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In This Issue
Chamber News
Community News
Community Education
Business News
Business Education
Activities and Promotions
Help Wanted

November 29, 2017

Chamber News
Member of the Week
The Member of the Week for November 27-December 1, 2017 is Kona Ice of the Dunes. Kona Ice of the Dunes is all about being a positive influence in the community by Giving Back to area non-profits. Dawn and Roger Cole have given back over $35,000 since they rolled up to serve at their first Portage school event in the May of 2014. Kona Ice of the Dunes puts a tropical spin and a snowy healthy twist on the summertime ice cream truck tradition. 
They offer premium, soft as snow, Hawaiian shaved iced ice from a one of a kind "Kona Entertainment Vehicle". Their shaved ice is amazing, but everyone loves the Kona Experience even more. Customers apply their own flavors from the Flavorwave while dancing to the tropical drum music that whisks them away to a tropical paradise.  Kona Ice is sweetened with Vita-Blend which consists of Natural Stevia, fortified with Vitamins C & D with a bit of pure cane sugar. All are fat free, gluten free, lactose free, peanut free, contain no artificial sweeterers, and no high fructose corn syrup. Nutritious and Delicious! Call Kona Ice for your next event, 219-716-0063 or email them at dcole@kona-ice.com.

Shop Local and Win!
This year to enhance your holiday shopping experience, the Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce (GPCC) is proud to sponsor "Shop Local and Win!" just for shopping local. From November 25, 2017 through December 24, 2017  spend a combined total of $200.00 (excluding gas/diesel) or more at GPCC Member businesses,  submit by mail:copies of receipts along with entry by January 3, 2018 and receive a $10.00 Chamber gift certificate  **Limited to the first 50 entries**  Entry Form  Businesses  print this flyer  and encourage your patrons to participate. Member businesses can be found  here

MidWeek Mingle
The monthly MidWeek Mingle is a laid back networking event. This event allows Chamber Members to meet each other in a relaxed atmosphere. The Mingle is traditionally held at a Chamber restaurant with drinks being available for purchase. If you are interested in hosting a MidWeek Mingle, please contact the Chamber office. 
Upcoming Mingles:
November 29th at Best Western Plus Portage Register Online. This mingle will be from 5p-7p.
No Mingle in December

Rise Shine and Share-Success in 60 Series
Date: December 14th, 7:30am-8:30am-Central Time @ Portage Best Western
The Rise, Shine and Share will continue with the Success in 60 Series featuring Larry Galler. This session will teach you how to become a Power Networker. 
Register Online

Holiday Party
The Chamber would like to thank you for your support in 2017 by inviting you to a Members only Holiday celebration.  Join us for complementary appetizers, conversation and a cash bar.  The Holiday Party will be at Bulldog on the Lake on Thursday, December 14th from 4p-7p. Bulldog on the Lake is located at 5987 Burns Waterway, Portage. Register here to let us know you will be there. 

Space Available for Rent
There will soon be office space available within the Chamber Building for rent. 
The space will be available on December 8, 2017. The location includes: Private Lobby Area, Private Bathroom, 3 private rooms , Separate Entrance, Snow Removal,  Utilities and Garbage are included. The rent for this location is $650 per month. If you are interested in seeing the available space please call the Chamber office at 219-762-3300 or stop in during business hours, Monday-Friday 8a-4:30p. 

Community News
Coffee and Conversation about Senior Care with Blair
Journey Senior Living of Valparaiso
Blair Minton, President of Journey Senior Living will be discussing topics related to Assisted Living and Memory Care on Thursday, November 30th at the Hilton Garden Inn Chesterton, registration will be at 9:30am and a complimentary breakfast will be available. Please call Laura to RSVP as seating is limited, 219-707-8474. 

Board Seeks Community Member
Portage Township Education Foundation
As a Portage community member, you have an exciting opportunity to support the Portage Township Schools!  Consider becoming a Board Member for the Portage Township Education Foundation!  The Portage Township Education Foundation provides funds for the Portage Township School (PTS) employees who submit grants.  These grants provide unique learning experiences for students which are not able to be funded through the typical school budget.  The funding for these grants largely comes through our fundraising efforts. Please send your name, email, phone and occupation to the Portage Township Education Foundation (PTEF) at ptefinfo@portage.k12.in.us.  We hope you can join us!

