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River Heights Chamber Small Business Award Celebration Steps Up Virtually

Nicole Bengtson
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Editorials, Event News

April 23, 2020 (Inver Grove Heights, MN) – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce celebrated with the business community at its first-ever Virtual Small Business of the Year Award and Trade Show on Thursday, April 23.

 

Our small businesses are a critical piece of our community, and as such, the River Heights Chamber felt like it was important to continue to celebrate business success during these challenging times and decided the show must go on,” noted Chairman of the Board, Adam Bengtson with Endorse Communications.   The River Heights Chamber has held a traditional Salute to Small Business Award Luncheon and Trade Show for the past 31 years and found a creative way to highlight its members in a virtual trade show with business videos on the Chamber’s website and through a YouTube Playlist, as well as, have its keynote speaker (Scott Welle of Outperform the Norm) present, and award the 2020 Small Business of the Year recipient during a national pandemic. Check out the local businesses in the Virtual Trade Show at http://www.riverheights.com/virtualtradeshow.

 

Earlier this year, the Chamber accepted nominations from local community members who they felt rose above the crowd in how they conducted business. The River Heights Chamber’s Recognition Committee reviewed the applications and selected this year’s recipient, Mississippi Pub!

 

Joe and Melissa Harms, owners of Mississippi Pub in Inver Grove Heights, were honored with the River Heights Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 Small Business of the Year Award.  Harms shared their philosophy and how they run Mississippi Pub as, “We want them (people), when they leave the Pub to be happy, be full, go tell their friends, bring them back, and just really enjoy their time that they spend at the Pub.” Mississippi Pub was started in 1999 by Joe’s father and sister – “there weren’t a lot of places on the river that you could boat up to, and have a beverage and some food, and take your family, so that was ultimately the driving force of why Mississippi Pub started,” Harms added,  “plus it was a perfect location.”  Joe started working as a bartender at the Pub on the first day it opened and now owns and operates the business from top to bottom.  They have grown significantly over the years and did a remodel in 2016. Mississippi Pub is constantly expanding and growing, developing new food, ideas, drink menus, and continuing trying to adapt to the times.

 

The Small Business of the Year Award recognizes an organization that has been in business for five years or more, has 20 or fewer employees, has at least two years of membership in the River Heights Chamber, and encompasses a business that has a commitment to the community through its involvement and assistance to community organizations, to its employees, suppliers and customer relationships, in addition to, a commitment to excellence in service, business ethics, friendliness and business operations.  Mississippi Pub outperforms in all of these areas, and they personally and professionally enjoy giving back to the community. Joe stated they donate to many organizations and benefits, sponsor events and volunteer their time through the River Heights Chamber of Commerce, as well as, he coaches youth athletics.

 

Joe and Melissa Harms, owners of Mississippi Pub and River Heights Marina added, “We appreciate being nominated for this award and we appreciate the support we get from the River Heights Chamber, it’s staff and all of its members. Thank you for moving forward with presenting us with this award.”

 

Congratulations to Mississippi Pub!

 

This event was supported by our generous sponsors, Town Square Television, Enbridge Energy, Minnesota Vikings Football, LLC, Microtel Inn & Suites By Wyndham and DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton Downtown St. Paul.

Watch their award video here:

Annual Small Business Award & Trade Show Going Virtual

Nicole Bengtson
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Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News, Marketing

Dear River Heights Business Community,

We are all feeling the pain from this worldwide pandemic in different ways. The River Heights Chamber is here to assist your business in any way possible; we remain committed to supporting you during these challenging times.

Our small businesses are a critical piece of our community, and as such, the Chamber is moving forward to bring you the Small Business Award and Trade Show virtually, to honor and recognize our Small Business of the Year and the importance of small businesses in our community.

Our 2020 Virtual Small Business Award and Trade Show will be held on Thursday, April 23 at 2:00 pm via a Zoom Webinar and is FREE to attend. Chamber Chairman, Adam Bengtson, will facilitate the 2020 Small Business Award Celebration and Best Selling Author of Outperform the Norm, Scott Welle, will share strategies used by high achievers to take your game to the next level, especially during this unique time. And for the grand finale, be there LIVE for the announcement and to honor the 2020 Small Business of the Year and watch their video during this webinar! You don’t want to miss it!

The Trade Show component is a popular piece to this event. All members are invited to participate in the Trade Show which will remain online, viewable and shareable through the end of the year. For only $35, a business can share its logo, messaging and/or a video to the Virtual Trade Show. This is an opportunity to be creative and interact as if it were sharing your business at a LIVE trade show. For example, you can include a link to download and print a coupon to be used at a later date or bring in the coupon for a free giveaway. The sky is the limit!

