks. Negotiations are continuing with the Environmental Protection Agency for mitigation of the American Legion Building. Two new activities were added: potential for City funding of lodging facilities and downtown building improvements.

22 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2023

Cowlitz County Commissioners

Federal report on flood protection, Spirit Lake and sediment from Mount St. Helens

Federal agencies announced this week that monitoring of the lower Cowlitz River Valley revealed that flood protection remains well within the authorized levels established by Congress; that the risk of a breech in the debris flow currently blocking Spirit Lake is not of any concern (1:200,000 probability); and that the raise in the sediment plain planned for this summer above the Sediment Retention Structure (SRS) near Kid Valley has been delayed by a year. Plans to replace and improve the intake structure of the tunnel serving as the outlet to Spirit Lake are still scheduled for this year, as well as scientific measurements of the debris flow stability. Limited public use of the Spirit Lake access road may be established on weekends during research and maintenance work. Monitoring of flood levels occurs each year between mid-July and August.

Speaking to a group of 70 workshop participants from nearly all local government agencies dealing with continuing impacts of the 1980s eruptions of Mount St. Helens, Gordon Grant from the U.S. Forest Service, Jon Major of the U.S. Geological Survey, and Valerie Reingold of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) shared these findings based on monitoring of the lower Cowlitz after funding was restored last year by Congress after a four-year lapse. The workshop, held at the Cowlitz County Event Center, was also open to members of the public, as well as students from Lower Columbia College.

The one-year delay will provide agencies an opportunity to protect newly emerging clearwater “wall” creeks for salmon hatchlings, also called “fry.” Linking salmon-bearing creeks to pockets of natural spring water and rainfall, the wall creeks have begun to emerge where the valley floor meets adjacent hillsides, as the Corps sediment management plans have built up elevations toward the center of the North Fork Toutle River valley floor.

Noted world expert on sediment management, Dr. Colin Thorne, professor emeritus from the University of Nottingham, England, explained that these new connecting creeks have become “havens for a rich diversity of natural growth, especially now that beaver have discovered them and constructed dams and ponds.” The salmon use these ponds to winter-over and grow stronger before venturing out into the North Fork.

Fish recovery advocates have been frustrated for years with the poor survival rates of salmon collected below the SRS and transported to historically abundant fish-rearing streams above that 30-story SRS. The turbidity of the North Fork Toutle has been lethal to new salmon fry whose gills are so tiny that the sediment in the waters literally suffocates most of them.

The scientific study of the Spirit Lake Debris Flow is being conducted by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. As Justin

Rittsger of the Reclamation Bureau described, there will be a series of holes drilled in various locations across the flow into which seismic sensors will be lowered to detect sound shockwaves sent through layers of deposits. The data collected will inform researchers of the stability of the flow. Ultimately these tests could eventually lead to construction of an overland outlet for Spirit Lake.

While the North Fork Toutle remains extremely dynamic, thwarting many fish restoration efforts, fish biologist Bryce Crayne reported that the South Fork with lower levels of sediment flow is a prime location for more successful salmon recovery efforts. Crayne works for the Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group (LCFEG) and reported on a $30 million recovery plan for the entire South Fork watershed, including carving out new side channels and installing large woody-debris structures.

In addition to sediment management, flood control, and fish recovery, the workshop also focused on the uneven economic, cultural, and recreational recovery of the area. Mark Smith, owner of Eco-Park, a private camping and tour company near the SRS, outlined how the number of tourists visiting to the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument has steadily declined since peaking at over six million annual visits in the early 1990s to barely 250,000 last year. The number of visitor centers has declined from six to only two. Smith pointed out that the $3.27 per visitor the U.S. Forest Service is able to spend each year on running the monument pales in comparison to what the National Parks Service spends at other national monuments and parks. However, one major development opportunity is beginning to take shape: the Mount St. Helens Institute’s Coldwater Ridge Lodge and Outdoor School facility. The Institute’s Alyssa Hoyt shared that the group has received a 30-year lease from the U.S. Forest Service for utilizing the Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center, shuttered in 2008, as an outdoor school for area schools and for overnight lodging for other visitors, including RV and tent camping. A key partner with the Institute is the Cowlitz Tribe, who contributed a planning assistance grant of nearly $1 million.

