Chamber CEO: Steamboat Chamber committed to helping grow local businesses | SteamboatToday.com

Chamber CEO: Steamboat Chamber committed to helping grow local businesses

Benjamin Franklin once said, "An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest."

Kara Stoller

At the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, a primary focus of ours is providing tools the business community needs to thrive in today's economic climate. We're committed to hosting programs that help support your business right here in town.

To meet the needs of the business community, our programs address a variety of topics: business education, customer service training and leadership development.

The Chamber Business Outlook Breakfasts take place once a quarter. On Feb. 20, the Chamber held a Business Outlook Breakfast with the theme  health and wellness in the workplace. Speakers included Lyndsey Brozyna, from the Small Business Development Center; Steve Muntean and Ken Davis, representing the Blue Zone project; and Lisa Bankard, from UC Health Yampa Valley Medical Center. Attendees learned about the benefits of having a business wellness program as well as resources to implement a program.

Internally, our staff set out this year to reduce stress and recently started a Mindfulness and the Workplace training conducted by Dr. Kristen Race with Mindful Life. The program is helping the team stay focused and present while letting go of work stress.

Attendees of the recent Business Education Series have taken away marketing tactics that are both practical and manageable to implement on tight budgets with minimal staff time needed. In January, Josh Orndorff, director of digital marketing at Always Mountain Time, presented a session on how to optimize for search engines for small business. The next event will focus on social media advertising.

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The Economic Development Council's education and communication subcommittee works throughout the year on content to provide insight on timely issues at the annual Economic Summit. Taking place in October, this educational and networking event provides an update on local and regional economic outlooks as well as more specific presentations on the annual theme. Recent themes have included thriving in times of change and creating intentional culture in the workplace.

Service Excellence is our customer service training program that will get you and your team on the same page and speaking the same language about how you will engage in exceptional customer service, both internally and externally.

In collaboration with the Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center, we conduct an annual Leadership Steamboat training program to foster understanding of critical issues and possibilities for solutions for our valley through personal commitment, involvement and education.

Each year the class has a group project, and the current class is working to fund large-scale compost machines for the Steamboat Springs School District and possibly other entities as well.

The knowledge gained in Leadership Steamboat doesn't have to end there. Again, with the Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center, we host Leadership Steamboat Alumni events to provide further growth opportunities to graduates of the program and our community as a whole.

At the most recent event more than 100 attendees heard from Craig Wasserman and Diane Muntean, nationally renowned leadership coaches who reside in Steamboat Springs, as well as a panel of Leadership Alumni leaders in the community.

The Chamber team, along with partners in the community, work diligently to support business growth through an array of programs and events. I encourage you to attend at least one of our events this year and support your colleagues or employees in joining us as well.

Kara Stoller is CEO of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association.