Click HERE to register for the Virtual Trade Show

This event is supported by our generous sponsors, Town Square Television, Enbridge Energy, Minnesota Vikings Football, LLC, Microtel Inn & Suites By Wyndham and DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton Downtown St. Paul.

Register in advance for the 2020 Small Business Award Celebration here!

Important Information from the Governor

Nicole Bengtson
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Advocacy & Public Policy, Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News, Marketing

March 25, 2020

Dear Members,

This afternoon, MN Governor Tim Walz issued an Executive Order directing Minnesotans to Stay at Home and limit movement outside of their homes beyond essential needs for two weeks.
Stay at Home Executive Order Effective Friday, March 27th from 11:59 pm to Friday, April 10th. #StayHomeMN

The closures of bars, restaurants and other public accommodations are extended to May 1st at 5 pm.
This Executive Order authorizes the Commissioner of Education to implement a Distant Learning period beginning on March 30th until May 4th.

Minnesotans may leave their home to perform essential duties and are asked to maintain social distancing.

Workers who provide critical services to the people of MN at this time are exempt. The exemptions are based on federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at the US Department of Homeland Security with some Minnesota- specific additions. This includes but is not limited to jobs in:

– Healthcare and public health
– Law enforcement, public safety, and first responders
– Child care
– Food and agriculture
– News media
– Energy
– Water and wastewater
– Critical manufacturing

The River Heights Chamber of Commerce will continue to be a voice of reason, sharing factual information as it becomes available and we will work tirelessly to advocate for and support our local businesses and communities.

We will be funneling information down to you through our website and social media channels.  The RHCC Members Only Facebook group, the River Heights Chamber Facebook page, our COVID-19 webpage that offers info from our partners, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, DEED and other useful resources.  We are also updating our Facebook page with announcements and opportunities to support our businesses during these challenging times.

 

Adam Bengtson, 2020 Chairman, River Heights Chamber of Commerce

Meet Our Award Winners Celebrated at the 117th Annual Meeting

Nicole Bengtson
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Editorials, Event News, Marketing

Celebrating 117 Years and Honoring Business of the Year, Forrest Glewwe Visions of Excellence, Rising Star & Employer of People with Disabilities Awards

Inver Grove Heights/South St. Paul – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 117th Annual Meeting on Thursday, January 9th at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront.

At this year’s meeting, the River Heights Chamber of Commerce awarded Heidi Satre of Neighbors Inc. the 2019 Rising Star award for her volunteerism with the Chamber’s Ambassador Committee and her many other contributions to the community.  Vance Boelter of the Dakota-Scott Workforce Investment Board presented in partnership with his organization, the Employer of the Year for People with Disabilities Award, to Town Square Television for employing individuals with disabilities through Proact to clean their studios for over two decades.

Adam Bengtson, of Endorse Communications, was introduced as the 2020 Chairman of the Board and commented, “Those who know me well might describe me as a runaway optimist.  But I believe that’s for good reason.  The amazing advancements in the ways we live, conduct business and drive change are accelerating every day.  In a matter of just two or three generations, the landscape of technology around us has completely transformed nearly every facet of our lives.  I’m incredibly excited that the Chamber is leading the way in adopting this way of thinking.

Of course, these changes and improvements don’t happen in a vacuum.  It takes ideas and energy from stakeholders from all around our community – that especially includes business and civic leaders in the River Heights Chamber of Commerce.”

Chairman Bengtson presented the River Heights Chamber 2020 Business of the Year to Drkula’s 32 of Inver Grove Heights, and later presented the 2019 Forrest Glewwe Visions of Excellence Award in memory of Carol Swenson to her family. To watch their individual award videos, check out the Chamber’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/riverheightschamber.

The audience also heard an inspiring keynote from Ian Leonard, Chief Meteorologist, FOX 9.

“What have you done for someone else today?” A question everyone can ask themselves, their staff, and their family – “live your passion with a purpose!”

Special thanks to the Annual Meeting event sponsors Waterous Company and Town Square Television, major sponsors CHS Inc, and Xcel Energy, and contributing sponsors Flint Hills Resources, Inver Grove Heights Convention & Visitors Bureau and Mahoney, Ulbrich, Christiansen and Russ, P.A.

County-wide Chamber Business Expo – Open to the Public

Nicole Bengtson
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Editorials, Event News, Marketing

Area Chambers of Commerce Partner to Host Business Expo Networking Event

Inver Grove Heights, MN (October 14, 2019) – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce, a not-for-profit business organization that supports businesses in Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul, is partnering with area Chambers of Commerce, to bring you the annual County-Wide Chamber Business Expo.