November Events at Bonner Senior Center
Bonner Senior Center
The Bonner Senior center is open Monday-Friday 8a-4p and is located at 5800 Lexington Ave in Portage. To see a schedule of November events, please click here. A calendar of the November menu can be found here

Indiana Tourism Bureau Encourages Organizations to Apply
Indiana Dunes Tourism
Indiana Dunes Tourism is offering grant money to people and groups who plan to bring visitors into the county by building new attractions or by organizing festivals, events, meetings, conventions, or sports tournaments during 2018.  Grants are available to for-profit, nonprofit, and government entities.
A total of $50,000 is available to be awarded in 2018. Indiana Dunes Tourism, the official tourism bureau of Porter County, is specifically looking to support endeavors that will bring visitors from outside of the Lake, Porter, and LaPorte County areas, fill hotel rooms, and have a positive economic impact on local businesses and attractions.
In 2017, Indiana Dunes Tourism awarded grants to Gears of Hope Duneland Tour, Fish-On Annual Outdoor Show, Indiana Dunes Birding Festival, Taltree Acorn Concert Series, Northern Amateur Golf Tournament, Prairie Music Fest, Chesterton European Market, and many others.
The grants can be used for such things as construction of new attractions, as well as advertising, printing, and promotional expenses that bring visitors to Porter County and encourage overnight stays. The funds can also be used to develop brochures, websites, and other tools that encourage visitation.  Those interested in the 2018 grant program should visit:   indianadunes.com/grants .

Community Education
Let Us Have Peace
Edmonds & Evans Funeral Homes
Edmonds & Evans Funeral Homes will be sponsoring "Let Us Have Peace" at the Bonner Senior Center on Friday, December 15th at 10:30am. This program provides a unique tour of America and guests will learn intriguing, often untold stories behind our presidents' final days and resting places. This event is free and open to the public.  

Dollars and Sense Program 
Modern Woodman Fraternal Financial
Dollars and Sense Financial Literacy Program is designed for kids from elementary through high school, our online educational platform helps your child establish good savings and spending habits at an early age.  Every child that signs up through his or her school, athletic team, or church, will be able to take a financial literacy quiz every year they are in school from kindergarten through 12 th
grade. Every year they take the quiz, Modern Woodmen will pay them $20 just for taking the quiz. In addition to the money they receive every year from Modern Woodmen, we will donate $50 per kid to the team, school, or church they sign up with. If you are interested in learning more or incorporating these programs please contact Alex Ferreira at 219.851.5732 or Alex.Ferreira@mwarep.org

Business News
Ryan Smiley Named President & CEO
Boys & Girls Club of Porter County
As previously announced, two thriving local Boys & Girls Clubs organizations, Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County (BGCPOCO) and Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana (BGCNWI) will be merging into one organization, serving more kids and expanding its transformational programs and services.  Ryan Smiley, president & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County, will continue to lead the merger, as the newly appointed president & chief executive officer (CEO) of the new organization.  Smiley officially will assume the new responsibilities when the merger is complete on January 1, 2018. With the merger, the new organization will be in the top 2% of all Boys & Girls Clubs in the United States based on the number of facilities and members served during the school year.  The combined organization is expected to serve more than 10,000 youth and teen members annually throughout Northwest Indiana. Smiley has served as interim president & CEO of BGCNWI since October of 2016, which serves members at six Clubs in Lake County.  Both organizations are experiencing historical growth under Smiley's leadership.  "We are serving more kids today than at any time in our collective and storied histories," Smiley said. The average daily attendance of Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Indiana has increased 40% since last October and active membership has grown by 1,046 youth in the past year under his leadership.  Read More

New Customer Specialists at the Valparaiso AAA office
AAA of Valparaiso
AAA would like to welcome two new Customer Specialists to the Valparaiso Office. Please welcome Abby Gunning and Sara Braun. Abby is a future elementary school teacher who attends Indiana University Northwest. She loves to read and spend time with her family and friends. Sara is the proud Mom to a 6 month old Golden Retriever named Hemi and a 3 month old German Shepherd named Daisy. She loves fast cars, her doggies, and her whole family loves AAA. If you would like to become a AAA Member or would like to apply for our 0% Credit Card for your Holiday shopping, please call us at (219) 242-8144.

Shannon Burhans, New CEO
Portage Township YMCA
The board of directors of the Portage Township YMCA today announced that Shannon Burhans, a Portage native with over 20 years of non-profit experience, has been named the organization's new President and Chief Executive Officer.
Burhans has been awarded the Top 20 under 40 Business People by NWI Times, Outstanding Public Citizen by Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce, and Distinguished Club President by Kiwanis International.  She has been actively involved in several community service organizations and missions over the past 20 years, and has a heart for serving those in Portage. Burhans graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor's Degree in Communications. 