Cowlitz County played an important role in the workshop. Adam Trimble, senior long-range planning specialist, gave presentations on the county’s Comprehensive Land-use and Flood Hazard Management Plans. Jim Mallet, county vegetation specialist, shared his plan for containing sediment near Toutle Park Road (LT1) through soil amendments and in lieu mitigation. Darcy Mitchum from the county Parks and Recreation Advisory Board gave an update on the County’s Parks Plan, advocated for increasing public access in the rivers systems; and urged an inter-agency planning collaborative. “There are many trails in the

Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2023 | 23
For more Commissioners, see page 25

Thinking about hosting Business After Hours in 2024? Contact us at 360-423-8400 or email ksisson@kelsolongviewchamber.org

January 10: Total Employment and Management (TEAM)

February 21: Three Rivers Law Center

March 29: Building Bridges Business & Tourism Expo

April 11: Cowlitz Wahkiakum Legal Aid

May 16: Foster Farms 25th Anniversary Celebration

June 13: Stewart Title

July 11: Mary Cranston, LLC

August 8: Cowlitz Indian Tribe

September 12: Northwest Enforcement

October 10: Edward Jones - Roy Gawlick

November 14: Windermere Northwest Living

December 12: Holiday Mixer


Commissioners from page 23

Monument that the public cannot even get to,” she explained. I also attended.

Other interesting topics discussed included reintroducing lamprey in the area rivers and streams; sophisticated hi-tech use of drones for mapping and analysis of restoration efforts; floodplain by design; expansion of broadband services; and assistance from the Corps, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and Department of Natural Resources to obtain grants and technical advice.

The workshop was held by the Spirit Lake/Toutle/Cowlitz River Systems Collaborative which consists of the Yakima Nation and the Cowlitz tribe; the USACOE, USFS, USGS, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service; the Washington State Departments of Ecology, Fish and Wildlife, and Natural Resources; Cowlitz County agencies, including Building and Planning, Roads and Engineering, Conservation District, Public Utility District, four Diking Districts, the Port of Longview and the cities of Longview Kelso, and Castle Rock. Representatives from Gov. Jay Inslee, U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, as well as US. Rep. Marie Glusenkamp Perez also participate. The Collaborative was formed in 2020 following recommendations from the National Academy of

Science, Engineering and Medicine and is facilitated by the William D. Ruckelshaus Center and the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments. The workshop was underwritten by WFDW.


from page 22

perseverance and commitment to the City of Longview. Happy birthday JH Kelly!

• City of Longview parks department has outdone themselves again! Scheduled for April 23, the first annual Rainier to Longview 10K Bridge run. Starting at Rainier City Park, in Rainier, Ore., over the “Longview Bridge” built in 1929, AKA “Lewis and Clark Bridge”, to Martin’s Dock at Lake Sacajawea. This bridge run is open to all ages. Dust off your running shoes and get ready for this run!

Let the sunshine in Longview friends! Share it with others and see what grows.

Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2023 | 25

Building Bridges

Hosted by Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce

We closed out March with our annual Building Bridges Business and Tourism Expo, plus Business After Hours at the Cowlitz County Event Center. Thanks to our sponsors, it was free to attend. Summerland Catering Services provided great food and drinks with attention to every detail. Exhibitors made new connections, held contests and games and gave away great prizes. If you missed it, we missed you!