Top Five Reasons You Should Attend:
1. Meet and connect with great people and businesses throughout Dakota County
2. Enjoy complimentary, delicious hors d’oeuvres
3. Visit 40+ booths from participating vendors
4. Chance to win multiple door prizes (some valued at $100!)
5. It’s FREE and Open to the Public!

The River Heights Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Apple Valley, Burnsville, Hastings and Lakeville Area Chambers of Commerce, invite you and a guest to attend the County-wide Chamber Business Expo, an After Hours Networking Event, on Wednesday, November 13, 2019, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at GrandStay Hotel & Conference of Apple Valley, located at 7083 153rd St. W, in Apple Valley.

“Whether you are looking to make a new connection, grow your business or learn about businesses (big and small) in Dakota County, this expo has something for everyone,” says Colleen Murphy Roth, Director of Membership Development for the River Heights Chamber of Commerce.

Special thanks to our event sponsor Dakota Electric Association.

Be sure to get there early to meet as many people as you can and enjoy the delicious appetizers and cash bar available. Remember to bring your business cards, too! More event details can be found at www.riverheights.com or by contacting the River Heights Chamber office at 651.451.2266 ext. 1032.

The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to making connections and delivering resources that benefit local businesses. Visit www.riverheights.com or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn about the benefits of membership and events.

Please schedule your blood donation appointment today!

Nicole Bengtson
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Editorials, Event News

The River Heights Chamber is proud to sponsor our next blood drive with the American Red Cross on Monday, September 30th.

An estimated 38 percent of Americans are eligible to give blood or platelets, but of those, less than 10 percent actually donate each year. Most importantly, the American Red Cross has an urgent need for donors of all blood types to give blood in support of kids fighting cancer, patients with sickle cell disease and others facing serious illnesses. Type O and B blood donors are critically needed right now, learn more here. Therefore, if you are healthy and eligible, please come out to donate!  Most donations take about an hour, so book your appointment, roll up your sleeve and become a part of the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross and River Heights Chamber of Commerce.

To schedule an appt for this event, please call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter: RHCC.  For day-of walk-ins, donors can save up to 15 minutes by using RapidPass® to complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online. For more information, visit RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass.

Drive Details:
Monday, September 30, 2019
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
River Heights Chamber of Commerce Parking Lot, 5782 Blackshire Path, Inver Grove Heights, MN 
Sign up at RedCrossBlood.org using code: RHCC

There are many ways you can help, but most importantly we hope you come out to donate.

 

Sincerely,

The River Heights Chamber Staff

Third Annual River Heights Chamber of Commerce Clay Shoot Open to the Community

Nicole Bengtson
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Editorials, Event News, Marketing

The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is excited to host its Third Annual Clay Shoot sponsored by Frattalone Companies on Thursday, September 19, 2019, at the South St. Paul Rod and Gun Club. Beginners are welcome and encouraged to participate.

Clay or trap shooting is growing exponentially in popularity across all ages and genders. It is the only sport where men and women compete together on equal footing. They shoot from the same stand, and in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, will have double trap teams of one man and one woman.

Trapshooting is the fastest-growing high school sport in Minnesota. At the 2019 MN State Tournament, more than 330 high school teams featuring over 8,300 student athletes competed. Several universities and private trusts have monies allocated providing scholarships for young marksmen, male or female, creating a pipeline to Olympic competition.

There are many reasons for this surge in popularity. Primarily, it is an easy beginner sport. No experience is necessary and it is not physically demanding. Experienced marksman state that sport shooting is 90% mental. Concentration levels are sharpened and expanded. Multiple problem-solving activities involving logic, mathematics, and creative thinking (thinking “outside the box”) are needed and employed to succeed at any level of the shooting sports.

Clay shooting is a sport you can enjoy by yourself or with a team. Brian Martell of Point North Networks and Chair of the 2019 Chamber Clay Shoot believes, “It is a great environment for networking and a prime opportunity for businesses to sponsor the event. Businesses can sponsor a station, a sporting game or one of many other options.” Since first being introduced to the sport at the Chamber’s inaugural event, Martell now shoots regularly and uses his time at the Gun Club for team building and networking.

In addition to the traditional eight-station course, the event includes two popular games from last year. Players can vie for the title of Annie Oakley in the popular last shooter standing contest and teams of two can compete in the Duck Flurry, shooting from a duck tower that throws clays in multiple directions.

