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Alaska At Its Best

Our Mission...

To provide leadership that fosters growth and prosperity by ensuring the Greater Palmer area is the best place to operate and grow a business, as well as the most desirable place to live, work, play and visit.

Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce 555 S. Alaska Street, Ste. 101 Palmer, AK 99645

• • • • • • • •

What is the Chamber of Commerce? Page 2 Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Page 2 President’s Report Page 3 New Executive Director Page 3 A Word from Ralph Renzi Page 4 List of Upcoming Education Seminars Page 5 Palmer Celebrates Colony Christmas Page 5 Welcome to Members Page 6 Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce Luncheon Page 7


Page 2

Palmer Chamber of Commerce

What is the Chamber of Commerce?

What is the Chamber? It’s a professionally managed non-profit corporation, whose function is business representation and involvement in the process of orderly growth and development of the Palmer community. The Chamber of Commerce is PEOPLE… people who join together to solve common problems or advance programs which make Palmer a better place to live, work and to do business. The Chamber works in so many different areas. Not only does the Chamber partner with you to help promote your business through various avenues of advertisement, but we work to promote Palmer. Participation in community affairs is a rewarding experience. You become a link in the chain of businesses or organizations whose common goal is to make positive changes in Palmer. Your Chamber membership helps in the following ways: Answering inquiries about the community every day The Chamber receives thousands of requests each year for names of local businesses, professionals, service & other establishments. We refer only Chamber members. Attending numerous meetings in order to be aware of issues affecting the business climate. Spearheading a multitude of annual projects, such as: Colony Days Celebration  A festival in honor of the 1935 Colonists who started our farming community.  Events include a car rally, craft fairs, horse-drawn wagon rides, farmer’s market, kids games, carnival rides, bike rodeo, parade and live entertainment. Operation Clean Sweep  Annual Palmer clean-up day brings together community volunteers to help clean up Palmer’s public areas. Palmer Pride Picnic Free picnic hosted by Palmer businesses and the City of Palmer.  Palmer Pride hotdogs, farm fresh veggies, live music and the announcement of Citizen of the Year. Colony Christmas Celebration  An old-fashioned country Christmas celebration with craft fairs featuring nearly 200 vendors, horse-drawn and reindeer sleigh rides, pictures with Santa, parade of lights and the region’s best fireworks display. Through your continued membership and committee participation, your Chamber can continue to work for all of Palmer. Your membership renewal ensures support for a variety of projects endorsed by the Palmer Chamber of Commerce.

December 6, 2011

Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors The Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is enthusiastic, knowledgeable and committed to promote economic growth in Palmer. Your thoughts, concerns and issues are important and we invite you to attend a board meeting. The Board meets the 3rd Friday of every month. Please contact the chamber office for times and locations. PAMELA J. STEPHEN, President, Healing Path Therapeutic Massage JACCIE GAINES, Past President, Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union JESSICA THOMPSON, President-Elect, MTA TERESA ROY, Secretary, Cover Ups DAVID COMBS, Treasurer, Combs Insurance STU GRAHAM, Director, The Alaska Club LORALI SIMON, Director, Usibelli Coal Mine JEHNIFER EHMANN, Director, Excel Physical Therapy DEANA MOORE, Director, Alaska USA DON BENSON, Director, Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority JESSE JONES, Director, Mat-Su Technical Service


December 6, 2011

Palmer Chamber of Commerce

Page 3

President’s Report

New Executive Director – Ralph Renzi

The Board welcomed our new Executive Director Ralph Renzi and said Thank you and Good Luck to Jillyan Hendrickson this November. Both attended the Board Retreat and Training along with GWCC Board Members and Executive Director. The Membership Recruitment Training will provide Board members with tools to assist them as we move forward with our Membership Drive. Members are both the reason and core of the Chamber; they bring new ideas and needs to help director the Chamber in carrying out its mission.