Look Who's in the Portage-IN Office
Century 21 Affiliated
Century 21 Affiliated has added new faces to the Portage Office. Ben Crozier chose Real Estate so he can build his own business and help people chase their dreams! He is a graduate of Purdue University and avid reader. Call or text Ben at 219-877-4364. Beth Lloyd chose real estate because she loves people and loves houses. She is excited about finding the "Dream Home" for her clients. Beth also freelances as a make-up artist, assisting in weddings and special occasions. Call or text Beth at 219-393-4430.

Business Education
5 Marketing Moves You Can Make Now To Increase Your 2018
Date: Thursday, November 30th, 1pm Eastern
2017 is nearly over and smart business people are already looking ahead to the next year. They're making investments, planning out their next moves and creating strategies to grow both sales and profits in the months ahead.  Hopefully, you're doing the same.
In this webinar, nationally-recognized CRM expert Gene Marks will share the marketing moves these successful people are doing right now to profit next year, including:  Investing in customer relationship management: What apps they're using and what pitfalls they're avoiding.  Creating more online content:  The best practices for starting your own video or podcast series.  Revisiting their website and social media:  The latest SEO and advertising tools and how they're working with consultants.  Moving towards marketing automation:  The latest marketing automation technologies and how they're generating leads.  Establishing metrics:  How data is driving their decision making and what metrics are most useful.  And, you'll walk away with great ideas and concrete strategies for creating a 2018 marketing plan specifically for your business. Register Online

Philanthropy Roundtable-Building a Board
South Shore Leadership Center
The South Shore Leadership Center will be hosting a Philanthropy Roundtable on December 1 st , at their office from  8:30am-10am.  The program is free and open to any organization that has a board or a board member looking to be the best board member they can be! The topic of the presentation will be Building a Board, A tool kit for constructing a Highly Functioning Board. Please RSVP for this event, if you have any questions please contact Cortney at 219-989-2802
Thank You, Non-Profit Day
South Shore Leadership Center
Date: December 6th 11a-1p @ South Shore Leadership Center
This will be a lunch, free for employees of a non-profit. It will be a laid back lunch with remarks from Bill S, Director of The Fund Raising School at IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
Max is 100 ppl. Please  RSVP

Advocate for Your Business
Date: December 7, 1pm Eastern
Small business owners must perform countless tasks, but many forget to advocate for their businesses. Government officials make decisions that impact your ability to conduct business, so shouldn't you be involved in advocating for your company?  In this session, Joy Lutes, Vice President of External Affairs at NAWBO National (the first advocacy organization founded to represent all women business owners), will discuss how to engage in business to government advocacy efforts that will strengthen your business.  
You'll learn:  How decisions made at all levels of government can affect how you conduct business;  How to assess advocacy opportunities that exist for your business and integrate them into your plans;  How to communicate with your employees, customers and other stakeholders about the actions you take in the advocacy arena. Register Online

Business Start-up 101
The workshop is a first step toward owning a successful small business and it aims to help entrepreneurs evaluate their business ideas, prepare a sound business plan, manage expectations and increase chances of accessing capital. 
The workshop is based on the ISBDC's A Sound and Proven Path Towards Launching Your Own Business Workbook, available at all ISBDC offices. A free copy of this 60 page step-by-step workbook will be distributed to participants and used during the class:
Topics include: 

Identifying personal objectives, skills and resources; Describing your business idea and requirements; Developing a sales forecast; Identifying start-up expenses; Estimating your operating budget; Analyzing your feasibility results.

When:  6 to 8 p.m.  Tuesday Dec. 12
Where: Purdue Technology Center of NWI, 9800 Connecticut Drive, Crown Point, IN 46307
Cost: $25. Pre-registration and pre-payment are required as payments are not accepted at the door. Register online
More information : Email  northwest@isbdc.org  or call (219) 644-3513 .

Activities and Promotions
Holiday Bazaar
Rittenhouse Village at Portage
Start your holiday shopping early with us at Rittenhouse Village at Portage! on  Friday, December 1 from 12 - 3 pm ! We will be hosting a Holiday Bazaar with various vendors selling their crafts, holiday decor and much more! Stop by to pick up great gifts for your family & friends. 
RSVP TODAY  219-762-2900                                                                                                                                                                                                     
An Evening with Santa