President, Michelle Van Dyke, called the Greater Ruby Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture annual meeting to order on Tuesday evening February 5, 2019. In spite of the blizzard conditions, there were about 40 members in attendance at the Wagon Wheel Restaurant. Shawn and Janet Dustin, Wagon Wheel owners, had a wonderful spread of tasty appetizers, sliders and pastries to enjoy for all in attendance. GRVCCA donated an array of beverages to pair with the food.
A thank you to outgoing Chamber officers and directors were given to Julie Ward, secretary- treasurer, Paul Marsh who was our Chamber Affiliate director, Karen Town, PR, and Sue Marxer our website and IT director. These members have dedicated a tremendous amount of time and energy into making the Chamber a vibrant organization over many years.
Elections were held and we’ve got some exciting new and enthusiastic young people coming on board and some of the same names you will all recognize from the past. Michelle Van Dyke with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services shall remain as president, Ray Marxer with Ranch Services West will be replaced as Vice President by Isaac Ingram with Ike’s Shave & Cream LLC and Ray will move to our Chamber Affiliates director. Julie Ward with Clover Meadows, will be relinquishing her secretary-treasurer position to Laci Holbrook, Holbrook Seed Potatoes. Our new Community Events Coordinators will be Teen Holland with New Kids on the Block and Lacy Wood with The Round Barn. Our Membership directors will be Vittorio Ottanelli with Opportunity Bank and Sara Gilman, Sara Gilman Photography. Hats off to Bob Reimard, Alamo Aviation Art, who has chaired our Buy Local Expo for 11 years and is hanging in there to organize it again this year on May 4. Cassie Ubaldo, Upper Canyon Outfitters, is taking on the Advertising, Public Relations and Promotions directorship and Scott Payne, Kirk Environment Engineering will be the Director at Large. Anna Ingram, Ike’s Shave & Cream LLC and also wife of Isaac Ingram our new VP, will be chairing the IT and Website tasks. The backside of the website shall be maintained by Brett Rodli Web Strategies out of Missoula and Sue Marxer, Saddlescenes Photograph and Montana Image, will gradually phase out of that position.
Michelle Van Dyke recapped where the GRVCCA membership funds were spent to support community functions and community grants. Community grants in the amount of $500 were given to Shovel & Spoon, Twin Bridges Community Association and Anderson Simpson Legion Post. Sheridan Festival, Sheridan Christmas Stroll, Twin Bridges Christmas Festival and Twin Bridges Floating Flotilla all received $500 for their functions. There was an additional $500 given to update the Kiosk in Jessen Park and $250 to the Ruby Valley Conservation District Banquet. Kevin McWilliams and Susan Wilson with 3 Rivers Communication were present and given a round of applause for their contribution of $500 to GRVCCA to print our promotional postcards. Bob Reimard, Alamo Aviation Art, gave a short presentation on the benefits of the upcoming Buy Local Expo which he chairs and invited all members to reserve their space early for May 4 at the Twin Bridges Fairgrounds. We wrapped the meeting up with four $25 gift certificate door prize drawings which could be spent at any Greater Ruby Valley Chamber business.
We welcome all those new members and thank those who will remain for another year. New blood and fresh young faces will lead to innovative ideas to move our organization forward. We invite any members or those who have an interest in joining the chamber to our meetings which is held the first Tuesday of each month. Any member wanting to be in the 2019 printed Chamber directory must be paid up by March 1 so hurry and join. You can pay on line and look us up at rubyvalleychamber.com.
Be watching for the GRVCCA Survey which will be emailed to all members within the next week. This will give you an opportunity for input so we can keep improving our member services. Fill out the survey and you will be eligible for a $25 gift certificate to spend at any GRVCCA business.
2019 GRVCCA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- President – Michelle VanDyke, BHHS & Montana Ranch Properties
- Vice President – Isaac Ingram, Ike’s Shave & Cream LLC
- Secretary / Treasurer – Laci Holbrook, Holbrook Seed Potatoes, Inc.
- Community Events – Teen Holland, New Kids on The Block and Lacy Wood, Round Barn
- Chamber Affiliates – Ray Marxer, Ranch Services West
- Membership – Vito Ottanelli, Opportunity Bank and Sara Gilman, Sara Gilman Photography
- Web / IT – Anna Ingram, Ike’s Shave & Cream LLC
- Buy Local Expo Chairman – Bob Reimard, Alamo Aviation Art
- Advertising, Public Relations & Promotions – Cassie Ubaldo, Upper Canyon Outfitters
- Director at Large – Scott Payne, Northern Rockies Engineering, Inc.
2018 GRVCCA ACTIVITIES in Review
A Total of 161 Members in the greater Ruby Valley and surrounding areas enjoyed the following benefits:
- Continued redesign and updates of the web site. All members are listed with a brief business profile, picture, and a link to their website.
- Member business referrals from website Contact form inquiries and other contacts.
- Maintain a Facebook presence and activity.
- Sheridan Days & Twin Bridges Floating Flotilla – provided financial support of $500 each.
- Sheridan Christmas Stroll and Twin Bridges Feast-ival –provided support of $500 for each.
- Annual Membership Meeting in February – appetizers and door prizes for all members and prospective members. Held at a GRVCCA member business which rotates each year between Twin Bridges and Sheridan.
- Membership directory mailed out annually with members business names and phone numbers. Extra directories available to businesses as free handouts.
- Printed, mailable, brochure postcards available for free distribution by businesses.
- Chamber paid advertising for events and businesses in Madisonian and KDBM-AM /KBEV-FM radio, plus Chamber ad in the Loop Magazine. Chamber video produced by member/director Isaac Ingram, of Ingram Photography and Design to promote our Chamber on website and social media.
- GRVCCA Buy Local Expo – FREE booth fee for Chamber members–successful in 2018 with about 50 participants and over 200 visitors! Availability is limited so reserve early by calling BoB Reimard at 842-7900. The 2019 Buy Local Expo is slated for May 4, 2019.
- Memberships – Southwest Montana Country (formally Gold West Country), and, maintain a listing at visitmt.com, Montana’s official tourism site.
- Monthly meetings, listed on the website calendar are open to all members to voice concerns and suggestions to benefit our membership
- Contribution of $500 to upgrade kiosk in Jessen Park in Twin Bridges.
- Contribution of $250 to sponsor Ruby Valley Conservation District Banquet
- Representation in the Sheridan Days & Madison County Fair Parades.
- Window membership plaques to publicly show your support of the Chamber.
At a member’s request we can spread the word about local events by adding events to our Facebook page and website calendar.