Prizes will be awarded to teams with the top course scores and the contest winners. Guns are available for those not using their own. Shells, protective eyewear and earplugs are provided at check-in. Registration opens at 1:00 pm, shotgun start at 2:00 pm with social/dinner/awards following around 4:00 pm. Sponsorship and event registration is available at www.RiverHeights.com/Clayshoot.  Raffle tickets on sale now at the Chamber office, $10/per ticket with only 500 tickets printed – win the Grand Prize of $1000 cash or 2nd place of $500 – do not need to be present to win!

No experience needed- Beginners Welcome! Novice or seasoned, it is time to test your skills.

Annual River Heights Chamber Golf Classic Open to Business Community – Donate Now to the Online Auction

Nicole Bengtson
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Editorials, Event News, Marketing

Inver Grove Heights/South St. Paul – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce invites the community to golf in the Chamber’s Annual Golf Classic fundraiser presented for the third consecutive year by Republic Services on Monday, June 24, 2019, at Southview Country Club, 239 E. Mendota Road, West St. Paul.

June 24th is promised to be filled with fun starting at 10 a.m. with registration including a Bloody Mary bar and box lunch pick-up. The range is open for practice and shot-gun start for teams is at 11:00 a.m. There will be many contests on the course, and a ball drop before the awards dinner which follows the day’s play. “One of the most fun parts of the day is networking with the sponsors who sit at each hole on the course. They may hold a contest with prizes and hand out company branded items. It’s always fun to see what unique events they come up with,” notes Michele Hein of Tandem Printing, Golf Task Force Chair.

An online auction will be sure to please with great items starting in mid-June – everyone is welcome to donate an item, fun experience or gift card to the auction at www.riverheights.com/donate.

“New to the tournament this year, we are excited to announce a New Golfer’s Clinic beginning at 3 p.m. One of Southview Country Club’s own golf professionals will teach this group lesson for 1 hour! We strive for ways to bring non-golfers to our annual event, so we hope this does the trick,” adds Hein.

Register your foursome to golf before June 1st for a discounted rate of $600 or $160/golfer. After June 1st, $175/golfer. Guests are invited to attend the dinner and Pro Lesson for $60 or dinner only for $35. The annual tournament is held rain or shine. Special thanks to these businesses for being major sponsors of the tournament: 21st Century Bank, Key Community Bank, KOMA, MidWestOne Bank, Quality Auto Care Center, Sanimax, Town Square Television and Xcel Energy. Check out the other businesses who are going to be out on the course at www.riverheights.com/golf.

For more registration information, visit us online at www.riverheights.com/golf or call the River Heights Chamber of Commerce at 651.451.2266.

River Heights Chamber Celebrates 30 Years of Small Business Success

Nicole Bengtson
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Editorials, Event News, Marketing

Inver Grove Heights/South St. Paul (4/4/19) – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce invites you to celebrate with the business community at the Small Business of the Year Award Luncheon & Trade Show on Thursday, April 25 at 11 a.m. at Mendakota Country Club in Mendota Heights.

The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 30th Anniversary of the Small Business Award and it promises to be a great event! Do you know a past recipient? We ask that you encourage them to attend and be recognized! See the history of Small Business Award winners here – if you don’t see your favorite small business, nominate them for next year!

Jake Sedlacek, Chairman of the River Heights Chamber of Commerce noted, “Small business drives our economy – locally and nationally. The Small Business Awards are an opportunity to recognize, celebrate and connect with outstanding small businesses right here in our community.”

How you can participate and benefit from attending:

  • Showcase your company in the Trade Show (and be entered to win a prize in the “Favorite Booth” Contest – NEW this year!)
  • Network with area business and community representatives
  • Meet & support the finalists for the 2019 Small Business of the Year Award and watch LIVE as the 2019 recipient is announced and recognized – Finalists include: Allrounder Remodeling, Point North Networks and Yours Truly Marketing Incentives!
  • Hear from our exceptional keynote speaker, Phil Gwoke, BridgeWorks – be entertained and informed on “When Generations Connect” – Watch a video to get a glimpse of Phil’s presentation here

With all of the outstanding businesses in the community, the River Heights Chamber is excited to honor the following finalists: Allrounder Remodeling, Inc., Point North Networks, Inc., and Yours Truly Marketing Incentives, Inc., each one deserving of the 2019 title! Finalists were nominated their peers, the community participated in an online voting poll and the River Heights Chamber’s Recognition Committee selected the winner. RSVP to attend to find out LIVE who will win the Small Business of the Year Award! The Small Business of the Year Award acknowledges an organization that has been in business for five years or more, has 20 or fewer employees, has at least two years of membership in the River Heights Chamber, and encompasses a business that has a commitment to the community through its involvement and assistance to community organizations, to its employees, suppliers and customer relationships, in addition to, a commitment to excellence in service, business ethics, friendliness and business operations.