Ralph Renzi is the incoming Executive Director of the Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce. Ralph was born and raised in Schenectady, NY. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. In 1984, Ralph completed basic training in San Antonio, TX. He then completed six months of technical school in Rantoul, IL. He spent the next 13 years as a missile systems electronics specialist, performing in several duty positions in the weapons storage area and munitions control room at Fairchild AFB, near Spokane, WA. In 1997, Ralph was honored to accept a position as a space lift maintenance controller for the 45th Space Wing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL. For the next nine years, he worked side-by-side with Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, NASA and U.S. Defense Department technicians and engineers. He helped launch numerous Titan and Atlas missions carrying sensitive satellites into orbit to support war fighters. Ralph also had the opportunity to help process Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-93) for launch in 1999. This mission successfully placed the Chandra X-Ray Observatory into orbit. Ralph culminated his career as Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of training for space lift operations. He retired honorably in 2006. Ralph is married to the former WynnD Churchill of Palmer, AK. They have seven children; Anna (23), Rebecca (21), Sakerie (20), Alex (19), Savannah (17), Kaitlynn (16) and Lucy (8 months).

We held our second Membership Survey which will now be reviewed by a task force. This task force will report to the membership in January 2012 and provide direction to the Board. The Chamber wishes to improve programs and services to its members to enhance your membership and the community. Thank you to everyone that took the time to respond to the survey and provide desired input to the Chamber. This year’s Harvest Moon Auction was an entertaining and successful event. Valley Performing Arts provided a three act interactive play in between silent and cry out auction opportunities. Great food, games and beer sampling rounded out the evening. Thank you to everyone who attended, volunteered and provided auction items. You each provided a needed part in funding our Chamber activities by your efforts. We are looking forward to seeing you at Colony Christmas and this year’s new event - Downtown Palmer Town Lighting & Christmas Season Kick Off. There will be indoor and outdoor activities with enough variety to provide for everyone’s enjoyment. Come out to participate in your favorite event, shop for Christmas and enjoy the friendship. As we move into a new year, the Chamber would like to assist you in promoting your business. We can assist you in planning and executing a Business After Hours Event hosted at your business. This event could feature one or more businesses who invite Chamber Members to stop by and see what is new and different about your business. Contact the Chamber office if you would like to find out more and consider a January or February event to boost your business. Wishing you all A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. -Pamela J Stephen, President

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Page 4

Palmer Chamber of Commerce

Thank You Palmer

December 6, 2011

Only $ 95

2

As the incoming Executive Director of the Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce, I have to tell you how impressed I have been with the welcome I’ve received from Palmer business owners, legislators, and residents. I arrived here from Boise, ID, on a snowy day in early November and was immediately greeted by Chamber President, Pamela J. Stephen. We enjoyed a cup of coffee and she made me feel right at home. I hit the ground running, learning all I could about directing a Chamber of Commerce. I also received a crash course in how to help organize an enormous event, Colony Christmas. PALMER IS UNIQUE!!! I’ve traveled the entire “lower 48” throughout my 22 year career in the Air Force. Nowhere have I experienced community involvement like I’ve witnessed in my short time in Palmer. Everyone here seems to want to volunteer to make events special. Folks literally come from out of nowhere to save the day in some instances. Palmer is truly blessed to have such a fine group of volunteers, the likes of which, I have never before seen. Thanks to all of you for your patience and guidance. My wife, WynnD, was raised in Palmer. She has told me many stories of this city that I often thought were a bit exaggerated. I’m here to tell you, this article serves as a public apology for ever silently doubting her. Palmer has that “CAN DO” attitude that is so often missing today. It is a small city with the heart of a metropolis. I look forward to my family arriving here in late December, just in time for Christmas. I also look forward to a lifetime of amazing experiences in the City of Palmer. After hearing all the stories and experiencing Palmer in person, I have only one thing to say; I’m finally home. Thank you one and all for the warmest of welcomes, Ralph Renzi Executive Director Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce

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December 6, 2011

Palmer Chamber of Commerce

Upcoming Business Education Seminars Business Education Seminars Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce is here to help your business grow.  We have teamed up with the Alaska Small Business Development Center to bring you a series of business education seminars so you can learn new skills, stay informed or get motivated. These classes will start November 4 and continue throughout 2012 the First Friday of every month at the Palmer Public Library. Class titles and topics to be determined.  

