Chamber works on efficiency, membership

MONTE VISTA— The Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce met for their monthly meeting last Thursday, Sept. 27. The chamber discussed a variety of business including how to increase membership and the benefits of the recent efficiency changes made to the meeting format.
Gary Wilkinson noted his wife Jerene Wilkinson is interested in providing a condensed financial report and is interested in what points the board members are most interested in so she can summarize and present them in the most efficient manner possible. Wilkinson and Jim Clare noted they wanted to make sure the finances on the Sugar Shack building are matching up the agreement, which the board stated they were are. They would also like the events to be presented in a way for the board to analyze and evaluate which are successful, which could be modified and if any events are not worth keeping.
Chamber Manager Jerry Apker discussed his work on bringing the Mountainfilm on Tour to Monte Vista. Mountainfilm on Tour is an affiliate of the Telluride Film Festival, and the films are selected from the festival’s entries to best “feature a collection of culturally rich, adventure-packed and enlightening documentary short films that align with Mountainfilm’s mission to use the power of film, art and ideas to inspire audiences to create a better world. A Mountainfilm presenter will guide the audience through the program providing insight on the films, filmmakers and subjects.” The Mountainfilm on Tour event will be held at the Vali Theater on Jan. 24, 2019, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The event will be a fundraiser for the Vali 3 Theater, Del Norte Trails Coalition and San Luis Valley Rattlers Mountain Bike Team.
 Apker explained he was exploring two options for the event. The first avenue would be to have a large event that included a silent auction, raffle and dinner to raise proceeds, in which case the organizers will have to solicit donated items and work with the owners and manager of Quincy’s to use the 2001 Video building across the street from the Vali. The second option would be to just use the remaining funds from ticket sales to donate to the three organizations after the up-front costs are covered. Rio Grande Savings and Loan has agreed to sponsor the event by donating $1,050 toward the booking fee and deposit for the films. The organizers and representatives of the Mountainfilm on Tour will be meeting in early October to discuss these options.
The board agreed to pursue the purchase of a refurbished android tablet to go with the Clover credit card machine the chamber uses for events and other purchases, which currently works with Apker and chamber employee Tamara Bachicha’s cell phones.
Clare also started a volunteer work group to review the organization’s bylaws, which he explained are overall too outdated to just amend small portions.
As Ken Hamko, who has been on the committee to increase chamber membership, was not present, Chamber President Linda Burnett and Bachicha lead a discussion on additional ways to increase membership, including their recent membership drive letter and hosting regular business mixers. Monaco also encouraged the board to look at internship possibilities through Adams State University. Interns could be available through the chamber to help businesses with marketing improvements or other needs.
Guests to the meeting included Thomas Monaco, director of the San Luis Valley Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Ron Douglas with Local Business Assist and contracted consultant with the City of Monte Vista. Monaco held a meet and greet later on Thursday for businesses to learn about the SBDC’s services. Douglas stated “I’m not sure what the hardcore mission of the chamber is….and I’m looking if any of my services can crossover with your services.”


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