26 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2023
Koelsch Communities staff presented Megan Wheatley of HIVE Powered by BroadPath with a gift basket Brittany Howell, Life Mortgage, with Karen Sisson, Chamber Interim CEO. Brittany won a media package valued at $4,500 Columbia River Reader representatives enjoying the good life Sasquatch joined Red Canoe Credit Union staff and had fun with their jellybean guessing contest
Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2023 | 27
Steve Trott with Meadowlark Family Dentistry enjoys a conversation with Foster Farms representatives José Fagoaga and Toni Cooper Elam’s Home Furnishings created a complete home living space for guests to enjoy Sasquatch joins Chamber Ambassador Eric McCrandall, Family Health Center, to represent the Chamber and the Kelso Visitor Center Tori Surface, American Workforce Group, celebrates with Nicole Shaylor, Big Dog Janitorial, Inc. Tori won prizes from the Chamber and from Shinju Dojo Aikido At their first Building Bridges event, A to Z Options made new connections with other business professionals
BUSINESS & TOURISM EXPO A huge Thank You to our 2023 Sponsors! SHOW SPONSORS Ilani Twin City Bank Koelsch Communities Elam’s Home Furnishings Evergreen Home Loans Alcoa PeaceHealth Foster Farms MEDIA SPONSORS - $4500 in Media Gift Certificates BiCoastal Media Columbia River Reader KUKN-KLOG-The Blitz Minuteman Press Prographyx The Daily News Global Images Graphic Design and Marketing


Delicious food & beverages Raffles

Business After Hours

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Opportunities to purchase raffle tickets for spectacular prizes! 5:30 to 7:30 pm

1338 Commerce
Suite F Register for your
at: www.kelsolongviewchamber.org
free ticket
FREE admission Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Legal Aid

News and events come from our website, press releases, and public information shared with us. To see more visit kelsolongviewchamber.org

Swanson takes helm as city manager

Kristina (Kris) Swanson took the helm as Longview’s city manager March 1.

Although Swanson was appointed by the city council in November, it was not official until Kurt Sacha’s retirement. Sacha’s final day was February 28 after 45 years of dedicated service.

Swanson is Longview’s sixth city manager and first female in this role. She has been employed with the City since March 2020, where she started as administrative services director. In July 2022, she was promoted to assistant city manager. Prior to joining the City of Longview, Kris served 2.5 years as the director of operations for the Washington State Auditor’s Office and 26 years in the Cowlitz County Auditor’s Office, where she began her career and was subsequently elected to five terms as Cowlitz County auditor.

“I’m very honored to be selected by the City Council to serve as Longview’s city manager,” said Swanson. “It is an incredible opportunity to lead a dedicated and talented team in this great city. I look forward to collaborating with the Council, staff, residents and the business community as we continue to lead Longview in a positive direction.”

“Kris’ extensive experience in public service at the city, county, and state level, combined with her success driven leadership and collaborative skills are an exceptional combination for the City,” states Mayor MaryAlice Wallis. “What a fantastic opportunity for the City of Longview and Council to work together with manager Kris Swanson.”

Longview police chief graduates from FBI national academy

Chief Robert Huhta graduated as a member of the 285th session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va., March 16. The 285th session class consisted of 247 law enforcement officers representing 47 states and the District of Columbia, 28 countries, four military organizations, and five federal civilian organizations. Huhta is the first officer in the department in more than 20 years to complete this program. Nationally, fewer than 1 percent of officers have the opportunity to attend the program.

Internationally known for its academic excellence, the National Academy offers 10 weeks of advanced communication, leadership, and fitness training. Participants must have proven records as

For more News & Events, see page 31

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Make the switch today and enjoy lower energy costs! Call Energy Efficiency Services at 360.501.9514 (office) or 800.631.1131 (toll-free) for more information.

To learn about the different options for your retirement accounts, call my office today.

30 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2023
retired. Your money isn’t.
> edwardjones.com | Member SIPC
1332 Vandercook Way Longview, WA 98632 360-425-0037

professionals within their agencies to attend. On average, these officers have 21 years of law enforcement experience and usually return to their agencies to serve in executive-level positions.

“Chief Huhta is a highly respected leader in our organization who has demonstrated commitment and professionalism throughout his service to the City of Longview,” Longview City Manager Kristina Swanson said. “His participation in the FBI National Academy will significantly benefit the Longview Police Department. We are very proud of Chief Huhta’s accomplishments and grateful for his continued exemplary service to the citizens of Longview.”