Starting a Business Jan 6, 10:00am - Noon - Free Class Event Location:  City of Palmer Library, 655 S Valley Way, Palmer, AK 99645 Are you thinking about starting your own business? If so, this workshop was built for you! This workshop will cover basic issues faced when starting a new small business such as feasibility study, business planning, business licensing, legal forms of business, selecting a location, business record-keeping, hiring employees and access to business loans. Let the SBDC help guide you through the process of starting a small business.

Build Your Geek Skills:  Blogging Feb. 3rd, 9:00am - Noon - Free Class Event Location:  City of Palmer Library, 655 S Valley Way, Palmer, AK 99645 PRE REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR ALL CLASSES Contact the Alaska Small Business Development

Page 5

Palmer Celebrates Colony Christmas When it comes to small home-town appeal, Palmer can’t be beat. Take that warm atmosphere, add Santa, a parade of lights, and some holiday cheer with friends, family and neighbors, and you know it must be the Colony Christmas Celebration, held this year from December 9th – 11th. Known as the premiere Christmas party in Palmer, Colony Christmas never misses the little drummer boy’s beat in pounding out years of holiday tradition, in a three-day celebration of Christmas past and present. The town’s historical downtown fills with horsedrawn sleigh rides, reindeers, light tours, gingerbread houses, tubas, Christmas carolers, and a night sky full of fireworks. As an extra added bonus for 2011, another family event has been added to the schedule.  The sights and sounds of Christmas will begin on Sunday, December 4, at 4:00pm, as Downtown Palmer is emblazoned with an impressive show of Christmas lights and decorations.  Wagon rides, Christmas caroling and various activities will take place at local merchants.  Fireworks for that evening will begin at 5:50pm.  Palmer is proud to continue with this historical holiday tradition.  We look forward to you and your family joining us for this year’s celebration! For more information and to learn about our sponsors, visit our website at www.palmerchamber.org To see the Colony Christmas schedule of events, go to http://www.palmerchamber.org/events/colony-christmas.html

Center at 907-373-7232 to register or online at www.aksbdc.org Or Contact your Chamber for more information at 907-745-2880 Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the US Small Business Administation.

Call me today for a complimentary Cindi Heal Agency financial and insurance review. Call me today for (907) 746 0505 a complimentary Cindi Heal Agency Mile 3.2 Palmer-Wasilla Hwy (907) 746 0505 financial and Palmer Mile 3.2 Palmer-Wasilla Hwy cindiheal@allstate.com Palmer insurance review. cindiheal@allstate.com

Insurance subject to availability and qualifications.Allstate Insurance Company and Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Northbrook, Illinois © 2009 Allstate Insurance Company.


Page 6

Palmer Chamber of Commerce

December 6, 2011

WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBERS!

Thank you for joining Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce Waddell and Reed Athena’s Family Restaurant House of Bread Assoc Mem - Aedene Lorene Arthur Assoc Mem -Shelley S. Hughes Alpine Electric Charter College MatSu Campus Sienna @ Raven Hair Studio

Robbie Johnson Melina Studie Sharilyn Minnick Aedene Lorene Arthur Shelly S. Hughes Stephanie Zawicki Julia Renfro Sienna Larson

851 E. Westpoint Dr., Suite 209 1150 S. Colony Way Box 250 PO Box 870389 16855 E. Plumley Rd. PO Box 1496 13901 E Moyen Ruelle Ct 721 W. Parks Highway P O Box 4134