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to our event sponsors, Deerwood Bank, Town Square Television and Velocity Public Affairs. The event is also sponsored in-part by Trade Show sponsor Good Samaritan Society – Inver Grove Heights and contributing sponsors LeVander, Gillen & Miller PA, Microtel Inn & Suites By Wyndham (Inver Grove Heights), Mississippi Pub and Ultimate Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning.

For more details about the Small Business Award Luncheon & Trade Show, visit and register at www.riverheights.com/smallbusiness. To learn more about the finalists and this year’s award recipient announced at the event, please watch for their videos on the River Heights Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page @RiverHeightsChamber and on their YouTube channel at YouTube.com/riverheightschamber following the event on April 25th.

About River Heights Chamber of Commerce
The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is committed to its mission to aggressively promote the interests of the business communities of Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul. The organization is volunteer-driven and strives to attract and retain businesses to keep the business community thriving. Driving economic progress and business development is its focus. The River Heights Chamber continues to provide value-added opportunities for all members and is dedicated to making connections and delivering resources that benefit local businesses. Visit www.riverheights.com or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn about the benefits of membership and events.

River Heights Chamber 2019 Annual Meeting & Awards Ceremony

Nicole Bengtson
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Editorials, Event News

Celebrating 116 Years and Honoring Business of the Year, Forrest Glewwe Visions of Excellence and Volunteer of the Year

Inver Grove Heights/South Saint Paul (January 11, 2019) – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 116th Annual Meeting on Thursday, January 10th at Southview Country Club. “The Annual Meeting for River Heights Chamber and Progress Plus featured transition, recognition and inspiration,” commented 2019 Chairman of the Board, Jake Sedlacek.

Brenda Dietrich, 2018 Chair of the Board, highlighted accomplishments of the past year and reflected on her gratitude for the River Heights Chamber of Commerce and the leadership opportunities and tools she was able to learn and take away from her year as Chair, and into her new role as IGH City Councilmember.  Brenda also welcomed the Chamber’s 2019 Chairman of the Board, Jake Sedlacek of Xcel Energy.  When Jake began, he noted, “I love reflecting upon the differences in our businesses – a family-owned, local business and a fortune 500 utility, and yet we both see value in being a part of the River Heights Chamber of Commerce.”  Jake added, “As a community relations manager, I originally engaged in Chamber activities as a means to get to know key businesses, non-profits and government leaders.  I’ve stuck around, and become more engaged because this organization lives its mission: To aggressively promote the interests of the business community through advocacy, partnerships, member benefits and networking.”  Chairman Sedlacek also shared the Board’s initiatives for 2019, talked about working together to make connections and gave a call to action to all the membership – “take advantage of Chamber activities.”

Chairman Jake Sedlacek presented the 2019 Business of the Year award to a company with over 20 employees who has made an impact on the River Heights Chamber and its business community, a positive impact on its employees and customers, and the environment – Republic Services!  Jennifer Gale, president of River Heights Chamber and Progress Plus noted, “Republic Services is a good steward to their employees, the community and to the earth, and the River Heights Chamber is proud to honor them as our Business of the Year.”

Dave Langer (of Langer Real Estate Services) was selected and honored with the Chamber’s 2018 Forrest Glewwe Visions of Excellence Award.  Dave truly exceeds in all criteria for this award – a commitment to the betterment of life, business, community and entrepreneurship for the River Heights region!  “Dave Langer is a pillar in the East Metro community and it’s an honor to recognize his many accomplishments personally and professionally,” added Gale.

Chair Deitrich was excited to surprise a special individual who has played an important role as a volunteer in the organization.  Since 1995, the River Heights Chamber of Commerce has presented a Rising Star Award to a volunteer who has accelerated in their first few years as a Chamber volunteer by displaying leadership, enthusiasm and passion for the Chamber’s mission.  “This year, not only is this person a rising star, but she is our Volunteer of the Year – she has gone above and beyond the call of her membership. I’m proud to present the 2018 Rising Star and Volunteer of the Year award to Michele Hein of Tandem Printing,“ announced Deitrich.

For more details on Republic Services or Dave Langer, make sure to watch their award videos on the River Heights Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page and YouTube channel at YouTube.com/riverheightschamber! Check out all the photos from the event here.

Special thanks to the Annual Meeting event sponsors Flint Hills Resources, Town Square Television, Waterous Company and Xcel Energy, as well as our contributing sponsor, CHS, Inc., keynote speaker Joe Nayquonabe with Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures and all of the members who shared in the special night.