Huhta has served as the chief of the Longview Police Department since December 2020. He began working for the department in 1996 as a college cadet. He has been a community services officer, reserve officer, officer, detective, sergeant, and captain.

“I am grateful for this phenomenal experience at the National Academy. Over the ten weeks,” Huhta said. “I was able to network with an incredible group of law enforcement leaders from around the world. We had robust discussions regarding the challenges facing our profession and the community. As leaders it is important to continuously seek learning opportunities. I am thankful for the support of my family, the department, City of Longview, and the FBI to allow me this opportunity.”

Easter spending anticipated to break sales records at $24 billion

The upcoming Easter holiday is expected to bring in recordhigh spending, with consumers planning to spend $24 billion this year. This is a significant increase from last year’s spending of $20.8 billion and the previous record of $21.7 billion in 2020. According to a recent survey, 81 percent of Americans plan to celebrate Easter this year, with average expected spending of $192.01, the highest amount on record. Consumers are planning to spend on various categories for the holiday, including candy ($3.3 billion), gifts ($3.8 billion), food ($7.3 billion), clothing ($4 billion), flowers ($1.8 billion), decorations ($1.7 billion), and greeting cards ($1.1 billion).

Most consumers plan to participate in Easter-related activities, such as cooking a holiday meal (56 percent), visiting family and friends (50 percent), attending church (43 percent), or planning an Easter egg hunt (34 percent). Most consumers plan to buy Easter gifts from discount stores (54 percent). Others plan to shop at department stores (42 percent), online (33 percent), local and small businesses (22 percent), and specialty stores (20 percent).

The survey predicts consumers aged 35 to 44 to increase their spending more than any other group.

For those celebrating the holiday, tradition is the most significant motivator for shopping (63 percent), followed by social activities with family and friends (31 percent), sales or promotions (29

State of Education

Chris Bailey, president of Lower Columbia College, presented the latest LCC news at our Quarterly Membership Luncheon in March. He also informed guests about what's next for the local college, including a world-class, 46,000-squarefoot vocational building. Guests were greeted by Chamber Ambassadors, enjoyed lunch catered by Hop-n-Grape and amenities provided by Specialty Rents.

percent), store displays or decorations (23 percent), and exclusive or seasonal products (20 percent).

Longview Parks plans April events to coincide with Earth Day

• Earth Day Celebration, April 29. This is a free event at Hemlock Plaza, Lake Sacajawea, from 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Bring the family and enjoy the day experiencing reptiles, a climbing rock wall, birds of prey, recycling, music, and hands-on exhibits.

• Kid’s Fish In, April 29. There are a few spots left to come fish. Tickets go fast and may be already sold out. The fishing area will be netted with over 2,500 trout. Each participant will receive a lunch, a goody bag, and a rod and reel to keep! Tickets are $10/ child. Children must be age 5-14. Preregistration required!

• Community Garden Registration. Plots are still available for new gardeners! Spaces is limited to two plots per family at 32nd garden, 10-foot x 40-foot plot, $46; 20-foot x 40-foot plot, $70. One box per family at Victoria Freeman, 5-foot x10-foot garden box, $25.

Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2023 | 31
News & Events from page 30
Bands, Brews & Bites Lower Columbia Professionals presents Willow Grove 9:00 - 10:00 pm Rosetan 8:00 - 8:45 pm Cloudshine 7:00 - 7:45 pm The Bros Harris 6:00 - 6:45 pm Saturday, April 29, 2023 | Doors open at 5:30 pm The Roxy Theater | 1101 Commerce Ave, Longview Hosted by 21+ Event Food & Drink available for purchase Register at: www.kelsolongviewchamber.org Sponsored by: • Portco •Rubicon Protection • Summerland Catering • Bigfoot Screen Printing ☞ This event is a fundraiser for scholarships for local students each $25 for a 6-pack $125 Tickets

Spring Fling Bingo

Lower Columbia Professionals

Lower Columbia Professionals held their annual bingo event to raise funds for local scholarships in March. Longview Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie No. 2116 was our host. Players enjoyed a nacho bar and 10 games of bingo. The food and all of the prizes and raffle items were contributed by generous supporters. Volunteers and friends made this a fun fundraiser.

Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2023 | 33

Ribbon Cuttings

Welcome New Member Assured Home Inspections Northwest, LLC

Thank you to these Ambassadors who participated in ribbon cutting celebrations during March!


Diane Craft Koelsch Communities

Katie Dillinger Life Mortgage

Fran Gehrman Academy Mortgage

Kelly Godden Specialty Rents

James Hoyt Heritage Bank

Joy Klein Umpqua Bank

Kodie Kultala RE/MAX Premiere Group

Eric McCrandall Family Health Center

Carrie Medack Diamond Residential Mortgage

Betsy Wyatt Sho’me Real Estate

Pam Whittle Realty One Group Pacifica

34 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2023
New Member A to Z Options

We look forward to meeting you!

Chamber Ambassadors ~ The Red Coats

Chamber Ambassadors, or as we refer to them “The Red Coats,” are an integral part of the Chamber of Commerce. Ambassadors are the mainstay of Chamber volunteers.

They juggle busy professional careers while making time to assist the Chamber at a variety of events year long. Easily identified by their red blazers, you will find them meeting and greeting at our numerous events, welcoming new members at ribbon cuttings, assisting with community programs and having a great time.

To become an Ambassador, you must be an active Chamber member and be able to make what often amounts to a significant time commitment.

Diane Craft Koelsch Communities Kerri Guitteau Cowlitz Black Bears Josh Carter KLOG/KUKN/The BLITZ Joy Klein Umpqua Bank Nick Lemiere Edward Jones James Hoyt Heritage Bank Carrie Medack Diamond Residential Mortgage Kodie Kultala RE/MAX Premier Group Eric McCrandall Family Health Center Kelly Godden Specialty Rents Pam Whittle Realty One Group Pacifica Betsy Wyatt Sho’me Real Estate Marc Silva Red Canoe Credit Union DeDe Brill PeaceHealth Fran Gehrman Academy Mortgage Katie Dillinger Life Mortgage
105 Minor Rd, Kelso 360-423-8400 www.kelsolongviewchamber.org Ambassador

Ribbon Cuttings

36 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | April 2023
Welcome New Member U.S. Bank Welcome New Member Performance Occupational Health Services
LONGVIEW 1413 Commerce 360-575-9804 CENTRALIA 1530 S. Gold St. 360-807-1211 Shop Local

Business Connection Advertising Rates

Effective January, 2023

Kelso-Longview Business Connection monthly newsletter is published the first of each month, posted electronically on our website and emailed to over 7,000 local business professionals, city and county officials. To be included in this monthly email, call the Chamber office at 360-423-8400.

All ads include full color and any design work. Deadline is the 21st of the month prior to publication. Digital files: PDF format - print quality setting.

Non-Members of the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce, please add 30% to above rates.

To advertise or request additional information, please call at 360-423-8400 or contact:

Pam Fierst pfierst@kelsolongviewchamber.org

Advertising Agreement


Business Name: Phone: ____________________________

Contact Name: Cell: _______________________________

Address: ____________________________________________________________ Zip

Email: Fax:

Number of Issues Invoice Credit Card Check Plus Web Ad: 300W X 100H. Ads can be changed monthly.

Signature__________________________________ Ad Rep Signature___________________________

Size 1 - 3 Issues 4-7 Issues 8-10 Issues 12 Issues Dimensions 1/16 Page $110 $90 $70* $50* 2" x 2.5" 1/8 Page $175 $140 $105* $75* 4" x 2.5" 1/4 Page $205 $170 $140* $100* 4" x 5.25" 1/2 Page $325 $290 $245* $190* 4" x 10.5" (vert) or 8" x 5.25" (hor) Full Page $625 $570 $480* $400* 8" x 10.5"
ad on website)
360-423-8400 www.kelsolongviewchamber.org
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