Wasilla Palmer Wasilla Palmer Palmer Palmer Wasilla Palmer

AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK

99654 99645 99687 99645 99645 99645 99654 99645

(907) 376-8373 (907) 746-4044 (907) 376-9600 (907) 745-5374 (907) 841-1634 (907) 745-3255 (907) 352-1000 (907) 237-9137

THANK YOU TO OUR RENEWING MEMBERS! Allstate: Cindi Heal Agency Whittier Chamber of Commerce Palmer Arts Council Hattenburg Dilley & Linnell McCool Carlson Green

Cindi Heal-Harsh Marie Wagner Miriam (Mimi) Pippel David Lundin John Weir

Assoc Mem - Catharine Jones Summit Family Practice Alaska State Fair Anchorage CVB Assoc Mem - Peter Probasco Great Northern Engineering Wasilla Chamber of Commerce Turkey Red Café & Bakery

Catharine ‘Kit’ Jones Amanda Peoples Roxie Mayberry Kari Coleman Peter Probasco Cheryl Riggs Lyn Carden Alex Papasavas

Get Connected

PO Box 2730 PO Box 607 PO Box 4286 202 W. Elm Wood Ave. Ste. 1 421 West First Avenue Ste. 300 Historic Anchorage Train Depot 3180 N. Seagull Dr. 440 A West Evergreen Ave 2075 Glenn Hwy 524 W Fourth Avenue PO Box 861 137 East Arctic 415 E Railroad Avenue 550 S. Alaska Street, Suite 100

with your peers in the construction industry.

Become a Member of the

Call 376-2666

www.matsuhomebuilders.org

Palmer Whittier Palmer Palmer Anchorage

AK AK AK AK AK

99645 99693 99645 99645 99501

(907) 746-0505 (623) 703-8890 (907) 761-3600 (907) 746-5230 (907) 563-8474

Palmer Palmer Palmer Anchorage Palmer Palmer Wasilla Palmer

AK AK AK AK AK AK AK AK

99645 99645 99645 99501 99645 99645 99654 99645

(907) 745-7393 (907) 746-3366 (907) 745-4827 (907) 276-4118 (907) 745-3182 (907) 745-6988 (907)376-1299 (907)746-5544

BE SEEN! Advertise your business in the next Palmer Chamber Newsletter!

Call 745-2880!


December 6, 2011

Palmer Chamber of Commerce

Page 7

Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce Luncheon Wednesday from noon until 1:00 pm, unless otherwise noted Palmer Moose Lodge 1136 S. Cobb St. Palmer, Alaska

The Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce offers businesses a wide range of opportunities to promote business. Programs offered throughout the year will give you a chance to network your business, make new contacts and make a difference in the community. The GPCC host a luncheon every Wednesday from 12:00 noon until 1:00 pm, unless otherwise noted. Please check our website for more details. Program fee $4.00 program fee Lunch fee $14.00 or Soup and Salad $7.00.

December 7, 2011

Colony Christmas Updates and Sponsorship Recognition

December 14, 2011 December 21, 2011

(AOGA)Alaska Oil & Gas Association President Dale Pittman from ExxonMobil No Meeting Scheduled

December 28, 2011

No Meeting Scheduled

January 4, 2012

Senator Linda Menard

January 11, 2012

Bill Walker with the Alaska Gasoline Port Authority

January 18, 2012

Marc VanDengen - Port Director - Port McKenzie Update

January 25, 2012

Membership Luncheon

Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce 550 S. Alaska St. Ste. 101, Palmer AK 99645 Telephone: 907-745-2880 • Fax: 907-746-4164 http://www.palmerchamber.org/


Downtown Palmer December 9, 10 & 11 Fireworks Parade of Lights Arts & Crafts Fairs Sleigh Rides Santa Photos Reindeer Photos Gingerbread House & Cookie Baking Competition

for more information visit: www.palmerchamber.org


Palmer Chamber Newsletter